Review: The Dom Identity by Lexi Blake

THE DOM IDENTITY
Series:
Masters and Mercenaries: Reloaded Book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date:
September 14,  2021

A man with everything

Michael Malone seems to have it all. A wealthy, loving family. A job that fulfills him. Friends he can count on. But something is missing. He’s spent years watching his brother and close friends get married and start families, but it hasn’t happened for him. When an assignment comes up to investigate fallen Hollywood star Vanessa Hale, he jumps at the chance. She’s gorgeous and potentially deadly. Playing the spy game with her might be just the thing to take his mind off his troubles.

A woman with nothing left to lose

Vanessa Hale had big dreams that ended in scandal. She returned home with nothing but heartache and the desire to find her mother’s killer. The trail points to someone at Lodge Corp, so taking a job with Julian Lodge’s mysterious company is her best option for finding the truth. While she hunts for a killer during the day, she hopes to find some solace at night in The Club. Meeting the gorgeous, sexy and seemingly kind Michael Malone, their chemistry sparks in a way she’s never felt before, and Vanessa thinks maybe her luck has finally changed.

A love that might save them both

When Michael’s true motives are revealed, she will have to find a way to forgive his betrayal. The killer has made Vanessa their next target. Working together and stopping this monster is the only chance for them to have the real love they both deserve.

AMAZON

He’d gone still, the tiniest bit predatory, and she hated the fact that it did something for her.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I will never get enough of this world. No matter how long the series, no matter the amount of spin-offs, this world and these characters will always be my favorite comfort.

This is book two in the new Masters and Mercenaries spinoff. If you haven’t read that series, you’re seriously missing out. But you can also dive into this one if you’re intimidated by the amount of books in the M&M series. Though I highly recommend you at least read Treasured before this one to get a bit more Malone. And if you want to be fully engrained in this world, I recommend you also read Siren Enslaved to meet Julian, Finn and and Dani.

Now let’s talk about this book. This was absolute trope candy for me and no one delivers on this quite like Lexi Blake.

Michael did what all my idiot employees do and fell for the client. Trust me. I’ve seen it a thousand times. Operative walks in, thinks he’s the big man and the bad girl will give up all her secrets because his dick is so special. But let me tell you, special dick always gives it up for a magical pussy…
Gay, straight, bi, it’s all the same. Suddenly big bad operative is all The bad girl isn’t so bad and if she did something wrong, my penis will fix it.”

I love when a story sets the scene to a major betrayal that everyone but the MCs see coming. You know it’s coming. You know it’s going to be good. You’re foaming at the mouth until it happens because you know there will be a grovel to beat all grovels and you’re so here for it. GOD. When I tell you this was utterly delicious. I mean it was FINGER LICKING GOOD.

Now I also love a good cross over, and this had the mother of all cross overs between M&M and Texas Sirens and Sanctum meets The Club. Vanessa Hale is a fallen Hollywood star with an infamous reputation. Painted by media as a difficult star and gold digger who married an old man for his money, she finds herself in the small town working for Julian’s wife. She’s also interested in finding out about the D/s lifestyle and wants to join The Club. But Julian doesn’t trust that her reasons for being there are genuine, and so he hires Ian to get to the bottom of it. And so Michael Malone is assigned to be her Dom in training with an agenda to get to the bottom of the real reason Vanessa is there.

I don’t have the words to describe to you how much I loved this story. Both Vanessa and Michael have their own demons from their past. Vanessa is used to no one seeing past what the gossip magazines and rumor have painted her image to be. The vain, gold digger. Michael is used to no one seeing past his family’s money. Michael definitely judges a book by it’s cover when it comes to Vanessa. But it doesn’t take long for him to question himself when he starts to see the woman beneath the infamous Hollywood image. Of course being the stupid man that he is, he doesn’t tell her anything and continues on with his mission while sleeping with her…because chemistry. And I couldn’t wait for that other shoe to drop.

When I tell you I loved this book, I mean I LOVED this book. I devoured it in one sitting. Between the cross over, we also get a little more insight into the mysterious and tortured Kyle and GAH, I cannot wait for his book. But I digress. This book had everything; the suspense, the romance, the chemistry, the feels. ALL OF THE FEELS. I loved Michael and Vanessa together and when inevitably Michael screws up, I loved the grovel and how Vanessa made him work for it. Then of course in usual Lexi fashion she drops a chapter at the end that leaves you salivating for the next book.

If you’re looking for a pulse pounding romantic suspense with a dash of sizzling BDSM and a story that’s going to suck you in from page one and keep you at the edge of your seat until the end, READ THIS BOOK!

Review: Net Worth by Amelia Wilde

NET WORTH
Series:
Trilogy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Amelia Wilde
Release Date:
September 14  2021

Mason Hill wants one thing: revenge.

 

When Charlotte Van Kempt walks into his office, all innocence and desperation, he knows the perfect way to get it.

 

He makes a dark bargain.

 

She’ll give him her body to save her family.

 

Little does she know he plans to ruin both.

AMAZON 

She’ll be my revenge. She’ll be the person I’ll carry it out on. Her family’s sacrifice. There’s no disappointment, really. It will be even sweeter this way.

