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.

#DGRFave & Excerpt & Review: Outmatched by Kristen Callahan & Samantha Young

OUTMATCHED
Genre: Contemporary
Author: Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young
Release Date: November 19, 2019

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

AMAZON | KOBO | iBOOKS | B&N

AngryTink: Hey. This is Parker. Parker Brown.

My phone dinged loudly. I fumbled around my bed, finally finding the damn thing under a pillow. Wiping the sleep off my face, I rolled onto my back and read the text that had pulled me out of a pleasant sleep. I smiled. It was just so … Parker. Settling in, I answered her.

RhysThis: Don’t have to tell me who you are. Your number is programmed on my phone. What do you want?

AngryTink: Well, good morning to you too, Happy Pants.

My smile turned into an evil grin. The girl was always going to punch back and make it count.

RhysThis: That’s Mr. Happy Pants. Though, TBH, my pants aren’t too happy at the moment. Want to help me out with that?

AngryTink: Tempting. Truly. But, no.

RhysThis: RU sure? ‘Cuz Happy Pants Rhys is much more agreeable than Sad That He Had to Self-Satisfy Rhys.

AngryTink: Would you please behave?

RhysThis: I’m not the one who mentioned the emotional state of my pants.

AngryTink: ARGH!

A chuckle rumbled in my chest as my thumbs tapped out a response I knew would piss her off more.

RhysThis: Was that even English? Honestly, Ms. Brown, I thought you were educated.

She took a moment to answer. I could picture her, phone in hand, grinding her teeth.

AngryTink: You’re deliberately trying to annoy me, aren’t you?

RhysThis: You’re quick. I’ll give you that.

AngryTink: Mr. Morgan, I’m about ten seconds away from finding an alternate fake boyfriend. A goat on a rope would be a better candidate at this point.

It was cute she thought that was threatening.

RhysThis: Yeah, probably. But the goat doesn’t have a signed contract. I do, Tinker Bell.

AngryTink: ARGH@!!

RhysThis: You’re kind of cute when you talk pirate.

If we made it through this ruse with me going to prison for assault instead of murder, I’d call it a win. The guy really pushed my buttons. And I hadn’t even known I had any.

I. AM. SO. HAPPY. RIGHT. NOW.

Seriously. I don’t even know what to do with myself? What do you do when two of your favorite authors co-write a book together and not only does it live up to your RIDICULOUSLY BIG expectations but actually EXCEEDS it?!! You flail like the happy fangirl that you are and offer up an ovary on the chance that this will mark the first book in a series. What? It’s a totally normal reaction. Stop judging me. GOD.

If you love enemies to lovers and fake relationship tropes, this is your next obsession. Guys, I’m not even kidding. This book was everything. All of the things. Witty banter, humor, and all of the steam. And the characters? My god! Talk about opposites attract.

Parker Brown is a girl after my own heart. She comes from privilege but it certainly doesn’t define who she is. She’s a lot smart and with just the right amount of quirky. Desperate to make an impression on her boss’s misogynistic a-hole boss in order to secure the job of her dreams. Sounds easy right? Too bad it’s not her knowledge at work that matters, but the having a boyfriend. So what’s a girl to do? Hire one, of course!

Rhys Morgan is a retired boxer desperate to keep his gym afloat after the passing of his father. So when he learns that his brother got a job pimping himself out to some pretentious rich chick, he’s all too eager to put a kibosh on it. But when he stomps to meet her and put her in her place, he somehow ends up making an impression on her boss and offering to take his brother’s place. PLOT TWIST!!

The banter between these two was off the charts hot. SWEET BABY JEBUS! The banter was everything. Rhys and and Parker absolutely burn up the pages together. Their chemistry is incendiary. The slow building romance is packed with so much sexual tension that you feel like your fingers singe just turning the pages. The pages are full of witty banter and sizzling chemistry that I just couldn’t get enough of. Parker may have grown up privileged but she’s determined to make her own way. I just loved her. Then there’s the mouthy Boston boxer with a heart of gold. Together they set the book on fire. And that’s not even mentioning the incredible secondary characters that I’m desperately hoping will be getting their own books.

Basically, this book was freaking fantastic!! An absolute must read full of heart, humor, and steam!

