Review: Bad Saint by Monica James

BAD SAINT
Series: All The Pretty Things Trilogy #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica James
Release Date: May 6, 2019

I was kidnapped on my honeymoon by three masked men.

Blindfolded.
Bound.
Destination unknown.

I was told to stay silent and abide by their rules. But they didn’t realize I wasn’t a victim…not anymore.

The open sea was my backdrop for nine torturous days. During that time, glimmers of my fate were revealed by a man with the mysterious chartreuse-colored eyes. He should have scared me, but he didn’t.

He intrigued me. And I intrigued him.

He punished me when I didn’t listen, which was every single day. But beneath his cruelty, I sensed he was guarding a grave secret.

I was sold.
And in a game of poker, no less.

My buyer? A Russian mobster who likes to collect pretty things. Now that I know the truth, I only have one choice.

Sink or swim.

And when one fateful night presents me the opportunity, I take it. I just never anticipated my actions would leave me shipwrecked with my kidnapper.

He needs me alive. I want him dead.

But as days turn into weeks, one thing becomes clear—I should hate him…but I don’t.

My name is Willow.
His name is Saint.

Ironic, isn’t it? He bears a name that denotes nothing but holiness yet delivers nothing but hell. However, if this is hell on earth…God, save my soul.

AMAZON 

He’s leading a lamb to the slaughter, but the one thing he doesn’t realize…is that I’m not a lamb. And I never will be.

Alright. Accountability time. Why have those of you that knew that I’ve never read a Monica James book not slapped me upside the head with one of her books yet? hmm? You should be ashamed of yourselves! Ashamed, I tells ya! Because this girl? Is currently kicking her own ass for only now discovering this author.

Let’s be real here. The mere second that I laid my eyes on that blurb and this cover, I knew this would be my first Monica James book. I’m a sucker for a dark romance. But add in a good captive scenario and stick a fork in me. I’m done!

Having never read this author, I had no idea what to expect from this book. I know that I tend to be ridiculously picky when it comes to dark romance and I was a little nervous with reading it from a new to me author. But my worries soon floated away on the waves of emotion that this story brought! Holy…WOW.

While you spend the majority of the book in Willow’s head, you also get an incredibly unique glimpse of Saint. And let me just tell you, friends, you will be frothing at the mouth for this man. He’s an incredible enigma of violence and hidden pain. Everything about him is shrouded in mystery and you’re utterly desperate to peel back all of his many layers and get an answer for the million questions that will be running through your head as you turn the pages.

I need the darkness to survive. It’s the only way I can live with what I’ve done.”

If you’re like me, and like your heroines to be fierce fighters that don’t give up in even the most dire of circumstances, you’re going to love Willow. Here’s a woman that gets kidnapped on her wedding night, thrown on a boat, threatened within an inch of her life, and told she’s going to be the property of some cruel Russian mobster, yet she never stops fighting. The more you learn about the puzzle pieces that led to her current picture, the more desperate you’ll be to get to the next page.

Saint is certainly no saint in Willow’s world. This is a man that’s responsible for her current circumstances. He’s cruel, cold, and conditioning her for a man that’s promised to be even worse. But beneath that rough masked exterior, there are glimpses of a man that’s something…more.

How do you fall for a criminal who you never even get to understand beyond his words and actions as seen through Willow’s eyes. I don’t know, but I know that I did. There’s just something so magnetic about Saint. Something so vulnerable that you can’t help but glimpse in his actions and words. You want to hate him for the things he does, but you just can’t.

There were a few parts of the story where I felt like the descriptions became too much and got in the way of the story’s pacing. But ultimately, I was just too invested in the story to pay it much mind.

Bad Saint was deliciously dark and utterly captivating. I was totally enraptured in this world and by the time the ending came, my emotions were so up and down, I didn’t know what to do with myself. And then that ending happened!!!! SWEET MOTHER OF ALL THAT’S HOLY I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!!

Review: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

TWISTED PRIDE
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: April 16, 2019

Remo Falcone is beyond redemption.

As Capo of the Camorra he rules with a brutal hand over his territory – a territory the Chicago Outfit breached.

