Review: The Plight Before Christmas by Kate Stewart

THE PLIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Author: Kate Stewart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2021

Clark Griswold was onto something, at least with his annual holiday meltdown. And since the last three weeks of my life have been riddled with humbug—another breakup, a broken toe, an office promotion I deserved and didn’t get—I’m not at all in the mood to celebrate nor have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas EVER.

When Mom insisted that we all gather at my Grandparent’s ancient cabin for an old school family Christmas, I fully intended to get into the holiday spirit with the help of the three wise men, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam. But those boys did absolutely nothing to offset the shock or temper the sting of seeing my EX on our doorstep the first day of our holiday soiree.

Apparently, Santa missed the memo, and this elf is pissed.

Stuck for a week with the man who obliterated my heart nearly two decades ago, I did the only thing I could do and put on my game face, thankful for the home advantage.

I knew better than to drink that last cup of eggnog.

I knew better than to get tongue tangled beneath the mistletoe with the only man to ever break my heart.

I knew better than to sleep with Satan’s wingman on the eve of the Lord’s birthday.

I could blame the nog. I could blame the deceitful light blue eyes, thick, angelic hair, and panty evaporating smirk…but mostly, I blame Eli because he always knew exactly which of my buttons to push.

I foolishly thought a family Christmas filled with nostalgia was going to turn my inner Scrooge around, but this year’s festivities went up in flames. Leave it to the ghost of my Christmas past to be the one to light the match.

Fa la la la la, la FML.

AMAZON

What are you missing? I think it’s me, and I think I’m missing you, and I think we’ve been missing each other for a long fucking time.” .

Oh.
My.
WORDS.

This book. Is Kate Stewart even capable of writing a book that doesn’t completely own your world as you’re reading it? This was the second chance romance to beat all second chance romance. And it came with a hilarious family, banter, and forced proximity goodness. If you’re looking for THE holiday romance, this is it. THIS IS IT.

You can pretend all you want that I haven’t been inside you, but I refuse to.” .

After losing the promotion that she rightfully deserved to a man, Whitney finds herself in her feels. She recently broke up with her boyfriend because she wasn’t feeling it, much like she hasn’t felt most of her relationships. And her car barely makes it to her parent’s house for Christmas. What else can possibly go wrong? Well, how about her college ex boyfriend showing up as her brother’s plus one? The same college boyfriend who was the love of her life and shattered her heart, and she’s never quite moved on from. The same college boyfriend who never stopped thinking about her either.

Throat burning, I unravel before her. She’s mine. She has to be because my heart is hers and always has been. It’s never been so clear. I loved her then, soul-deep. I love her now, perpetually..

I loved the way that this story combines a slow burn second chance romance with the quirky family antics and dynamics. I fell so hard for this family and their individual plights. I was equally rooting for Whitney’s siblings as I was for Whitney. The banter, the laughs, their love for each other was simply heart warming and laugh till you pee yourself inducing.

The romance was very much a slow burn, and I mean slooooooow burn. And rightfully so considering the history these two had. But man, I loved watching Eli fight for her. I loved him prove to her the man that he is now. And when all the details come out, it’s heart wrenching. But if ever there was a man with a reason, this man is it. I loved him so hard.

Have you lost your mind?” I toss over my shoulder.
“Yes. And it’s your pussy’s fault. Now go.” “I am not dusting, Eli.” “Please, don’t argue with me right now,” he whimpers. “I don’t want your Dad to know that while he was worshiping his lord and savior, I was defiling his daughter. Please just…dust.”.

And for those who have read other books of Kate (and I won’t spoil and say which ones), you will SERIOUSLY appreciate a certain cameo in this book. I think I may have screamed out loud when they were revealed. GAH. SO good.

This book was pure perfection. It brought everything; the feels, the laughs, the holiday spirit, and the once in a life time romance. I simply adored it.

Review: The Wrong Heart by Jennifer Hartmann

THE WRONG HEART
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jennifer Hartmann
Release Date: August 10, 2021

When my husband died, he left my broken heart behind.

He left another heart behind, too—his.

I know it’s wrong. I shouldn’t be contacting the recipient of my husband’s heart. I don’t even expect him to reply…

But there’s a desperate, twisted part of me that hopes he will.

No names.

No personal details.

Just a conversation.

The only thing I have left of my husband is inside him.

***

‘The Wrong Heart’ is an angst-filled contemporary romance standalone. This book deals with heavy themes, such as loss of a loved one and self-harm/suicide.