*faints in fangirl*

Y’all. If you know me even a little, then you know that I have a thing for the mean ones. I’m talking about the uber alphaholes. I’m talking about men so toxic, you love to hate. Look, I like them mean and jaded, okay? Like if I don’t spend at least half the book wanting to c*ck punch them, I don’t want it. And Mason Hill? Oh my ovaries. It just doesn’t get more toxic than a man you spend the entire book wanting to punch in the throat. And I love him so much!!

I want to destroy Charlotte Van Kempt. I want to break her in every way there is under the sun. I want to put her back together afterward and break her again.

Clearly I have been sleeping on Amelia Wilde, because the woman knows how to bring the mean. This was so delicious, I don’t even have the words. You have the cold and ruthless billionaire set on revenge at all costs. You have the sweet and innocent woman who’s caught in the crosshairs of some dark family history who becomes the willing sacrifice.

I put a hand on her hip and pull her forward at the last minute so she falls between my knees and has to push herself back up. No hiding the quiver in her chin now. No hiding the dimpling skin there. I’ll get tears soon. It’ll be fucking delicious.

Mason is a character who’s full of depth, even though we only get quick glimpses of his vulnerable side. The majority of this book shows his dark, ruthless, and calculating side. A man with a sharp tongue and an appetite for pain.

I expected her to break. I went looking for the limit of her humiliation, and I found it. Now we can have some real fun.

Prepare for a binge read of a story, friends, because this is not a book you’ll be able to set down once you start it. It was addictive and dirty. It was so. freaking. good. When I tell you I read it in one sitting, I mean I couldn’t put it down for even a minute. I was desperate to see just a glimpse of Mason’s soft side and instead I was hit with a cliffhanger to painful, I think I saw stars from the force of that two by four.

I am desperate for my next fix and will now be binging on Amelia’s entire backlist. BECAUSE OH MY GOD!!! The ultimate revenge plot. The ultimate alpha hole. And the most delicious story bringing it all together.

Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of dangerous contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Connect with Amelia

Website: https://awilderomance.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14671616.Amelia_Wilde

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Wilde/e/B01C38CNJ2

Facebook: facebook.com/awilderomance

Instagram: https://instagram.com/awilderomance

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ameliawildeauthoress?

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amelia-wilde

Review: Time Stamps by K.L. Kreig


TIME STAMPS
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Author: K.L. Kreig
Release Date: August 17, 2021

Time stamps.

Our life is marked by them.

Significant milestones to the seemingly mundane. All of them have a place. A purpose.

Moments and chapters stacking on each other, building scars and memories.

Creating stories that are only ours to tell.

But those stamps are finite, pre-determined. And eventually our allotment runs out.

This is our story. Our collection of time stamps. The culmination of our love, our struggles, our redemption and our heartbreak. This story isn’t always easy, but it is real.

A genuine account of utter devotion, where every page is crammed with pure emotion and truth and the gift of loving another person more than yourself.

Share with us in our dreams, our laughter. Cry with us in our sorrows, our pain.

Take this journey through our time stamps with Laurel and I, and I will meet you at the end.

~ Roth Warren Keswick

AMAZON

The love we have lights the darkest of spaces.

This review is brought to you from the comfort of my bathroom, where I have locked myself for the past 20 minutes, sobbing uncontrollably so that my family don’t think I’ve lost my mind.

Actual footage captured below
Now look, books like this are not my usual reads. I don’t gravitate towards stories that hurt my heart. But when I tell you this was one of the most beautiful, mesmerizing and unforgettable stories of love I’ve read, I mean it was IT. It was that book for me. It was a book that I will never forget and yet will never put myself through reading it again. Because it broke me. It was this ying and yang sort of dynamic. Beauty with pain. And you really can’t have one without the other.
KL Kreig sets the stage right away. This story doesn’t sneak up on you with the feels. It’s a steady build up and I’m not going to lie, I spent most of it in tears. Do I regret reading it? Absolutely not. Would I read it again? Absolutely not. Do I recommend it? ABSOLUTELY.

I love stories of a once in a lifetime love and this one was incredible. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. It was flawlessly written. Perfectly paced. Utterly magnificent. Laurel and Roth were two of my favorite characters. I loved Laurel’s sweet quirkiness and shy nature. And I absolutely lived for Roth and his big love. This is a man that loves with his entire heart. Everything from the day they met to their present just made me fall harder and harder for them. A story of such pure, selfish love that’s just beyond words. Laurel and Roth will forever stay with me because I swear, this book ingrained itself into my soul. I just cannot deal.

I simply cannot tell you anything else about this story because you just have to experience. Word of advise, have a box or 5 of tissues on hand and don’t read it in public unless you want people to think you’re having an emotional breakdown. Because here I am at the end, my hear hurting, my eyes burning, and so devastatingly in love with this book that it’s painful.

As a USA Today Bestselling author, K.L. Kreig writes stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans are flawed and she loves experiencing the gratification of redemption.

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Review: Storm by Serena Akeroyd

STORM
Genre: Contemporary, MC Romance
Series: Dark and Dirty Sinners’ MC #8
Author: Serena Akeroyd
Release Date: July 29, 2021

STORM

You hate me.

I deserve it.

The day I betrayed the love of my life was the day I lived up to every messed-up thing my haters say about me.

But I’m tired of feeling like a POS.

I’m tired of being broken.

I’m tired of life not being worth living.

It’s time now to make amends, and to earn my woman’s love back.

To be the father my kid deserves,

the Old Man I should always have been.
Join me for the ride as I become worthy of my family.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll surprise you.