Now Remo is out for retribution.
A wedding is sacred, stealing a bride sacrilegious.

Serafina is the niece of the Boss of the Outfit, and her hand has been promised in marriage for years, but kidnapped in her wedding dress on her way to church by Remo, Serafina quickly realizes that she can’t hope for saving. Yet, even in the hands of the cruelest man she knows, she is determined to cling to her pride, and Remo soon understands that the woman at his mercy might not be as easy to break as he thought.

A ruthless man on a quest to destroy the Outfit by breaking someone they are supposed to protect.

A woman intent on bringing a monster to his knees.
Two families that will never be the same.

AMAZON

Pride was the only weapon I had, and I would hold on to it until the very end.

Mafia romance is my jam. The darker, the better. And when I first saw the blurb to this story, I knew this had to be my first Cora Reilly book.

After finishing, I’ll admit I have very conflicting emotions about how I feel about it. On the one hand, I struggled to connect to the heroine and the way she was painted to be so naive and complacent in the beginning. On the other hand, the more I read, the more connected I felt to the story.

What begins as a twisted game of revenge soon begins to turn into something more. Remo and Serafina both come from the same world but they live on opposite sides of it. Where Serafina has been sheltered, Remo has seem the depths of human depravity and violence. So much so, that it’s twisted and tainted him into the Capo that he is today. The dynamic between them was a delicious one, however. I loved the push and pull of their unwanted attraction. Serbian should be a means to an end to a man like Remo. He doesn’t care about anything but his family. But there’s something about her that reaches into the hidden depths of him. It’s not instant. It’s a slow burn of realization as he discovers that Serafina isn’t the sheltered and soft beauty that she seems. That she’s got a core of strength and a pride beneath that delicate exterior. That he yearns to break her in all ways possible.

Now here is also where I struggled with the book; the characterization. It soon became apparent that I did myself a great disservice by reading this book without reading the others. There’s clearly a continuing story arc that follows the brothers, and even though the author attempts to give the reader bits and pieces, it still felt like I was missing huge chunks of their backstory. The incredible amount of redundant descriptions of Remo were a huge irritant for me. I lost count of the amount of times that I read about his cruel smile, cold voice and brutal acts. I’m not even kidding. The word cruel is used over 60 times in the book to describe either his smile, his eyes, or his general being. And yes, I counted.

Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed Remo’s dark depravity. But I also got tired of constantly being reminded of it. It felt like being slapped in the face with his personality. I get it! He’s cruel and brutal. Let his actions and behavior be the reminder. Not his description.

Aside from that, I really did enjoy the story. It was action-packed, gritty, and after the 30% mark, a complete page turner for me. And while I struggled with some parts, I still liked it enough to know I want to read the rest of this series. I definitely need Adamo’s story soon! That was a secondary character that I couldn’t get enough of.

#DGRFave & Review: Take by @pamgodwinbooks

TAKE
Series: Deliver #5
Genre: Dark Romance (anti-heroes, human sex trafficking, cartel)
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: April 2, 2019

He’s a notorious crime lord, a kidnapper, and an artist.

Scarification is his outlet, and he just captured a new canvas.

Kate refuses to surrender beneath his blade or the cruelty in his beautiful eyes.

But she’s drawn to the man inside the monster. A man who makes her ache with his touch. Who owns her with his kiss.

A man who worships her as deeply as he hurts her.

She can run, but there’s no escape from a bond carved in scars.

DELIVER series (HEAs with no cliffhangers – must be read in order):
Deliver #1
Vanquish #2
Disclaim #3
Devastate #4
Take #5
Manipulate #6
Unshackle #7
Dominate #8
Complicate #9

AMAZON 


Take (Deliver, #5)Take by Pam Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 STARS


He was an aficionado of pain, and she was here to absorb the hurt, to wear the bruises of his art, until she escaped or died.


Top. Favorite. Dark. Romance. Of. The. Year.

Pam Godwin has a knack for redeeming the irredeemable, and she managed to outdo herself with Tiago. I never thought I’d love an anti-hero more than Van from Vanquish, but Tiago captured my heart with every heart wrenching page.