 

AMAZON

You said I look at you like I’m trying to fix you,” she says softly, her eyes scanning my face, searching for a crack. A hole. A way in. “You look at me like you’re trying to break me.”

I love a romance that can make me feel. A story that can break me and put me back together again while forever engraving itself on my heart and memory. And boy did this book do that and more.

We are not responsible for the choices that others make. It’s human condition to latch onto the whys and what ifs because that gives us power when we feel like we have none. But we’re looking for power in the wrong place,” she explains. “The power is not in the past—it’s in the present. It’s in how we choose to move forward, and how we can mold our grief into something useful. Something beautiful.”

I have one major pet peeve when it comes to books with a dead spouse, and it’s when that spouse is made to be something…less. You know what I’m talking about. Either they’re villanized, or the love is less intense, anything to justify the new love being…more. Why is that? Because it’s not easy to pull off having one great love that passes, while also making the new love be just as real. So kudos to you Jennifer Harmann, for not just doing this, but doing it beautifully. I tip my hat off to you madam.
Melody is desperately in love with her husband. He’s her everything and he loves her with the same selfless intensity. Until one day where she loses him in the most tragic way, irrevocably changing the course of her life.

What I loved most about Melody’s character, is no matter how hard and dark her road is in the wake of her husband’s passing, she’s not bitter. She doesn’t let this tragedy define her. Her heat and soul shines through this story, and I simply adored her quiet and unobtrusive strength. That doesn’t mean she’s not broken. She’s devastated at the loss, and barely sees through her grieving. Until one day, she does something that really forces her to wake up. Joining a group for other broken souls (I’ll keep this vague for spoiler reasons), she meets Parker. The broody, grumpy man who has demons he doesn’t believe he’ll ever be able to fight. He’s a man that’s irrevocably broken by the darkness of his past and childhood. He wants nothing to do with anyone, and the sweet and sunny woman determined to get past his defenses is among those things. Yet she still manages to make it past the cracks.

This book was beautiful, in the most tragic of ways. These characters are so vivid and multilayered. My heart broke for both of them, but especially my poor broken Parker. This is a man with some serious demons who allows the ghosts of the past to color his present. The angst, the emotion, the gut wrenching emotion was EVERYTHING. Their budding romance was full of pain and hurdles. And I loved watching them fight through it to get their HEA. And wow was it beautiful. I cried, I sobbed, and I fell head over heels in love with this incredible story. And that epilogue?! MY GOD. What have you done to me, Jennifer?!

If you’re looking for a romance that will be a straight punch to the feels and that will stay with you for a long while, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Review: Haunting Adeline by H.D. Carlton

HAUNTING ADELINE
Series: Cat and Mouse Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: HD Carlton
Release Date: August 12, 2021

The Manipulator

I can manipulate the emotions of anyone who lets me.
I will make you hurt, make you cry, make you laugh and sigh.
But my words don’t affect him. Especially not when I plead for him to leave.
He’s always there, watching and waiting.
And I can never look away.
Not when I want him to come closer.

The Shadow

I didn’t mean to fall in love.
But now that I have, I can’t stay away.
I’m mesmerized by her smile, by her eyes, and the way she moves.
The way she undresses…
I’ll keep watching and waiting. Until I can make her mine.
And once she is, I’ll never let her go.
Not even when she begs me to.

While not required, it is highly suggested to read the novella, Satan’s Affair, first.

This book was previously banned on Amazon due to the trigger warning. It has been replaced with a blanket trigger warning, but you can find the previous one below.

Trigger Warning: This book ends on a cliffhanger. It is a dark romance that contains graphic violence, dub/non con, and deals with subject matters such as child trafficking and human sacrifice. If you have ANY triggers at all, this may not be the story for you.

 

AMAZON 

One day, you will realize that you are not trapped in a prison,” he murmurs roughly. “You are in my church where I am your God, and you are my equal. I’m not a jail, little mouse, I am your sanctuary.”

This book has been recommended to me by everyone, their dog, and their uncle Harry. And this? This is my public apology for not listening to all of them sooner. Especially the imaginary uncle Harry.
If you follow my reviews or know me even a little bit, then you already know I live for all things dark romance. Now throw in a stalker, dub con, and a vigilante cause? I. Am. PUTTEH. Putteh I tells ya. Where has this book been all my life?!

All I want to do is break her. Shatter her into pieces. And then arrange those pieces to fit against my own. I don’t care if they don’t fit—I’ll fucking make them.

God but this was deliciously dark and depraved with an anti hero that’s simply to die for. Literally.
But you know I like them crazy. Anyhoo, I digress.