About Kristen:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Connect with Kristen:

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About Samantha:

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Play On. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

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Review: In The Unlikely Event by LJ Shen

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT
Genre: Contemporary
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: November 19, 2019

𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑒𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑜 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑, 𝑠𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑎 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠.

A one-night stand born from vengeance in a foreign land.
An explosive chemistry neither of us could deny.
We signed a contract on the back of a Boar’s Head Pub napkin that said if we ever met again, we would drop everything and be together.
Eight years and thousands of miles later, he’s here.
In New York.
And he’s America’s music obsession.
The intangible Irish poet who brings record executives to their knees.
The blizzard in my perfect, unshaken snow globe.
Last time we spoke, he was a beggar with no intention of becoming a king.
But a king he became, and now I’m his servant.
I’m not the same broken princess Malachy Doherty put back together with his callused hands.
I have a career I love.
A boyfriend I adore.
An apartment, a roommate, a life.
I changed. He changed, too.
But Mal kept the napkin.
Question is, will I keep my word?

AMAZON 

All is fair in love and war, and I’m certainly prepared for battle

This book came out of left field and slapped me over the head with all of the feels. This is so completely different from anything I’ve read by LJ to date. A unique and angsty emotional roller coaster that was addictive from beginning to finish.

If there’s one thing that I’ve come to expect from LJ Shen, it’s her knack for the unexpected, and ITUE was definitely unexpected. If you’re fans of second chance romance that offers up angst with a splash of humor, this will deliver on all fronts.

Malachy Doherty came into Rory’s life like a silent storm. She didn’t see him coming. They shared a steamy short-lived romance and a promise on a napkin that would be put to the test years later when they crash into each other’s worlds again. Malachy was an enigma that I couldn’t get enough of. He goes from sweet and enigmatic to aloof and cruel in the span of the eight years they spent apart. But when he sees Rory again, it doesn’t matter that she has a new life and a boyfriend. He’s determined to make her hold up her end of the bargain that she signed away on a napkin in a pub years ago. If they see each other again, all bets are off.

In The Unlikely Event blends quirky humor with emotion and angst flawlessly. It gives us a brooding rockstar and a sassy heroine that will bring him to his knees. It delivers on a second chance romance full of feels that I adored from beginning to end; addictive in a way that LJ Shen has now perfected in her writing.

DGRFave & Review: Calico Descending by Keri Lake

CALICO DESCENDING
Series: Juniper Unraveling #2
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Author:
Keri Lake
Release Date:
October 29, 2019

Sequel to Juniper Unraveling.

I was fourteen when I was sold to the men in black uniforms. Too young to understand I served a purpose beyond that of the other girls they’d taken.

For the greater good.

Now, after four years in Calico, I’ve seen more death and suffering than during my days of surviving out in the Deadlands against the threat of Ragers and famine. I didn’t think this world could get any bleaker. Didn’t think it could take any more from me than it already had.

Not until I finally learned my purpose.

That same day, I walked the dark halls in the bowels of this hell, where the suffering is in silence, and ghosts of the dead whisper through the walls. A place where nightmares are real.

A place where I met my Champion—the most revered Alpha in S-Block—locked away in his dark cell.

For the greater good.

He’s their weapon, their only line of defense against the mistakes of the past: the mutations that could wipe out all of what’s left of us.

Me, I’m his whipping girl. His reward for good behavior.
And his punishment for acts of defiance.

AMAZON 

He is pain and agony wrapped in fire, but his lips are sheer bliss.
He’s the flame that burns inside of me, the single spark that ignites my soul.

I simply cannot describe to you the sheer brilliance that is this book. It’s not your run of the mill romance, it’s so much beyond that. It’s a gripping and vivid tale of pain and survival in a brutal world the likes of which only the evil genius mind of Keri Lake can create. Think Resident Evil meets romance.

Keri Lake created a dangerous, violent and desolate world that’s so vivid, the entire book is like a movie reel unfolding behind your eyes. I thought I loved Juniper Unraveling but Calico Descending absolutely blew me away. The romance that blossoms in the very pits of hell is one of the most stunning stories I’ve read to date. It was torturously beautiful and heart breakingly emotional. Even if you’ve never read Dystopian Romance before, Calico Descending will make a new fan out of you. It’s an absolute must read.