His love for her resembled a blade, a source of pain, but vital. He would always protect her, however she needed him, even when he was the cause of her suffering.

Take was everything I’ve come to expect from Pam and so much more. It was a story of pain and redemption. Unforgivable sins and irredeemable actions. It was dark and twisted, with an unlikely romance that bloomed like a rose on a grave. Tiago and Kate were captivating, magnetic, all encompassing, with an edge of wrong, wrapped with a unique sort of love that sneaks up on you and owns you.


Tiago was inside her, possessing her like a demon and cherishing her like a man.

This is not a book you read as a standalone. You really need to read it in order to truly understand the character dynamics. Tiago is a character that first came on the page as the villain in Devastate. He was a psychopath with a penchant for pain and yet there was a small glimpse of a heart beneath the darkly captivating criminal persona. The book ends with Kate’s disappearance, and Take tells the tale of what happened. The timelines of Take and Devastate overlap slightly. Kate is now the prisoner that has no hope of making it out of her captor’s hands alive. She’s a payment for a loss he had, and he has no intention of letting her go.

I really don’t want to tell you much more about the plot, because you really need to experience it for yourself. But Take was one twisty ride. Godwin has this way with her characters that just makes you fall for them no matter how wrong it seems. And with every layer that she peeled back from Tiago, the more you want to know about him.

Kate was the perfect heroine. She was tough with just a hint of vulnerability. She was fierce when it came to protecting her friends and even more fierce when it came to standing up to Tiago, no matter how dire her circumstances.

Tiago was the villain that you loved to hate in Devastate. But there was always that hint of something more to him. And boy did the author deliver on that here. (Heeee. see what I did there?) But back to the story. Tiago was the perfect anti-hero. He was cold, brutal, ruthless, and yet beneath all that beats a hidden heart that not many know about. This was such a multidimensional characters with so many layers. You want to hate him for who he is, but the more you find out about him, the more you understand. You begin to fall more and more for him. He’s easily my favorite anti-heroes of Godwin to date!

There are some cameos from my favorites (One in particular) that I loved getting more off. And then there’s the hook for the next book, and let me just tell you: IT. IS. DELICIOUS. Plus there’s the added surprise of a certain character getting his own book and I just about wet myself in excitement!

To put it shortly: I loved this book! Dark romance lovers, this is an absolute must read! You don’t want to miss this incredibly written, jaw dropping, and edge-of-your seat book! Trust me!

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER (Book 1) | VANQUISH (Book 2) | DISCLAIM (Book 3) | DEVASTATE (Book 4) | TAKE (Book 5) | MANIPULATE (Book 6, releasing June 25, 2019)


DELIVER, Book #1

Deliver2500x1563

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.


Vanquish, Book #2

Her life is like a prison cell.
A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.
Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.

He belongs in a prison cell.

The 6×8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.

But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.

And he just found a sexy new toy.

Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.

But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.


Disclaim, Book #3

Camila was seventeen when Van Quiso kidnapped her. Ten years after her escape, the shackles refuse to release her. Not while there are still slave traders preying on her city.
She will stop at nothing to end them.
Even if that means becoming a slave again.

Returning to chains is her worst fear—and only option. They won’t know who she is or what she intends to do. She’s prepared for every complication.
Except him.
The one who decimated her sixteen-year-old heart.

Matias is charming, gorgeous, and dangerously seductive. He’s also untrustworthy and enshrouded in secrets. After years of no contact, he finds her—on her knees, wrists bound, in the clutches of her enemy.
Will he sabotage her mission by needlessly saving her?
Or will he keep her in chains and never let her go?


Devastate, Book #4

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“I’m not talking about money.”

Tate is on the hunt to find his best friend’s sister.
Eleven years ago, Lucia Dias was abducted. Presumed dead. He never met her, so why does he care?
Some might call his efforts noble, but his motivation is more perverse, bordering on obsession.

When he follows a chilling lead to Venezuela’s Kidnap Alley, what he finds is neither a corpse nor a captive.

Amid poisonous lies and crippling depravity, the price of love is devastation.
And he pays.
With his body, his blood, and her life.