This book deals with infidelity. If this is a trigger for you, but you loveA Dark & Dirty Sinners’ MC series, please be assured, that this is the ONLY book that can be skipped in the reading order.

AMAZON

I was trying to live like a fucking priest, but I was a sinner. There was no hiding from it. No evading it.”

I’m speechless right now.
Ruined.
Wrecked.
Completely overwhelmed with feels.

This book. THIS. BOOK. I don’t even have the words for all that I feel right now.

I have never read this author. I also haven’t read any of the other books in this series. But when I read the blurb to this book, I had zero chill. I had to read it and I took a chance to read it completely out of order without having read the rest of the series. And you know what?
I’m a sucker for a redemption story. I’m an even bigger sucker for a gritty MC. And I’m absolutely gone for a cheating redemption story. So long as it fits the story, of course. And this story? It was all of the things.

So you’re just being possessive?”
“No.”
“What is it then?”
“I want what’s best for her. I just wish that were me.”

This story was a kick straight to the feels. Storm was emotional, gritty, unapologetic, and completely unforgettable.

Now let’s address the elephant in the room. This series is not really read as standalones. But you can easily read this book and enjoy it without having read the others because there’s perfect amount of background given.

Let’s not address the other elephant in the room. Cheating. If that’s not your thing, don’t read this book. Seriously. But I happen to love the angst of a good cheating story. The book starts out with Storm and Keira already separated following the events of his f*ckups. The story is told in part present and flashbacks to the past. You’re taken deep into the heart and soul of an incredibly broken and damaged man. You get to wade throw his pain, his regrets, and ultimately his redemption.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself, cheating is never acceptable. Well, in the case of this book, I disagree. I love reading redemption stories and I love seeing the ugly side of love. And Storm’s story is not a light one but man was it good. He’s not a perfect man. He’s not even a good man. But he’s a man that would do anything for his family and would break himself apart for his estranged wife. Including tattooing “Property of Keira” and piercing his dick with a padlock that only Keira has a key to. Even though they’re not together and he has no hope they ever will be.

They met when Keira was just 19 and the growth they both go through is painful and uplifting all in one. Storm is a man with vices. He’s a recovering addict and so far from perfect, but man my heart just went out to him. Watching these two slowly find their way to each other again is one of the most painful and fulfilling experiences I’ve had from a book in a long while. I also loved the way the cheating is handled. Look I get that it’s not everybody’s cuppa, but if someone was going to write a cheating hero and redeem him, there is no better book than this one. And that extra epilogue? Wrecked me.

Keira and Storm’s love story is not a pretty one. It’s definitely not a smooth one. These are both incredibly broken and damaged characters. They’re not perfect and they’re not innocent. But watching the growth they both go through was incredible. And watching them find their way back to each other while facing all the odds against them was an experience unlike any I’ve had in a long while.

I could probably write an entire novel for my review with all the feels I have for this book, but I won’t. What I’ll tell you is this is a book that you simply need to take a chance on. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s a slow burn. A painful and beautiful second chance romance that owned me from beginning to finish. The last time I had this many feels with a book, I was reading Undeniable. Serena just got herself a new stalker….erm…fan. Because I just grabbed the rest of this series on KU and see a binge on the horizon.

#DGRFave & Review: The Savage And The Swan by Ella Fields

THE SAVAGE AND THE SWAN
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: July 14, 2021

The king of wolves was more beast than man, more tyrant than king, and so much more than he seemed.
Raised to avenge his murdered parents, he’d been trained and conditioned until nothing but violence and hatred lined the walls of his dead heart.

For nearly four years, I’d done all I could to help my kingdom as we faced the wolf king’s unconquerable evil—hardly anything at all.
As the only heir to the Gracewood line, I’d been relegated to menial tasks that would keep me and my secrets safe.

A chance to do more than fret behind our castle walls arrived when I breached them after overhearing my parents’ plans for my future. Fleeing, I unknowingly raced into a fate we’d all desperately hoped to avoid.

By the time I saw him coming, it was far too late. For my family. For my kingdom.
For my heart.
Before I could staunch the bleeding, the king had me under his giant paw, and one wrong move after another caused those razor-sharp claws to sink deeper and deeper beneath my bruised skin.

I might have been trapped, naïve, and furious, but I still had a kingdom to save—and a plan.
 Yet when we collided, the bloodshed, the fear, his atrocities… all of it dissolved like stardust upon the night sea.

The stars had mapped out our destiny, but it didn’t matter what they or my heart wanted.
 I refused to see the enigmatic male, the heartless lost boy with a soul beneath the flesh of a monster.
The savage king who’d destroyed everything I loved would fall—even if my heart fell with him.

Inspired by Hades and Persephone, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Swan Princess, The Savage and the Swan is not connected to any other Ella Fields novel. It’s a full-length standalone romantic fantasy containing mature content.

AMAZON

I loathed her and all she stood for. I loathed her nearly as much as I wanted her. I’d been cursed. I was sure of it. The bird was both my remedy and my affliction.

*deep breaths*

Ok, ok, give me a second to gather my wits here.
*hyperventilates*

So I… no that’s not it.
This book was… no that’s not right.

*takes calming breath*

ILOVEDTHISFREAKINGBOOKSOMUCHICANTEVENDEALRIGHTNOW

Ah. I feel better now. So where were we?