Z, our anti-hero is everything my dark dreams are made of. He has intensity oozing out of his pores and he’s absolutely lethal. And when he sets eyes on Adeline, he becomes completely obsessed. Which is also how I love my antiheroes; obsessive, possessive, and deadly. I’m talking about offing a man and cutting his hands of for daring to lay them on you sort of obsessed. But don’t judge him too harshly, there were some extenuating circumstances behind there.

The story also has some deliciously well written dub con, and I really do mean true dub con. And this reader found it finger licking good. Like I couldn’t get enough of the dark chemistry between these two. Just something about Z’s dark shadow lurking outside of her house, where all that you see is the cherry of his cigarette and his dark smirk did something to me. ALL OF THE THINGS. It did ALL OF THE THINGS.

And the organization Z works for? That may have been my favorite part. Seriously.

I loved everything about this story; the chemistry, the suspense, the dark depravity, the dub con. And then the romance that blooms from the darkest of places where you know it’s wrong but it just feels so right. Suffice it to say I absolutely loved it and eagerly anticipating book two. HUGELY recommend for all my dark romance lovers.

Review: There Is No Devil by Sophie Lark

THERE IS NO DEVIL
Series: Sinners Duet #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Sophie Lark
Release Date:
December 1, 2021

I Couldn’t Kill Mara…

But that doesn’t mean Shaw won’t.

She’s living in my house, always with me, always under my control.

The more I push her, the more she pushes back.

She’s peeling away my secrets, one by one. And I’m tempting her to do things she never thought she’d do…

Shaw won’t stop hunting her.

When the time comes to act, will Mara be ready?

The Lark Notes:
I was so pleased how many women identified with Mara’s character – with her sensory issues and history of trauma. It sounds crazy to call this an “inspirational story of murder”, but at the end of part two, I hope you will indeed feel inspired by Mara’s journey. — Sophie

 

“There Is No Devil” is the second half of the Sinners Duet. Reader be warned: this is a dark and steamy serial killer romance that may be triggering to some.

AMAZON

The man who never cared about anyone is fixated on the girl nobody gave a shit about. In some twisted way, we’re made for each other.

Holy.
Fucking.
Hell.

Sophie Lark, you evil genius you. The shit that must have gone on in your mind as you were writing this duet. I don’t even want to know. Ha! But damn if I don’t want more.

Now look, this book is dark. Ok? Like super dark. It’s fucked up in all the wrong ways…and all the right ones too.

I want all of you. Every single part of you. I want to know everything about you: all your history, and every thought that comes into your head. Every desire, no matter how dark or how perverse. Every fantasy, no matter how impossible it may seem. And most of all, Mara, I want to occupy your thoughts like you occupy mine. I want you obsessed with me, bound to me, dependent on me. I want you to live for me, not just with me.”

Is it possible to fall for a fictional sociopath serial killer? Welp, considering my first fictional crush like this was Dexter, it’s safe to say yes, yes it is.

Cole is a sociopath and a serial killer, and while he may kill without feeling, he has a bit of a moral compass…however broken and gray it may be. As the story progresses, you get to glimpse more and more into this man’s human side. And while he’s the furthest thing from normal, you also begin to understand him. You get to see how he became who he is. And you also get the glimpse into the beginning of all of it, including his rivalry with Shaw.

Now one thing did make me nervous about reading the conclusion of this duet. That was the fact that Cole is a sociopath in every meaning of the word. How would you ever buy a man like this feeling anything, least of all love. But Sophie managed to pull it off. So much so, that I’m still reeling.

This was an action packed, fucked up ride of a story that I almost didn’t want to end. And the conclusion? Morbidly satisfying. If you’re looking for a seriously dark and fucked up read, look no further. This one will check ever box you didn’t know you had.

Review: A Thousand Cuts by Anne Malcom

A THOUSAND CUTS
Series: An Underworld Kings Series Standalone
Genre: Mafia Romance
Author: Anne Malcom
Release Date: November 25, 2021

I did not set out to be a mafia wife.
I came into this home, into this life as a hostage.
He was nothing more than my captor.
A murderer. A criminal. A monster.
Until he was more than that.
He took me as payment for a debt. Nothing more than a pawn in an intricate game of lies, manipulation and death.
He saw the darkness in me. It called to him. Just like his wretched soul called to me.
He was king of the underworld.
And he wanted me to be his queen.
But despite how much the most depraved parts of me wanted that crown, I knew I only had one option.
Take the Catalano family down.
Or die trying.