Deliver Series Audiobooks 

DELIVER #1: https://adbl.co/2D4839X
Narrated by Teddy Hamilton (Josh) and Abby Crayden (Liv)

VANQUISH #2: https://adbl.co/2X8g4Cq
Narrated by Ryan West (Van) and Jo Raylan (Amber)

DISCLAIM #3: https://adbl.co/2TzBWDR
Narrated by Christian Fox (Matias) and Emma Wilder (Camila)

DEVASTATE #4: Coming April 30
Narrated by J.F. Harding (Tate) and Tracy Marks (Lucia)

Books 5-9 TBA

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

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

Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

ONE IS A PROMISE (#1) – FREE
TWO IS A LIE (#2)
THREE IS A WAR (#3)

Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM | DEVASTATE | TAKE | MANIPULATE

Trilogy of Eve Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/trilogyofeve/

DEAD OF EVE (#1) | HEART OF EVE (#1.5) | BLOOD OF EVE (#2) | DAWN OF EVE (#3)

DARK COWBOY ROMANCE

TRAILS OF SIN SERIES

Knotted #1 (FREE) | Buckled #2 | Booted #3

Stand-alones:

DARK NOTES

DIRTY TIES

BENEATH THE BURN

INCENTIVE

Review: Absolution by Keri Lake (found in Outlaw Anthology)

ABSOLUTION
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: January 8, 2018

 

Absolution is part of Wanted An Outlaw Anthology.

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.

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!

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. 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…

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.

#DGRFave & Review: Ballistic by @KeriLake

BALLISTIC
Series: Vigilantes #3
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: October 30, 2018add-to-goodreads-button-2

A life for a life.

On the streets of Detroit, it’s the code we live by. You take from me, I take from you. A balance of power, and a ceaseless war between rivals.

As a foster kid from the projects, I never had much, besides an unshakable addiction to women and drugs. Only took one glance into the amber eyes of a slave for me to realize my two worst vices could be one and the same.

And the woman behind those eyes quickly became my obsession.

Nicoleta is more than she seems. An enigma I’m determined to crack before time runs out and our enemies hunt her down. Except, she moves by her own trajectory, an unstoppable bullet on the warpath to track down the men who murdered a girl from her past.

Me? I’m the rogue whose path is less predictable. A junkie, fiending for the one thing I shouldn’t want: the only woman who gets me high. I want to keep her for myself, but when the unstoppable bullet finally hits her mark and secrets begin to unravel, another life must be paid.
A heart for a heart.

Buy LinksAMAZON 

Review5 stars

We were as tragically beautiful and fragile as a dead rose. Two souls, broken beyond redemption.

If you’ve read any book by Keri Lake, then you already know that the woman can write a dark, gritty and captivating story like no other. She has this amazing ability to suck the readers into the dark abyss that are her books and keep them at the edge of their seat from beginning to finish. She’ll throw twist after twist your way until you don’t know which side is up. But one thing you’ll know for sure is that you didn’t just read a book of hers, you experienced it.

I silenced his argument with a kiss, feeling his fingers curl into my flesh. His mouth tasted like whiskey and sorrow, wrapped in guilt. A familiar cocktail.

I’ve been waiting for Dax’s story for what feels like forever. Ever since he watched helplessly as a young girl was driven away by one of the criminals he’d been after. He’s been searching for her ever since, only to hit one dead end after another. Until finally he finds her. But Nicoleta is not at all what she seems. And Dax definitely never saw a storm like her coming.

…my Nicoleta. The embodiment of fortitude and resilience. A brand of beauty that couldn’t be replicated because one would have to walk through absolute hell to acquire it.

While this is set in the Vigilantes series, you can easily read it as a standalone. Though I highly recommend the other two books as some of the story arcs do carry over. Ballistic was a whole different beast in this series with Nicoleta being the one seeking revenge. I loved the way that Keri Lake balanced the scales with the two characters. Nicoleta really took the driver’s seat in a lot of the story, but Dax never blended into the background. He was no less alpha and no less intense in his need to be the tool she uses to mete out her punishment. I LOVED this delicious turn of roles.