It’s been a hot minute since I read a fantasy romance, and I’m not even sure why. I love PNR so of course I’d love fantasy, but I just haven’t come across anything that piqued my interest lately in the genre. Until I read the blurb for this book….

And then I may have begged, pleaded, and offered an ovary in exchange for an ARC. What? Don’t you judge me. Have you read that blurb? I mean C’MON!

Don’t you have innocent people to slaughter?” My cheeks burned, and I refused to meet his eyes, choosing instead to stare at his throat. The fine hairs that dusted it, crawling up and over that fiercely hewn chin.
“I’ve already crossed that off my to-do list,” he stated with such irritating indifference that I wished I had hit him with the poor books.

There is only one word to describe the experience that was this book. EPIC. The story developed behind my eyes like a movie reel and the majestic and rich world building sucked me right into an obsession.

The second I read that it was inspired by Hades and Persephone, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Swan Princess, I had to read it. Because I love all things Hades and Persephone, The Swan Princess is one of my favorite cartoons, and rumpelstistskin? Well I was simply rabid with curiosity on how that even fit in here.

Now imagine a world where two kingdoms are engaged in a bloody battle for years. A fae land where the beautiful princess has to marry a human prince in order to gain protection from the savage king of wolves, only to fall right into his clutches. Sound delicious? Well, that’s because it is.

If there’s one thing that I love, it’s a fierce heroine. And Opal? She was all of the things. She was fierce, brave, and one of my favorite heroines I’ve read in a while. And our wolfish king? OH MY OVARIES. The man was to die for. Pun intended. He’s a man who’s been honed into a finely tuned weapon for revenge. He’s vicious, cold hearted, and feared by all. The enemies to lovers vibe in this story was ON POINT. I couldn’t get enough of the tension between the two of them. And if there’s one thing that Ella does is deliver on that delicious angst with the feels thrown in and I was so here for it.

This is seriously going right up there in my top reads of 2021. I simply loved everything about this story. I devoured it. I was obsessed. I was riveted. Captivated. Hypnotized. I never wanted it to end. Ella seriously hit it right out of the ballpark with this book and I simply cannot recommend it enough. It was magical. It was deliciously, finger licking good. IT WAS EPIC.

#DGRFave Review & Excerpt: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER
Series: It Happened One Summer #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: July 13, 2021

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.

AMAZON

Brendan Taggart was the first Westport resident to spot the women.He heard a car door slam out by the curb and slowly turned on the barrel that passed as a seat in No Name. His bottle of beer paused halfway to his mouth, the loud storytelling and music filling the bar fading away.

Through the grubby window, Brendan watched the pair exit on opposite sides of a taxi and immediately wrote them off as clueless tourists who obviously had the wrong address.

That is, until they started hauling suitcases out of the trunk. Seven, to be exact.

He grunted. Sipped his beer.

They were a ways off the beaten path. There wasn’t an inn for several blocks. On top of misjudging their destination, they were dressed for the beach at night, during a late-summer rain, no umbrella to speak of—and visibly confounded by their surroundings.

It was the one in the floppy hat who caught his eye right away, purely because she looked the most ridiculous, a lipstick-shaped purse dangling from her forearm, wrists limp and drawn up to her shoulders, as if she was afraid to touch something. She tilted her head back and gazed up at the building and laughed. And that laugh turned into what looked like a sob, though he couldn’t hear it through the music and pane of glass.

As soon as Brendan noticed the way the rain was molding the dress to Floppy Hat’s tits, he glanced away quickly, going back to what he’d been doing before. Pretending to be interested in Randy’s overboard story, even though he’d heard it eighty goddamn times.

“The sea was boiling that day,” Randy said, in a voice equivalent to scrap metal being crushed. “We’d already hit our quota and then some, thanks to the captain over here.” He saluted Brendan with his frothy pint. “And there I was, on a deck slipperier than a duck’s ass, picturing the bathtub full of cash I’d be swimming in when we got home. We’re hauling in the final pot, and there it was, the biggest crab in the damn sea, the motherfucking grandpappy of all crabs, and he tells me with his beady little eyes that he ain’t going down without a fight. Noooo, sir.”

Randy propped a leg up on the stool he’d been sitting on earlier, his craggy features arranged for maximum drama. He’d been working on Brendan’s boat longer than Brendan had been captaining it. Had seen more seasons than most of the crew combined. At the end of each one, he threw himself a retirement party. And then he showed up for the next season like clockwork, having spent every last dime of last year’s take.

“When I tell you that sucker wrapped a leg around the arm of my slicker, right through the pot, the mesh, all of it, I’m not lying. He was hell-bent for leather. Time froze, ladies and gentlemen. The captain is yelling at me to haul in the pot, but hear me now, I was bamboozled. That crab put a spell on me—I’m telling you. And that’s when the wave hit, conjured by the crab himself. Nobody saw it coming, and just like that, I was tossed into the drink.”

The man who was like a grandfather to Brendan took a pause to drain half his beer.

“When they pulled me in . . .” He exhaled. “That crab was nowhere to be found.”

The two people in the crowded bar who hadn’t already heard the legend laughed and applauded—and that was the moment Floppy Hat and the other one decided to make their entrance. Within seconds, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop, and that didn’t surprise Brendan one bit. Westport was a tourist stop to be sure, but they didn’t get a lot of outsiders stumbling into No Name. It was an establishment that couldn’t be found on Yelp.