If you’ve read Juniper, then you’ve already been introduced to this dark and evil world that shows the worst of human ambition, survival and depravity. And if you didn’t, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. But also, you wouldn’t be entirely lost starting with this book. The timeline of the books runs parallel. But where Juniper shows the world outside of Calico, this takes you into the very pits of its darkness.

We get introduced to Cali, a woman that’s been surviving her situation day by day while enduring one terrifying experience after another. Then you also get taken deep into the heart of the Alpha project and meet Valdys, Cadmus and Titus. I don’t want to tell you too much about this story, but prepare yourself for a gut wrenching read. Much like Juniper, this starts as an ember and soon ignites to a fiery conclusion. It’s a slow building, character driven story with plenty of action and a sizzling romance to boot. It was everything I could have hoped from a sequel to one of my all time favorite books and so SO much more!


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#DGRFave & Review: Absolution by Keri Lake

ABSOLUTION
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: August 27, 2019

 

According to canon law, it is forbidden for a priest to betray the penitent for any reason. Even murder.

The consequences?

Excommunication.

For years, I’ve listened to your confessions. I know your darkest secrets, and have swallowed your sins in silence. In return, I’ve offered you forgiveness in His name. But behind the partition that separates us, I’m nothing more than a man who has long questioned his own faith.

Your contrition is my invitation: to mete out the kind of justice you pray will never come. I’m neither pious, nor merciful, despite what you see. I’m an imposter, an abomination to all I represent. A quiet executioner who’s kept below the radar.

Until her.

She’s seen what I’ve done. She knows the man beneath the cloth and my every mortal sin. She has witnessed the uncontrollable vices she hopes to use against me in order to get what she covets most.

Yet, I know her sins, too. Ones she doesn’t bother to confess. The kind, for which, there is no absolution.

*The short story first appeared in the Wanted: An Outlaw Anthology. This is the full-sized novel, which includes the conclusion to Damon and Ivy’s story.

AMAZON

C’mon, pécheresse, let me hear you scream.”
“Oh, God!”
“There is no God here, Ivy. Only me.”

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. Oh how I’ve sinned! I’ve sinned So. Freaking. Hard. And I’m not even a little sorry. Absolution was a deliciously thrilling ride that skirts the edge of propriety and was so good, it was downright sinful!

Moans muffle into the pillows, while she rolls her head and claws at the bedding as if possessed by demons. Maybe she is. Surely, God isn’t present here, while I f*ck her with the kind of reckless abandon that’ll land my soul in hell.

If you’ve never read anything by the immensely talented Keri Lake, then this is the story you need to start with to get a good taste of her addicting story telling. And if you’re a fan of taboo romance, that you definitely need this book in your life!

This was originally published as a novella in a limited time anthology and it’s now been expanded to be a full length novel and it packs an even bigger punch. If you’ve read the novella, then you’ll definitely want to get your grabby little hands on this because it delivers on the satisfying conclusion that was missing in the novella. There has been an entire second half added that takes the reader beyond Ivy’s revenge and deep into the dark bowels of Damon’s.

Father Damon is not all that he seems. There’s a dark undercurrent to this man of the cloth and a history riddled with demons that have followed him into his present. When a man steps into his confessional to describe a crime that’s horrific beyond words, it sends Damon into a tailspin of repressed anger and vengeance. Then a a beautiful woman with her own dark secrets puts his faith to a true test.

Absolution is a sizzling story full of grit and a dash of darkness with a heavy layer of taboo. It was a page turner from beginning to finish. A high paced thrill ride of vengeance with a deliciously sizzling romance.

Ivy is a character that I wasn’t sure I’d like at first but boy did she grow on me as the story progressed. Even more so in the second half. Her reasons for getting to Damon aren’t exactly altruistic. This is a woman with a hidden agenda, but one made out of utter and complete helplessness. She’s desperate to get away from a demon of her own past and she’ll do anything to escape him. Even make a sinner out of Damon…

In her signature gritty style with an undercurrent of darkness, Keri delivers on the side of Damon we barely got a taste for in the novella. Here you get to know the man he used to be and the man he becomes along with the sacrifices he makes along the way. There’s so many twists and turns, it will leave your head reeling.

With plenty of mind-blowing twists and turns that I’ve come to love and expect from this author, Absolution was one unputdownable read that I recommend for any fans of gritty taboo romance. Trust me, people, if there’s one book you need to read right now, it’s THIS ONE!!!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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