Review: Getting Real by Emma Chase

GETTING REAL
Series:
Getting Some #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date:
January 24, 2022

 

A sexy, hilarious, emotional, new romance from New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase.

Connor Daniels never thought he’d be starting over at dating square one. His career as a successful doctor, and his three boys, are everything to him. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to a scorching love life—but he’s giving it a shot.

ER nurse Violet Robinson never intended for Connor to find out she’s had a crush on him forever. It was a dirty little secret only meant for her dirty dreams. Her heart trips every time he’s around—and so do her feet.

When Connor sees Violet coasting across the grocery store parking lot—and she falls on her face—he starts falling for the gorgeous, young nurse right back.

Dating can be tricky. And life can be beautiful and crazy and unpredictable. But when it gets real, you discover what matters most . . . and the one person you want loving you through it all.

AMAZON  | PAPERBACK | NOOK | iBOOKS | KOBO | GOOGLE

Sometimes life can be a straight-up asshole . . . but then it gets better. And that better can end up being more perfect than you ever dreamed.

I swear, this woman can write a grocery list, and I’ll happily read it with a goofy smile on my face. I’m not a reader that gravitates towards sweet and fluffy, unless Emma writes it. This woman can write the fluffiest book on the planet, and I’d love it to pieces. And considering I’ve loved the first two books in this series, is it any wonder that I adored this one?

I’ve been waiting for Connor’s book since meeting him as a secondary character in Getting Schooled. There’s just something about a male character in his 40s who has his sh*t together that just does it for a girl every now and then. And while I love me my alphaholes, Connor hit the spot just right. This divorced father of three was simply amazing. His divorce wasn’t great, but it didn’t turn him bitter. And I just loved the dynamic between him and his sons.

Violet was simply adorable. She’s an ER nurse who’s been working with Connor for two years, and been crushing on him hard just as long. I loved the way she pined for this man without reserve. Poor Connor and his awkward assumptions of what a woman in her 30s wants. And poor Violet in her thinking that Connor isn’t interested.

This was one of those lighthearted, low angst, feel good sort of reads that you devour in one sitting and leaves a huge smile on your face. There’s no crazy drama. And I especially loved the dynamic with Connor’s ex and the growth there. But more than anything, I just loved Violet and Connor together. I loved how sweet they were to each other, and the chemistry between them. I loved how Violet takes care of Connor and how he falls for her almost instantly. I just loved these two together. Their chemistry, their banter, their everything.

Did I read this in one sitting? I sure did. And that ending? Sheer perfection!

Review: The Words by Ashley Jade

THE WORDS
Author: Ashley Jade
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 20, 2022

From USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ashley Jade comes an edgy, enemies-to-lovers standalone romance about mistakes, forgiveness, and second chances.

He was the talented bad boy everyone wanted.
I was the irrelevant geek everyone hated.

He was the sun…drawing all of us in.
I was a black hole…taking up space.

He was destined to be a star.
I was destined to remain an insignificant no one.

Until he made me believe I was special…

And then he destroyed me.

I never thought I’d see Phoenix Walker again after he broke my heart, but fate had other plans.

One tour. Eight weeks. Forty shows.

Countless opportunities to make him pay.

The world thought he was a God…
But I knew the truth.

AMAZON

Once upon a time, Phoenix Walker made me believe I was special. Then he destroyed me.

Lennon Michael is my biggest craving and my biggest regret.

For the blur of hours it took me to devour this book, it owned every part of me. This is by far, hands down, my favorite Ashley Jade book to date. I am absolutely ruined. RUINED.

When I tell you I binge read this in one sitting, I mean I stayed up until 4 am reading it. And as I write this review bleary eyed and coffee high the next day, I have zero regrets. Because this book was simply EPIC.

As a reader, I love broken, tortured and imperfect characters, and this story delivered this in spades. My heart bled for these characters and their pain.

When Lennon and Phoenix first meet, they’re in high school. Phoenix is the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and Lennon is the girl with the seemingly perfect life…but who’s constantly bullied for her weight. Theirs is an unlikely friendship that forms when Lennon agrees to tutor Phoenix, that grows into something so much more as they get to know each other. Until the day when he completely shatters her heart.

Four years later, Phoenix is a famous rockstar who’s quickly spiraling out of control in drugs, women, and partying. Desperate to keep him out of the tabloids and on the straight and narrow, his manager reaches out to the one woman that’s not going to fall for his charm. She’s also the one woman that wants nothing to do with him.

Phoenix took everything, and her heart from her. Now given the chance at a huge pay day to play babysitter and to get revenge, Lennon agrees to go on tour with him and his band for 8 weeks.

When I tell you that both of these characters are damaged, I really mean it. There were times where I wanted to scream to the ceiling and shake both of them. They’re as far from perfect as they come, and their decisions show it. I wanted to hate both of them for some of the stupid things that they did. But they’re also authentic, multilayered, and so well developed, that you simply can’t help but fall further under their spell. Phoenix and his tortured soul, and Lennon and her hidden insecurities and broken heart.

Their road to a HEA is full of pain, heart ache, betrayal, mistakes, and angst. And when I say angst, I mean ANGST. If you want faultless characters who don’t make their share of stupid mistakes, this book isn’t for you. I love how the author wasn’t afraid to go there with this story and her characters. Yes, they’re damaged, but I loved them and their imperfections. I loved the tension with Phoenix and Lennon almost as much as I loved the incendiary chemistry when they finally give into the inevitable. And the grovel and grand gesture at the end? OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD.

I also fell incredibly hard for all of the secondary characters, and already salivating for both Memphis and Storm’s books. This was honestly one of my favorite rockstar romances I’ve read in a long, long while, and I cannot recommend it enough. Just be prepared for a book full of messy emotions, unforgivable betrayals, and a once in a lifetime love. I’m absolutely obsessed!!

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: 

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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.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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