Nicoleta was a mystery wrapped in nightmares; nightmares of a hell that she’s lived through and a past she barely remembers. This is a woman that’s absolutely shattered, but she’s not weak. She’s vengeance and hell, pain and retribution. She’s a fiery ball of hatred and passion, and she was the perfect balance to Dax’s intensity.

This was a dark and twisty page turner of a story filled with blood, vengeance, and a love amongst the ashes. It sucked me in right into the dark underbelly of the worst sort of underground crime imaginable and those that rose out of the ashes of the pain it brought. It was deliciously twisty. It had me a ball of anxiety with my heart in my throat the entire time. It made me cringe. It made me cry. It made shiver in anticipation. In a word? It was UNPUTDOWNABLE!


DON’T MISS THE REST OF THE SERIES

RICOCHET (Vigilantes #1)
READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW HERE

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The only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.

Three years ago, I had everything.

A beautiful wife.
A son.
A reason for living.

Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.

They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I’m cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.

A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.

I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who’s seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.

Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.

An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

Buy LinksAMAZON


BACKFIRE (Vigilantes #2)
READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW HERE

Backfire+FOR+WEB

This book is a standalone set in the same world as Ricochet.

No matter how unbreakable he may seem, every man has a weakness.

A year ago, my home became a bloodstained crime scene. That night marked the beginning of my hell—the same night I was tortured by my enemies and tossed into an underground prison to die.

They failed. I survived.

Now that I’m free, only one motive burns in my soul: revenge.

Lucky for me, they think Jase Hawkins is dead. Maybe I am. I’ve got nothing but a cold, merciless rage, and Black Betty, the sharp steel blade that never leaves my side.

Then she drifts into my life.

Lucia wants answers—so much so, she’s willing to fall into the darkness where my enemies lie in wait, to kill her for what she knows.

Or to take her for the depraved fantasies her body alone can rouse in a man’s mind.

Me? I want her for the fire in her touch that feeds my addiction, forces me to feel what has become numb, but my appetite for bloodshed runs deeper than flesh.

For my own sanity, I’ve vowed to stay away from her. Because she’s my only weakness, an obsession that leaves me craving more—one that could make even the most steadfast plan backfire.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS

Review: Church. by Stylo Fantome

CHURCH.
Series: Church #1
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Author: Stylo Fantome
Release Date: July 20, 2018

A broken girl.

An unusual boy.

A beautiful face that hides a dark secret and an ugly past.

Sealed lips which hide wicked words and dangerous thoughts.

She would kill for him to love her.

He just wants to kill.

Maybe, if Emma Hartley prays hard enough, Church Logan can make both their wishes come true.

Fuse, meet match.

warning: if you have triggers – this story will touch on a lot of them. This book is a psychological thriller, 65,000+ words.


AMAZON

Maybe this whole time, I should’ve been looking for someone as fucked up as me. Maybe two broken pieces can be glued together to make a whole.

Holy hell. I mean holy hell! These might be the most fucked up characters I’ve read in a long while. Or ever. I’m still trying to figure out how I felt about them. But what I do know? Is days after finishing, I’m still thinking about it. And that certainly stands for something.

First of all, this is a psychological thriller. So if you’re going into this expecting a dark romance with an anti-hero that you’ll love to hate but still has some redeeming qualities and it’ll be sunshine and unicorns shitting rainbows at the end? Well, my friend, I’d check your delicate sensibilities at the door and forget about it. You won’t be finding it here.

What you will find are characters that are definitely missing their moral compass. As a matter of fact, they don’t even know what a moral compass is.

He’s magic. He’s the devil. He’s inside me now, in my blood, in my brain. Why isn’t he always talking to me? Why isn’t he always looking at me? Why aren’t we together right now? He’s it. He’s my moment that I’ve been waiting for. He’s the greatness I’ve been missing.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot or the characters, because I don’t want to ruin the suspense of it. And let me tell you, this book is full of it. It’s twisted and full of twists with an undercurrent of something so dark, you’re almost afraid to name it. It’s like Charles Manson meet Natural Born Killers sort of twisted.