AMAZON

He terrified me. The emptiness in his eyes, the knowing that I had that he would kill me without a second thought. Yet I was attracted to him.

First of all, I have been sleeping on Anne Malcom, because if this book is anything to go by, I’ve seriously been missing out. This was everything, and I mean everything I love in a good mafia romance. And when I saw that this was the first mafia romance she’s written? I was absolutely blown away.

Second of all, this blurb doesn’t begin to do this book justice. Not even close, in my humble opinion. Because reading this blurb, it sounds fairly run of the mill type of mafia romance read, almost a cliche…and it was so much more than that.

Tell me no, Sienna,” he taunted. I opened my mouth to do just that. “I hate you,” I seethed, my voice scratchy.
“That doesn’t sound like no,” he replied. His fingers moved inside me. “Tell me no,” he repeated…
He knew I was sick, depraved and utterly defenseless against him… I shouldn’t want this. My mouth didn’t move. Didn’t form the words.

I love gritty and dark books. Stories with unconventional characters that isn’t afraid to go there. That takes the reader so far out of their comfort zone, they’re in the pitch black, and loving every second of the ride. And holy sh*t did this book take me there. It took me there hard. From the very first chapter I realized that this wasn’t going to be like a lot of other mafia romances I’ve read…and I’ve read a lot. I love that we’re given not just a morally black anti hero, but a heroine that matches him in both his depravity and darkness. And MAN was I here for that.

I’m not fucking done with you,” he growled in my ear, slamming me against the wall. “By the end of tonight, you’re not going to be able to walk. You won’t be able to speak. I’m going to spank you so fucking hard you won’t sit down for a week.”
“I-I hate you,” I stammered as he continued fucking me…
“Keep telling yourself that. Because I know I’m trying my hardest to hate you, and it’s fucking impossible. We are both damned.”

Sienna is beyond morally gray. She’s broken in every way, but she also owns every jagged piece of it. She knows who she is and what she is, and she’s not ashamed of it. When she sees a handsome stranger at a restaurant, she wants him the second they lock eyes. And when he silently approaches her and puts out his hand, she willingly takes it. She lets him do unholy things to her that she thoroughly enjoys, and she leaves at the end of the night without so much as asking for his name.

Now she may be a heroine that may make some readers uncomfortable. But this reader? I loved her gritty allure. She’s a true product of her environment, and she’s not a female that’s afraid of going after what she wants. What she doesn’t expect is that the stranger that she shared a night with, will now steal her away as payment for a debt. She’s to be his bride, his queen, but she’s not going down without a fight.

They were impressed by the quality of your captive?” I returned, venom in my voice. “Color me flattered.”
Cristian grinned wickedly, showing straight, white teeth. “I hope that your smart mouth remains throughout our marriage, no matter how often I try to fuck it out of you.”

Christian is a ruthless Don who came into the life not by family blood, but blood of a different kind. His humanity has been taken away through years of blood shed and violence. He’s feared and revered, but not by his new bride. She’s determined to challenge him at every turn.

Say it,” I demanded.
His eyes burned into mine, his muscles taut as I continued to ride him. “
You said it yourself,” I continued, my voice straining as my climax approached. “You own me. And you know I’m bad. So say it. I’m your bad girl.” My hands tightened around his neck, and his body tensed even more. He was seconds away from release, I knew that. We both were.
“You’re my bad girl,” he confessed through his teeth, eyes burning with fury.

I love how well these two fit each other’s broken pieces. These characters are far from perfect. They’re full of dark sin and depravity and I wouldn’t have them any other way. When I tell you that I devoured this book, I mean I DEVOURED this book. I loved the way that Sienna matched Christian’s energy fully. This is not a woman that shies away from blood shed or violence. She’s fierce and dangerous in her own right. Christian was utterly delicious. He practically oozes this dark electric current without so much as uttering a word. And that’s a feat, let me tell you.

It’s the furthest thing from your typical run of the mill mafia. It was gritty as f*ck. It was dark, at times uncomfortable, and addictive like nothing else. A fast paced, erotic thrill ride that I couldn’t put down for even a second. Anne Malcom is going straight to my auto buy list. And if you like dark, gritty, and steamy mafia reads, this one is a must read. Don’t expect a comfortable ride though. This one is full of twists and turns, and set in the very pits of depravity and darkness. And this reader? LOVED EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF IT.

Review: Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli

KINGDOM FALL
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Author: A Zavarelli
Release Date: November 9, 2021

Kingdom Fall is part of the Underworld Kings Universe. A multi-author series of standalone books filled with mafia families waging war, danger and violence, arranged and forced marriages, angst, love, and everything in-between.