Mainly because it was illegal.

But it wasn’t only the shock of non-locals walking in and disrupting their Sunday-night bullshit session. No, it was the way they looked. Especially Floppy Hat, who walked in first, hitting the easy energy of the room with shock paddles. In her short, loose dress and sandals that wrapped around her calves, she could have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine for all those . . . tight lines and smooth curves.

Brendan could be objective about that.

His brain could point out an attractive woman without him caring one way or the other.

He set his beer down on the windowsill and crossed his arms, feeling a flash of annoyance at everyone’s stupefied expressions. Randy had rolled out the red carpet in the form of his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and the rest of the men were mentally preparing marriage proposals, by the look of it.

“Little help with the luggage, Pipes?” called the second girl from the entrance, where she’d propped open the door with a hip, struggling under the weight of a suitcase.

“Oh!” Floppy Hat whirled around, pink climbing the sides of her face—and hell, that was some face. No denying it, now that there wasn’t a dirty windowpane distorting it. Those were the kind of baby blues that made men sign their life away, to say nothing of that wide, stubborn upper lip. The combination rendered her guileless and seductive at the same time, and that was trouble Brendan wanted no part of. “Sorry, Hanns.” She winced. “I’ll go get the rest—”

“I’ll get them,” at least nine men said at once, tripping over themselves to reach the door. One of them took the suitcase from Floppy Hat’s companion, while several others lunged into the rain, getting stuck side by side in the doorway. Half of those jackasses were on Brendan’s crew, and he almost disowned them right then and there. 

Within seconds—although not without some familiar bickering—all seven suitcases were piled in the middle of the bar, everyone standing around them expectantly. “What gentlemen! So polite and welcoming,” Floppy Hat crooned, hugging her bizarre handbag to her chest. “Thank you!”

“Yes, thanks,” said the second girl quietly, drying the rain off her face with the sleeve of a UCLA sweatshirt. Los Angeles. Of course. “Uh, Pipes?” She turned in a circle, taking in their surroundings. “Are you sure this is the right place?”

In response to her friend’s question, she seemed to notice where she was standing for the first time. Those eyes grew even bigger as she catalogued the interior of No Name and the people occupying it. Brendan knew what she was seeing, and already he resented the way she recoiled at the dust on the mismatched seats, the broken floorboards, the ancient fishing nets hanging from the rafters. The disappointment in the downturned corners of her mouth spoke volumes. Not good enough for you, baby? There’s the door.

With prim movements, Pipes—keeper of ridiculous names and purses—snapped the handbag open and drew out a jewel-crusted phone, tapping the screen with a square red nail. “Is this . . . sixty-two North Forrest Street?”

A chorus of yeses greeted the strangled question.

“Then . . .” She turned to her friend, chest expanding on quick breaths. “Yes.”

“Oh,” responded UCLA, before she cleared her throat, pasting a tense smile on a face that was pretty in a much subtler way than Pipes’s. “Um . . . sorry about the awkward entrance. We didn’t know anyone was going to be here.” She shifted her weight in boots that wouldn’t be good for anything but sitting down. “I’m Hannah Bellinger. This is my sister, Piper.”

Piper. Not Pipes.

Not that it was much of an improvement.

The floppy hat came off, and Piper shook out her hair, as if they were in the middle of a photo shoot. She gave everyone a sheepish smile. “We own this place. Isn’t that crazy?”

If Brendan thought their entrance had produced silence, it was nothing compared to this.

Owned this place?

From IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey, published by Avon Books. Copyright © 2021 by Tessa Bailey. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers.

He was a set-in-his-ways fisherman. She was a rich, adventurous socialite.

Y’all. I’m going to make a pretty extreme statement here and you may want to sit down for it. But this? This was, hands down, my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. I’m on bookish cloud nine. I felt like I was floating just reading it. And the goofy grin on my face for the entire book? Couldn’t help it! I’m in love and his name is Brendan Taggart.
This book had everything; humor, steam, a slow burn, a small town setting, a quirky socialite, and a grumpy bear…err…fisherman.

It won’t let me just use my own name as my username.”
“Yeah, probably because about nine hundred Brendan Taggarts joined before you.”
“So what should I use?”
“CaptainCutie69,” Fox spat out.
“IGotCrabs4U,” Deke supplied.
“SlipperyWhenWet.” Brendan stared.
“You’re all fired. Go home.”

This story reminded me a little of It Had to Be You but in a totally unique way. Maybe it was just the feels that it brought out, but man, I just died.

Piper is a type of heroine that could easily be seen as a fluff, unless Tessa writes her. She’s a spoiled socialite who has never known hard work or trouble beyond no good parties around on the weekend. So when her stepfather finally has enough of her antics and inability to take anything serious, her and her sister find themselves in a small town running their late fathers dive bar in the middle of a fishing town. Suffice it to say they’re ill equipped for the task, but in the most hilarious of ways.

Piper followed, looking down at him from the top of the stairs. “Are we friends, Brendan?”
“No,” he called back, without missing a beat.
Her mouth hung open, a laugh huffing out of her as she closed the door. Hannah sat up and asked, “What the hell is going on there?”
Slowly, she shook her head. “I have no freaking idea.”