Church was an enigma that I wanted to peel the layers off until I got to the very twisted core of him and knew all of his secrets. This is a character unlike any I’ve ever read if I’m being perfectly honest. And I flip flopped between being intrigued by him and being seriously disturbed…and then back to intrigued. This book fucked with my damn head. Which certainly speaks to the author’s talent for creating characters that will do that.

So why a lower rating? As much as I was intrigued by these characters, I also struggled to connect with them. I can’t even put my finger on what it was exactly, but something kept me from being truly invested in them. But even with that, I couldn’t stop myself from reading, and that definitely says something. With this being the first book in what I’m assuming will be a duet, perhaps that additional foundation will come a bit later, and this was just setting the scene and throwing the hook before the reader is reeled in. I fully reserve the right to change my rating once I see how it all concludes. But for now, I’ll tell you that it’s one hell of a unique story unlike any I’ve read before. If you’re looking for something dark and twisted, this is definitely that.

Review: Verona Blood by Lili St. Germain

VERONA BLOOD
Series: California Blood #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Lili St. Germain
Release Date: May 29, 2018

An arranged marriage. A brutal abduction.

And a love so forbidden, it might destroy them both.

San Francisco is going to burn if the coveted princess of California’s criminal underworld isn’t returned to her family in one piece …

Avery Capulet is missing.

Taken by a madman. Kept in the dark.

She might not survive.

He’ll use her body. Destroy her mind. All before he ever lays a hand on her.

Rome Montague is a drug dealer. A criminal. A thief.

And he needs the secrets Avery and her family are keeping – even if it means cutting them out of her pretty Capulet flesh.

Rome Montague is missing – but nobody will miss him.

Not that it matters; After the things he’s done to this girl, he doesn’t deserve to be found.

Prepare to step into the dark and bloody underworld of California, as Lili St. Germain brings you a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in the same vein as her bestselling Gypsy brothers series.

Verona Blood, set in the criminal underbelly of San Francisco, follows two warring families who are ruled by blood, power and twisted desire.

AMAZON

She was second-in-line for a throne that her older sister had already been molded to fit. I was the ruins of a family legacy that had soared too high, and crashed spectacularly, the sole survivor of a broken dynasty.

Well…hell. That was certainly…something.

If you’ve read St. Germain’s Gypsy Brothers series, then you already know that her mind can take you to some dark places. The woman’s brain is downright devious, and she writes dark and depraved like no one else. Verona Blood may be a modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, and while it certainly focuses on two star-crossed lovers, there’s not much love that shines through in this story just yet.

The first in the series throws you deep into the underbelly of organized crime and the sacrifices made for family in blood. It’s gritty as hell. It’s violent and spares no detail. If you’ve read ANY book this author has written before, you’ll know that she’s not afraid to go there. And boy does she in this book.

Verona Blood introduces Avery Capulet, as she faces the ultimate reality of being forced to marry a man that she doesn’t love for the good of her family and the order of her father. Avery is headstrong and willful, but she’s not about to say no to her father. But a sick twist of fate lands her in the sights of a psychopath, and then her nightmare truly begins.

In my wildest dreams —or my most terrifying nightmares —never once did I think that I’d be trapped in hell with him.>

I’ll admit, there were parts of this book that were extremely difficult to read. And I’ve read some dark books. But what I truly appreciate about Germain’s writing, is she doesn’t do it for shock value. The depravity and violence truly serves to drive the plot forward, and as dark as it may be, it fits. This book is no walk in the park. It’s damn disturbing. But color me officially hooked.

In the style of her Gypsy Brothers, this is more of a novella length. I read it in 2.5 hrs and was left with my jaw on the floor by the end. It was long enough to hook you, yet short enough to leave you craving more. I’m equally curious and terrified to see what the next book in this series will reveal.

#DGRFave & Review: Devastate by @pamgodwinbooks

DEVASTATE 
Series: Deliver #4
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: February 6, 2018

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”
“Money isn’t an issue.”
“I’m not talking about money.”

Tate is on the hunt to find his best friend’s sister.