Light or dark, twisted or sweet, the Underworld Kings has something for every reader.

I was a nanny in need of a job.

He was darkness personified.

I had little to call my own.

He was filthy rich, powerful, and dangerous.

The assignment was simple, and my goal was too.

Take care of his son. Keep my head down. When he least expects it, destroy him.

It should have been easy. I thought it would be until I looked into his stark blue eyes.

Kissing the enemy is a bad idea, but so is falling in love with him.

He doesn’t know my crumbling foundation is built on lies.

When he discovers the truth, I’ll find out if he’s as brutal as I believe.

I came here to steal his life.

I didn’t count on him stealing my heart.

AVAILABLE NOW!! FREE IN KU!!

AMAZON

I don’t know what the fuck she’s doing to me, but I know it’s going to be a problem.

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with everything that A Zavarelli writes. When I finished Resurrection of the Heart, I became completely obsessed with the IVI world. I kept hoping for more, and this book delivered.

Alessio and Natalia’s story is everything I want in a dark romance. It’s gritty, dark, twisted, and unpredictable.

They call Alessio a Debt Collector for good reason. Not only is he a member of The Society, but he’s a Sovereign Son. His position comes with power, and his ability to turn his humanity off makes him one hell of a debt collector. He’s a man with no emotion, married to his duty, and no desire for the messy complexities of anything beyond gratifying his baser urges. While his lack of emotion and ruthless nature make him a name that’s feared within the criminal underground, it doesn’t particularly endear him to his son. And with the loss of his last nanny, he’s interviewing for a new one.

Natalia is a woman on a mission. She arrives to interview for the nanny job, but you already see that her waters run deep. This is a woman harboring some dark secrets, and a nanny job is her in for something much darker. She’s looking for revenge and for answers, and Alessio holds the key to both.

I was immediately sucked into the story. The pacing was immaculate. The character development was intricate. And the romance? Deliciously dark. It’s an enemies to lovers with enough push and pull to have you desperate for them to give into the obvious chemistry between them. A woman harboring dark secrets and a man that doesn’t have entailments or emotions? Delicious! What kept me glued to the pages was the continuous twists and turns. This story caught me completely unaware. I never saw the twists coming and it kept me at the edge of my seat until the very last page. There are some secondary characters introduced who I’m desperately needing a book for. But as for this one? I couldn’t get enough!

It’s everything I’ve come to expect from this talented author and so much more. Alessio was dangerous and tortured. You get just enough of a glimpse into his light side to get you hooked on him and then he sucks you deep into his darkness. Natalia is a subtle sort of fierce. This is a woman who has been through hell and back and has come out swinging. She’s not an in your face sort of fierce. It’s subtle in a silent strength way, and I absolutely loved her.

If you like secret society, dark romance, bad men with good hearts, and fierce heroines, you need this book.

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

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

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

Connect w/A. Zavarelli: 

Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Twitter | Mailing List | Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Bookbub 

Check out more information on the books and authors coming this fall HERE—> https://under-world-kings.com

Keep up-to-date with all things Underworld Kings in the Reader Group HERE—> https://bit.ly/3ArB5vx

Review: Nightshade by Keri Lake

NIGHTSHADE
Genre: Gothic Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date:
October 29, 2021

A love so forbidden, it would shake the heavens

My father called them messengers.
He once told me they walked among us, and that somewhere in this dark and godless city, there shined a faint sliver of hope. I had only to look for the signs.

Well, I’ve spent my whole life investigating the inexplicable, and all I’ve found are the unsettling vestiges of iniquity – the evidence of another world shrouded by the obscure. Purgatory to some, where depravity hides in shadows, and girls like me are little more than delicious bites of temptation.

Others call it Nightshade.

This peculiar place is where I first met the cold and callous recluse living in a decaying cliffside cathedral. Jericho Van Croix is the epitome of everything I’ve been told to fear. A raven-winged harbinger who wears intrigue like a warm black cloak. An enigma that I’m determined to unravel – even if it means getting closer than I should.

One touch is forbidden. Even so much as a kiss would be my demise. But the sin on his lips burns me up like a wild flame, and his growing infatuation weakens my resolve.

Giving him what he wants, though, will mean no chance for redemption, or escape. What’s worse is, the signs I’ve followed yet failed to see all these years begin to unmask a terrifying reality:

That falling may be my only saving grace.

AMAZON

You are a mystifying enigma, Mister Van Croix.”
His gaze swung back to me, devouring me in one sweep. “And you are a frustrating distraction, Miss Ravenshaw.”