No one has ran the bar for years since the passing of their father. And the town just kind of took it as their own. So when Brendan meets who he assumes is an air headed socialite, suffice it to say they get off on the right foot. Add into the fact that no one knew of the long lost daughters and they do anything but fit in with the locals and well, it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. But god was it good!

The slow burn of this romance was EVERYTHING. And I really mean everything. I loved watching Piper grow into her own and I loved watching Brendan fall for her. She was such a sweet, quirky, and endearing character. And the grumpy and broody fisherman captain? I LIVED FOR HIM.

Going to fuck the word ‘friend’ right out of your beautiful mouth. You’ll forget how to say anything but my name. Real quick, honey.”

I loved this book beyond words and beyond reason. It was funny, swoony, and with a sizzle of Tessa’s signature dirty talk and I was so here for it. If there’s one book you add to your TBR this summer, make it this one. The perfect beach read is here and I can’t recommend it enough. Now if Tessa can just write Hannah and Fox’s book faster because the level of need that I have for that one is UNREASONABLE.

 

Review: Carnal Urges by J.T. Geissinger

CARNAL URGES
Series: Queens & Monsters #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: June 30, 2021

Carnal (adjective):
1) Relating to the pleasures of the body
2) Given to sensual indulgence
3) The man who kidnapped me

The devil has blue eyes, an Irish accent, and a hatred for me that runs deep.

He blames me for starting a war.
Consorting with his enemies.
Getting his men killed.

Though I’m innocent on all charges, he wants his pound of flesh.
With an eye on revenge, he makes me his captive.

But as we’ll both soon discover, there are more powerful urges than that for revenge.

 

When the devil meets his match but she’s his sworn enemy, that’s when the real war begins.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

AMAZON 

In a life full of unforgivable sins, sleeping with the enemy would be the absolute worst.

In case you were wondering, above is actual footage of me reading this book. BECAUSE OH MY HOLY BOOK CRACK. This was DELICIOUS.

Men say they love a strong woman, right up until they meet one.

The second Sloane appeared on the pages of Ruthless Creatures, I was instantly captivated. There’s just something about a strong, smart, fiercely independent woman that owns her sexuality and doesn’t feel bad about being one and done with men while leaving them all panting in her wake. And what I mean by that, is this woman was instantly my spirit animal. I loved her as a secondary character but I was nervous about her being the main one. Because it’s so easy to take a character like this and overdo it. Make her too much. But somehow, she was even better than I ever hoped.

I’m not the girl who gets butterflies. I’m not the girl who swoons or begs. I’m the one who moves on before things get complicated, who keeps moving on relentlessly without looking back, like a shark that has to keep swimming forward its whole life or it will die. I’m the one who doesn’t fall. Who doesn’t feel. Who doesn’t get attached.

And you may also remember Declan from Cruel Paradise. And if you haven’t read that series, you haven’t lived. Just sayin’. But I digress. Declan was the right hand man for the Irish mafia, and suddenly finds himself at the head of it in this book. He’s also the mortal enemy of Kage from Ruthless Creatures, who happens to be Sloane’s bestie’s new man. Complication, they has it. But I digress again.

This was enemies to lovers GOLD. Declan kidnaps Sloane and keeps her captive, only it doesn’t go as he planned considering the woman is opinionated, with a razor sharp tongue, and completely fearless. She challenges him at every turn and turns him on at every corner. Their banter was the thing mu bookish dreams were made of.

I’m probably going to die with only you for company. Can you blame me for being upset?” His eyes are narrowed, doubtful, arctic blue.
I throw my hands in the air. “I’m not invincible!”
“So that deal you made with the devil for the power to kill with run-on sentences didn’t include immortality?”

Y’all. When I tell you I lived for this banter, words can’t describe the level of goofy smile I had on my face reading it.

Now I liked book one, but also wanted more story and more tension and (whispers shamefully) less sex. What? Yes it happens even to me. But I digress again. This gave me the tension I had so needed. The buildup was fiery and delicious. And when these two finally collide? HOLY MOTHER!!!!! What’s the best thing you can imagine for a fiercely independent woman? Give her an uber dominant alpha with a penchant for kink. YES PLEASE.
I’ll bind you and blindfold you, probably gag you with my tie, too. And I’ll make you come, over and over. I’ll make you glad you let yourself submit. Are you ready?”


The steam, people! THE STEAM. I died for it. I loved Sloane slowly work her quirky charm on Declan almost as much as I loved his dominant side completely own her in bed.

In this moment, all I want is to let him run me over. To let him break me, savage me, tear me apart.

Carnal Urges was action packed, quick paced, filled with humor, banter to die for, and steam hot enough to set fire to your reader. When I tell you I died for this book, I mean I DIED FOR THIS BOOK. This was JT Geissinger in all of her amazing glory and I was so here for it. And the twist at the end? DIE. I DIE. Seriously. I need the next book like yesterday.

If you love a sizzling hot mafia romance with an uber alpha to die for and a sassy and strong willed heroine to challenge him at every turn, welcome to your next addiction. This book was all of the things! I cannot recommend it enough.

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

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |  Pinterest | GoodReads |  BookBub |  Join Geissinger’s Gang Reader Group |  Stay up to date by joining J.T.’s mailing list | Website 

Review: Lessons In Sin by Pam Godwin

LESSONS IN SIN
Genre: Taboo, Forbidden Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: June 29, 2021

There’s no absolution for the things I’ve done.

But I found a way to control my impulses.

I became a priest.