Eleven years ago, Lucia Dias was abducted.

Presumed dead. He never met her, so why does he care?

Some might call his efforts noble, but his motivation is more perverse, bordering on obsession.

When he follows a chilling lead to Venezuela’s Kidnap Alley, what he finds is neither a corpse nor a captive.

Amid poisonous lies and crippling depravity, the price of love is devastation.

And he pays.

With his body, his blood, and her life.

Amazon | Other Retailers 

The price of love is devastation.”

Holy.
Freaking.
SHIT.

It’s been a long LONG while since I read a dark romance so dark that I actually needed a mental health break after reading it. This book completely destroyed me. In the best way possible. But I still doubt I’ll ever be the same. I don’t remember the last time I read a story that had me riveted to the pages, with one eye closed, anxiety in the pit of my stomach, and an undeniable feeling of dread the entire time. It was one of those stories that you simply experience. And then find yourself in need of sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows immediately after. Because holy shit! Have I already said that? HOLY. SHIT.

What a cruel thing love was, silent and desolate in its torture. How ironic that loving someone was the thing that hurt the most.

First of all, while this book introduces a different couple, I really don’t recommend it out of order. A lot of the backstory would simply be lost on you. Do yourself a favor and read the series in order. Trust me. Tate is a character that I first became intrigued with in Vanquish, and was practically salivating for his story by Disclaim. I was dying to know who the woman would be that would get him over his unrequited love for Camila. But suffice it to say, I never saw coming just where Pam was going to take his story.

Long thought dead, the disappearance of Camila’s sister, Lucia has been a mystery. Determined to find proof of life or her death once and for all, Tate finds himself in the belly of the beast. Venezuela’s Kidnap Alley is not a place anyone goes to voluntarily. Certainly not anyone who doesn’t have a death wish. But going straight into the pits of hell that’s ran by a ruthless killer is exactly what Tate does. But nothing could prepare him for what he finds.

Sorrow existed to breed happiness. Pain gave rise to pleasure. Loss brought about exploration.

This book is almost impossible to review. I feel like every tiny morsel of a detail could be a possible spoiler. And the less you know about this story, the better.

What I can tell you, is that I fell head over heels for Tate. This man has been to the pits of hell and managed to climb his way out. And now he steps right back into danger voluntarily for his love of a woman that will never return his feelings. I was terrified that the woman he ends up with will feel like a consolation prize. But I should have known better than to doubt the brilliance of Pam Godwin. She pulled it off flawlessly. Because this depraved relationship that was built on hope and pain was nothing short of breathtaking.

She tasted like sin and paradise, a sweet combination that would never tire, never completely sate, because he would always want more.
More of her mouth.
More of her pussy.
More of this.

Lucia was this eerie combination of strength and pain. You want to judge her for who she is and what she does, yet it’s impossible. There’s so many layers to both of these characters, that by the time you’re done peeling them all back, you’re completely sucked into their story.

There’s a cameo by a certain character that many will appreciate. No, I won’t tell you who it is. But if you’ve read Pam’s Tangled Lies trilogy, you’ll love this appearance.

The story itself was absolutely spellbinding, in the most fucked up way ever. It’s violent, painful, incredibly emotional, beautiful in its depravity, and completely unforgettable. All I know is I’m left shaken, ruined, and awaiting the next release like a junky waiting for their fix. If you’re a fan of dark romance, no one writes it better than this woman. Do yourself a favor and read this book!


Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM


DELIVER, Book #1

Deliver2500x1563

His name was Joshua Carter. Now it’s whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can’t deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her…from herself.


Vanquish, Book #2

Her life is like a prison cell.
A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.
Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.

He belongs in a prison cell.

The 6×8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.

But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.

And he just found a sexy new toy.

Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.

But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.


Disclaim, Book #3

Camila was seventeen when Van Quiso kidnapped her. Ten years after her escape, the shackles refuse to release her. Not while there are still slave traders preying on her city.
She will stop at nothing to end them.
Even if that means becoming a slave again.