I don’t know how the woman does it, but her books just get thicker with each release. And this book? Well she REALLY THICK. So set aside some time, brace yourself and prepare for one hell of a ride. Literally.

You belong to me, Farryn. Should another man dare to lay so much as a finger on you, I will flay his hand and shine my boots with his skin.”

I’ve seriously missed Keri’s unique brand of world building. I loved her PNR series. But this world? Well it’s just something entirely different.

Nightshade was unlike any book I’ve ever read. It was full of captivating and gritty world building. It had Keri’s signature dark layers, but it was also incredibly unique. And the romance? One that defies everything, including time. My suggestion? Go into this completely blind. I will also say that if you’ve read Master of Salt & Bones, you’ll appreciate this one even more.

Now about this book, what can I tell you? It had a bit of everything; angels, demons, monsters, and sinners. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about Keri’s writing, she’s not afraid to give you the very depths of human depravity. And this book takes you into the very pits of that darkness, but with a twist.

Van Croix is an enigma that I couldn’t get enough of. He’s captivating, cold, tortured, and something just…other. When each new layer of his gets peeled back, you get sucked in even deeper into this world. And let me tell you, there’s a lot of it. The romance is a slow burn. The pacing was deliciously torturous but also perfect for the story.

Nightshade brought a dark and captivating world that I never wanted to leave. Full of vivid characters, spine tingling setting, and a romance unlike any I’ve ever read. In one word, I’m hooked. TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY HOOKED. SO GOOD

Review: Dangerous Temptation by Giana Darling

DANGEROUS TEMPTATION
Series: Dark Dream #1
Genre: Mafia Romance
Author: Giana Darling
Release Date:
October 26, 2021

He arrives all dressed in black.

 

Diamond cufflinks.

A watch on his tanned wrist that cost more than we would ever see in a lifetime of work.

He carries a single red rose for my mother.

Months later, Tiernan Morelli lays red roses on my mother’s grave.

That same day, he tells me that he is my new guardian.

I should have known from the very start that he had more in common with the thorns than the rose.

Now I know the truth: I’m a pawn in his dangerous game of revenge.

I was too young and naive.

Now it’s too late to save myself from his clutches.

 

Now I belong to him.

AMAZON

Poor little thing thought I was her salvation when all I intended to offer her was ruination.

Oh.
My.
GOD.

All of the ways that I loved this book. But I can summarize why in just two words. Ready? Tiernan Morelli. Need more words? OK, I got you.

I’m the kind of man that finds pleasure in pain. I’m the kind of man who makes a woman scream and cry because she doesn’t know how to take the intensity of the things I do to her body. I’m the kind of man that would make a woman crawl and beg for me before I deigned to put her out of her misery by setting her on my dick.”

This book was my trope crack for me. TROPE CRACK. Age gap. Mafia. Guardian/ward. Revenge. Enemies to lovers. ALL OF THE THINGS. And it was simply finger licking good.
Now I will say that any age gap has to have a strong heroine. If she’s too naive or too sheltered, there’s an ick factor in it for me. But Bianca was a heroine that I instantly connected with. She’s a young woman who was forced to grow up too quick because of her flighty mother who’s been hopping from one man to another since the loss of her father. But when her mother’s new man shows up at the door and spares no niceties, she’s not exactly thrilled. Tiernan is rude, crude, and seems to hate the sight of her. He’s also harboring a dark secret and a revenge plot years in the making.

Now at first I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a hero that dates the mom first. But those concerns were quickly wiped. It just worked here. Don’t ask me how or why. It just did.

When Bianca’s mother passes, they have no one. She has her sick younger brother to think about and she’s months shy of 18. So when Tiernan shows up and says he’s their new guardian, it’s the devil you know. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t defy him and doesn’t fight him at every turn. But Tiernan is not exactly nurturing himself. He has inserted himself into their life with a dark agenda and his secrets can cost Bianca everything. The chemistry between them is also downright incendiary.

This. This was what I wanted. Rough-edged, teeth-bitten love. A body against mine like a weapon, inside me like an invasion. I wanted to be filled up and used because he couldn’t get enough. Couldn’t help himself. Couldn’t be a gentleman. Now, I understood that love wasn’t soft and warm. It was fire and brimstone and if I wasn’t careful, it would burn me alive.

This story was pure book crack. I devoured it in one sitting. I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. It was addicting AF and I couldn’t get enough. And the wait for book two? TORTUROUS.