As Father Magnus Falke, I suppress my cravings. As the headteacher of a Catholic boarding school, I’m never tempted by a student.

Until Tinsley Constantine.

The bratty princess challenges my rules and awakens my dark nature.

With each punishment I lash upon her, I want more. In my classroom, private rectory, and bent over my altar, I want all of her.

One touch risks everything I stand for.
My faith.
My redemption.
And even my life.

As if that could stop me. I need her pain, and her heart, and she needs my lessons in sin.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY 

Iron sheathed in suede, that voice belonged to a man who bent for no one. His sculpted lips lured victims to the altar with the promise of heavenly salvation before condemning them to eternal hell.

Age gap. Forbidden romance. Student/Teacher. Dirty Priest. I am in book heaven right now floating on endorphins so high, I don’t know if there’s moving on from this story.

Pam Godwin never ceases to amaze me with her talent of creating raw, riveting, and broken characters that I simply cannot get enough of. And a priest with a tortured past, seeking salvation of the collar within the walls of a school for the rich and broken…well it just doesn’t get much more delicious than that. Father Magnus was pure, sizzling energy. The second the man appears on the page, it crackles with electricity. I can’t even describe it to you, but this was one of the most enigmatic characters I’ve read from Pam. And having read her entire backlist, that’s saying something.

Now while there’s no doubt Pam can write the hell out of an alpha hero, what I’ve come to love most about her stories are her heroines. These are tough as nails women who are no simpering ingenues. And it’s not small feat to write an 18 year old virgin heroine but make her an old soul in an entirely believable way. Tinsley Constantine is the youngest daughter in the extravagantly rich Constantine family. She’s also the f*ck up. Turning her nose at tradition, she yearns for freedom to discover herself, but one act out too many lands her in the strict Catholic boarding school. What first starts as bratty behavior to get herself expelled, soon turns into something more when she lands in the crosshairs of Magnus.

For the next hour, I showed her how a sadist made a woman beg. I taught her my lessons in sin.

This is a slow burn. A deliciously painful slow burn full of chemistry and sexual tension. I fell instantly for Tinsley’s character. She’s wild, willful, but also incredibly smart and caring. She has no problem standing her ground and challenges Magnus as every turn. I also loved her loving nature.

The romance here is GAH. It was EVERYTHING. When I tell you that I devoured this from cover to cover in one sitting, I mean I couldn’t set it down for even a second. I though Pam created my favorite student teacher romance in Dark Notes, but man, this book owned me. I don’t know anyone else who can pull off a 20 year age gap with an 18 year old heroine like this.

Lessons in Sin was deliciously taboo, darkly erotic, sinful, and oh so addictive! This may be my favorite Godwin book to date.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.
Facebook Reader Group: here

Review: Tryst Six Venom by Penelope Douglas

TRYST SIX VENOM
Genre:
 FF, Bully Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: June 3, 2021

𝑨𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒈𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒔, 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒓 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒎 𝒂𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔… 𝑮𝒆𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚!

𝘾𝙇𝘼𝙔

Marymount girls are good girls. We’re chaste, we’re untouched, and even if we weren’t, no one would know, because we keep our mouths shut.

Not that I have anything to share anyway. I never let guys go too far. I’m behaved.

Beautiful, smart, talented, popular, my skirt’s always pressed, and I never have a hair out of place. I own the hallways, walking tall on Monday and dropping to my knees like the good Catholic girl I am on Sunday.

That’s me. Always in control.

Or so they think. The truth is that it’s easy for me to resist them, because what I truly want, they can never be. Something soft and smooth. Someone dangerous and wild.

Unfortunately, what I want I have to hide. In the locker room after hours. In the bathroom stall between classes. In the showers after practice. 𝑀𝑦 ℎ𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑠𝑤𝑖𝑚𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝑀𝑦 ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑢𝑝 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑘𝑖𝑟𝑡.

For me, life is a web of secrets. No one can find out mine.

𝙊𝙇𝙄𝙑𝙄𝘼

I cross the tracks every day for one reason—to graduate from this school and get into the Ivy League. I’m not ashamed of where I come from, my family, or how everyone at Marymount thinks my skirts are too short and my lipstick is too red.

Clay Collins and her friends have always turned up their noses at me. The witch with her beautiful skin, clean shoes, and rich parents who torments me daily and thinks I won’t fight back.

At least not until I get her alone and find out she’s hiding so much more than just what’s underneath those pretty clothes.

The princess thinks I’ll scratch her itch. She thinks she’s still pure as long as it’s not a guy touching her.

I told her to stay on her side of town. I told her not to cross the tracks.

But one night, she did. And when I’m done with her, she’ll never be pure again.

*TRYST SIX VENOM is a standalone, new adult, bully romance suitable for readers 18+. It will release directly into Kindle Unlimited!

AMAZON

I hate Olivia Jaeger. I f*cking hate her, and I’d happily never love anything if I could hate her my whole life. My eyes pool with tears, and I don’t know why.

The author that first introduced me to bully romance now coming out with an FF bully romance? You best believe I’d be all over that. I was downright salivating for this book for moooooonths. Desperately awaiting the release. So when it landed on my kindle, I must have jumped on it quicker than you can say “mine”. True story.

When you’re in the eye of the storm, the only way out is through.

A prestigious high school for the rich and entitled. A girl from the wrong side of the tracks. And the spoiled girl who seems to have everything she wants, except the one thing that alludes her. I was instantly hooked on the story.