Giana slayed me with this story and I cannot wait for the conclusion.

Review: There Are No Saints by Sophie Lark

THERE ARE NO SAINTS
Series: Sinners Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Sophie Lark
Release Date:
October 20, 2021

 

I loathe Alastor Shaw.

The city of San Francisco thinks we’re rival artists.

In truth, we’re predators battling for hunting ground.

We never chased the same prey. Until the night we both laid eyes on Mara Eldritch.

Shaw wants to use her as a pawn in his twisted game.

I’m fixated on her for a different reason…

She makes me feel things I never thought I could feel. Want things I never wanted.

Only she can make me lose control.

I don’t know if I should protect her at all costs… or destroy her before she ruins me.

Mara knows I’m no saint. But she has no idea she’s dancing with the devil…

The Lark Notes:
I have always been fascinated by true crime, as well as by villains and anti-heroes. A serial killer is, of course, the ultimate anti-hero — the baddest of the bad boys. Redeeming a character who starts so evil was a challenge that inspired me to entirely new heights and entirely new depths. Come on this darkly sensual and utterly brain-bending ride with me! — Sophie

“There Are No Saints” is the first book in the Sinners Duet. Reader be warned: this is a dark and steamy serial killer romance that will take you on a journey through the twisted mind of an artist on the brink of madness

AMAZON

There Are No Saints (Sinners Duet, #1)There Are No Saints by Sophie Lark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 STARS


She has me wondering what it would take to break her. To shatter her into so many pieces that she could never put them together again.

Well…hell. Where did this book come from, Sophie Lark? Because we need to talk.

A little fun fact about me, I’m fascinated by psychology. I love criminology and criminal psychology. I can binge watch true crime documentaries and podcasts and never grow tired of it. I also love Criminal Minds and Dexter. Now I want to make something clear also. I also get grossed out by people who sexualize serial killers. Like I’m not in the Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez fan club. But in the same breath, there’s just something about a fictional killer that’s entirely too fascinating. Which is exactly what had me binge watching episodes of Dexter back in the day. I remember feeling completely out of my comfort zone reading Take Me with You. But some years have passed, and my limits, seems they’re mostly non existent when it comes to fictional bad guys.

Why are you so combative?” he says. “Have you ever tried cooperating?”
“In my experience, when men say ‘cooperative,’ they mean ‘obedient.’ ”
He grins. “Then have you ever tried being obedient?”
“Never.”

One thing I will tell you, is because of my obsession with psychology, I’m super picky on the whole sociopath descriptions. Because a lot of books will tell you that the character is one, but they don’t act like one. Or they have them start out as one, but then change into something else. Not in this book, my friends. Cole Blackwell is a textbook sociopath and his moral compass is completely broken. There is nothing good or redeeming about this man. So if that’s not your cuppa, and you want at least some redeeming qualities, this ain’t the book for you.

The more she rebels against me, the more I want to crush her.
And the more she clings to her convictions, the further I intend to drag her down dark and twisted pathways .

It’s interesting, my one missing piece with Sophie’s books has always been the quickness of the connection of the MCs. Like I always found it to be too quick in the books of hers I’ve read. And this book? Made me eat my words with some crow pie. Because DAMN. The pacing in this story is flawless. It takes the time to build it up, to set the scene, to lay the foundation. Any connection between the characters doesn’t come until much much later, and man, I loved that.

I also loved these characters. Cole and his narcissistic and sociopath tendencies. And Mara, well this girl caught me completely unaware. She may be the definition of a starving artist and very young. But this is a girl that’s seen some shit and has certainly lived it. She’s a survivor and she also harbors her own brand of fucked up.

This book had me riveted to the pages. I gobbled it up in one sitting and it left me absolutely crazed for my next fix. If you like your antiheroes not just morally gray, but completely fucking black? Welcome to your next addiction, friends.

DGRFave & Review: Joyless by Nyla K

JOYLESS
Series:
Alabaster Penitentiary #2
Genre: Dark, Erotic MMF Romance
Author: Nyla K
Release Date:
September 30, 2021

Alabaster Penitentiary, Volume 2

Correctional officers get a bad rep. But in our case, it’s fully justified.
We’re not ???? people… We’re guard dogs. As twisted as the inmates we patrol, courtesy of the monster who created us.

Prisoners ourselves on an island of manipulation, we’ve spent years drowning in vices to dull reality. If these walls could talk, I’m telling you… they’d scream.
They call me Velle, but that’s ??????? ???????? to you. Hands dirtier than my mind, I have no qualms with staying ruthless to keep these creatures in line.
And I’m not alone.

??? ??????? is my partner in crime, and my ex. Together we rule Alabaster Isle like Bonnie and Clyde, only prettier and far more dangerous. It’s the two of us against this wicked, secluded world.
Until he shows up…

Although we need him, the rookie is a problem. Flipping me upside down, using my own hidden desires to tempt me.
????… with his green eyes and country boy smile…
He has no business luring me into something that will get everyone hurt.

Let it be known, denying myself and dominating this role is my default setting. But with him in the picture, I’m struggling to keep it intact.
The mask is slipping, control I can’t lose wavering as we welcome our newest psycho to the roster.

Let’s hope, for all our sakes, ?????? #101 doesn’t do anything stupid.

**Joyless is a MMF romance with its own HEA, and while it explores new characters, it is highly recommended that you read Volume 1 first, as the timeline mirrors that of Distorted and there will be references to Distorted in Joyless that could spoil book 1.**

AMAZON 

 

You’re like a rollercoaster, baby. Scary as fuck, but just the best shot of adrenaline.”

Holy.
Fucking.
Shit.

This book. I don’t even have the words right now. Gimme a minute here.

Being a self professed erotic romance addict for many years, I went on record a few years ago to state that I have steel plated ovaries. Like a book can be hot, but it’s not going to get me that hot because I’m desensitized to it. Ok. It’s what I thought. So what did I do? I read this fucking book in public. I was cocky and I miscalculated. Bite me.

So there I was. Squirming uncomfortably in the waiting room while getting my oil changed. Paranoid as fuck that everyone in the room and also outside of it knew exactly what I was reading. With my loins burning and my ovaries hurting, rethinking my stupid steel plated ovaries statement to hell and back. But I digress. Let’s talk about the fuckery that is this book for a hot second, kay?

Welcome to Hell, rookie.”

Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT read this as a standalone. Yes it has different characters from Distorted, but just trust me. You want to appreciate what is Nyla K’s deeply twisted, depraved, evil genius mind by reading this series in order. The time lines overlap and you will miss some huge plot nuances and do yourself a big disservice by not reading Distorted first.

So what’s this book? It’s a super sizzling, super fucked up, super dirty and deliciously kinky MMF menage. And this bitch? I WAS SO HERE FOR IT.

The second Velle made an appearance in Distorted, I knew I had to have his story. The big, bad, tatted and pierced prison guard that takes no shit just had to have a good story arc, right? Wrong. It wasn’t just good, it was fucking amazing. MY GOD. But I digress again.

So what can I tell you without spoiling anything? This book brought it, ok. It bought it big time. The revelations. The secrets. The backstories of Velle and Joy and how they came to be guards at Alabaster Penitentiary really lays the foundation. We get more glimpses at the mysteriously evil Warden, and when I say I never thought I’d hear myself say that I’m desperate for that man’s book, well let’s just say I’m still shocked as shit. But here I digressed again. FOCUS. GOD. OKAY.

One of my favorite things about this story was the dynamic between Rook, Joy, and Velle. How neither one of them are what they seem on the surface. I loved Joy’s sexual freedom and how she just owns her sexuality. This is a woman that’s not shy about her sex drive, her body, or her desires, and we need more heroines like this in romance. But Velle. Oh my baby Velle. He was the most dynamic, multi-layered of the three. Velle with his dark secrets and darker desires. He completely stole my heart.

A-are you gonna… lick me?” My breathing is truly out of control. “No.” He bites his lip. “I’m gonna eat you alive.”

Now this is not a story for the faint of heart. And what I appreciate about Nyla’s story telling is that she’s not afraid to go there. She’s not afraid to really dive right into the pits of true depravity if it’s what her characters demand, and it just WORKS. This is a book that if anyone else wrote it, I’d say had way too much sex. But when I tell you that EVERY SINGLE sex scene added something to the story, well that’s talent, folks. Because there was a lot of sex. A LOT. It was hot. It was incendiary. Seriously. It was fucking sizzling as hell. My loins are still burning.

There’s also nuances that get revealed from Distorted, and hints dropped about future characters. And just OMG. I FUCKING LOVED THIS BOOK.

It’s dark. It’s fucked up. It’s seriously fucked up. And I loved every depraved page of it. And the set up for the next one? HOLY SHIT!!!

So if you like your book dark as hell, sizzling enough to set ovaries on fire, and fucked up enough to make you uncomfy while reading it? READ THIS FUCKING BOOK.

That is all. I’m now off to calm my tits. And I thank you,

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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