Clay is a bully that you can’t help but love. She’s tortured, angry, and no matter how much venom she spits, you see the pain it’s rooted in. She’s the popular girl in the school. The one who seems to have everything at her fingertips. The captain of the lacrosse team and the girl all guys want and all girls want to be.

Olivia “Liv” Jaeggar is her antithesis. She’s the black sheep of the school and the brunt of everyone’s jokes. She doesn’t hide herself and makes no apologies. The only girl amongst her 5 brothers, she’s a bit of a bad girl with an aura of I don’t give a d@mn. I loved her. She’s venomous in her own right. She takes everything Clay has to give and dishes it right back. But where Clay hasn’t quite figured out who she is, Liv knows it and wears it openly.

I loved the fact that Pen also focused on some very real pieces of bullying and I appreciated this story so much more for it.

As for the romance, I lived for it. It’s a slow burn, full of angst and emotion. It had so much depth that I found myself happily drowning in it. And the epilogue? *chefs kiss* Perfection.

But even though I loved this book, I’m completely unsatisfied too. Why? Because I need more. I need a book for each and every single one of Liv’s bothers. Particularly Macon and Dallas. Like I would DIE for their book. I need it BAD.

Aside from that, I’m in book heaven. This book hit every single spot. I loved every page of it.

#DGRFave & Review: For Lucy by Jewel E. Ann

FOR LUCY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Release Date: May 23, 2020

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jewel E. Ann comes a novel so heartfelt and real it redefines the meaning of love. I’m the wrong guy in the right place the night I steal Tatum Bradshaw from another man. When she mistakes me for her blind date, I decide she deserves a man who shows up on time … like me. Emmett Riley, Mr. Punctual. Once I confess my true identity and convince her I’m not a creep–just a thief–it’s only a matter of time before my sexy smile and quick wit claim her heart, her hand in marriage, and the perfect life. Unfortunately, perfection is an illusion, like the promises of our wedding vows. No one can prepare for the unimaginable–the heartbreaking exception to all the rules in life. When thirty seconds destroys everything, I have to find a new existence and keep my promise to always love our daughter, Lucy, the most. For Lucy, I will keep a secret, and I will watch my wife drift into the arms of another man. Given the chance … can I reclaim my wife and the pieces of our life? *This story contains sensitive subject matter.

 AMAZON

It’s never been my hands keeping her hostage. I’ve always loved her with open arms. My love has never been forced. It’s always been free. She’s the one who cannot walk away. And she knows she needs me to take the blame for that too. So I do. Because that’s how I love her

This. Book. It emotionally eviscerated me. I was sobbing into my pillow at 2 am, completely incapable of setting it down, and totally wrecked by the story. This was a second chance romance unlike any I’ve every read. It was raw, devastating, heart wrenching, and so full of depth I felt like I was drowning in it. I think what struck me the most is that you can easily see yourself in the couple. In the devastation and what ifs that they go through, you feel it on a soul deep level that just stays with you and burrows so deep, it hurts even when you finish.

No matter how hard we try to be perfect, we are not. No matter how hard we try to do the right thing, the wrong thing manages to trip us up. No matter how undeserving one might feel of forgiveness, no one is unworthy of it.

While I’m not usually a fan of time jumps, it’s done absolutely flawlessly here. Jewel effortlessly weaves the past into the story where it doesn’t detract from the time line but adds a morsel of understanding with each new detail of their past that gets unveiled. I’m not going to tell you what the story is about. Read the blurb and go in with just that. Trust me on this. This a book that you simply need to experience blind. What I will tell you, is that I already somewhat knew what I’d be getting into and avoided starting it for that reason. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the type of feelings I knew it would invoke. However, the author handled the incredibly delicate subject matter so incredibly well, that I kicked myself for waiting to start. She gives details without going into too many details. I can’t tell you more so as to not ruin it, but I’ll say that the way it was written was sheer perfection. It was depth without being too much that I would be bawling my eyes out. All the while I still bawled my eyes out, but for other reasons.

Emmett?” “Hmm?” “Thank you.” “For what?” “For being in my corner.” Swallowing my pride, my pain, and a lifetime of emotions, I nod several times. “Always.”

When Emmett met Tatum, he knew she was the one. And no it wasn’t the corny insta love sort of thing. It could have easily been that way. But instead it was endearing and emotional and oh so good. The book is told entirely in Emmett’s POV which I really loved. Being in his head was unlike anything I’ve experienced. The man is flawed but also perfect. He loves selflessly. He gives everything. And he’s impossible not to love wholeheartedly. The story spans years, the majority of it in the present, where Tatum and Emmett have been divorced for 5 years, still dealing with the fallout of their marriage. I hated Tatum for a good portion of this book. While a deeper part of me understood her, I still couldn’t help but hate her for the things she says and does. Emmett is just so flawed yet perfect, that it was impossible to hate her a little being in his head, even though he loves her selflessly through all of the pain.

You can’t love me,” she whispers. “You can’t tell me who to love.”

The story is incredibly emotionally charged and raw. It’s full of love and pain, mistakes and forgiveness. If you’re looking for a second chance romance that will own you, heart and soul, look no further. Dare I say this may have been my favorite Jewel E Ann book to date.

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

Connect with Jewel 

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Twitter  |Bookbub | Pinterest

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