Returning to chains is her worst fear—and only option. They won’t know who she is or what she intends to do. She’s prepared for every complication.
Except him.
The one who decimated her sixteen-year-old heart.

Matias is charming, gorgeous, and dangerously seductive. He’s also untrustworthy and enshrouded in secrets. After years of no contact, he finds her—on her knees, wrists bound, in the clutches of her enemy.
Will he sabotage her mission by needlessly saving her?
Or will he keep her in chains and never let her go?


Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

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

Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

ONE IS A PROMISE (#1) – FREE
TWO IS A LIE (#2)
THREE IS A WAR (#3)

Deliver Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/deliver/

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM

Trilogy of Eve Series:

http://pamgodwin.com/book/trilogyofeve/

DEAD OF EVE (#1) | HEART OF EVE (#1.5) | BLOOD OF EVE (#2) | DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones:

DARK NOTES

DIRTY TIES

BENEATH THE BURN

INCENTIVE

#DGRFave & Review: Reaper by A. Zavarelli

REAPER
Series: Boston Underground #2
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: A. Zavarelli
Release Date: May 19, 2016

Sasha.

He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there’s also something off about him.
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind…
He won’t have a problem killing me too.

Ronan.
I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross.
I watch her. She doesn’t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.

****This is a full-length standalone novel full of hot Irish guys with accents. Dark mafia themes throughout. HEA included.****

AMAZON

I’ve never believed in fairytales. There is no white knight in my story. Only me. And I’m not the girl who gets the prince. I’m the girl he bangs because he can.

Holy.
Hell.

I do believe I just read one of the most tortured anti-heroes ever. And let me tell you, I’ve read A LOT of dark romance. I’ve read the violent, broody, alphahole bad boys, but all of them pale in comparison to Ronan Fitzpatrick

I’ve been called a sociopath. A monster. But I don’t fancy myself one. I’m simply a man doing a job that needs to be done. If it wasn’t me doing it, someone else would be. The men that I kill, they’ve all had it coming. They knew what they were getting themselves into. They’ve either done Niall wrong or threatened the syndicate in some way. And threats have to be eliminated, just like vermin. One of the few moral codes I still abide by. I will protect my brethren at all costs.

Cross the MacKenna syndicate, and you’ll find yourself in front of The Reaper. He’s the man that handles all of the delicate and painful jobs. When someone needs eliminating, they find themselves in Ronan’s basement, their screams forever becoming a part of the cement walls. A brutal upbringing that knew only pain, Ronan doesn’t function like any other man. He’s numb. Unfeeling. He only feels rage and breathes punishment. There’s only one person that ever stirred a different reaction in him, but she’s forever off limits to a man like him.

Damaged souls have their own beauty. A dark, terrifying beauty. The same type of beauty I recognize in Ronan. 

Sasha hasn’t had an easy life herself. Taking care of her ailing mother and protecting her younger sister put her in the crosshairs of a man that changed her life irreparably. Forced into a life she never wanted and doing whatever she can to survive, she’s tired. All she wants is to leave, move to a different place where no one knows her or her past. There’s just one problem with that; Ronan is not about to let her go.

He nudges my legs apart and pushes his palm between my legs like he owns that part of me. Who am I to argue? He does fucking own me. He’s polluted my mind so that I can only ever think of him. Only ever want him.

Their relationship is a turbulent one. Both of these characters are so completely messed up, it’s a wonder how they go through the motions at times. But yet together, they made a messed up sort of sense. They offered each other a calmness that they never found on their own. They were like violent waves on a rocky coast.

I’ve seen him kill. I’ve tasted his rage too. Tasted it so fiercely that some of it spilled over onto me, tainting me with the mark of the animal that lives inside of him. I crave that animal. I crave everything about this man with his perfect suits and his complete lack of human emotions. Maybe, just maybe, I envy him too. What it must be like not to feel anything. Anything at all.

This was such a dark, captivating story. I was glued to the pages, completely enraptured. My heart hurt for everything that Sasha went through and I wanted her to feel just a little of happiness. It made a dark sort of sense that she would find it in the arms of a ruthless killer that’s a borderline psychopath.

Ronan was just…GAH. This man. His training ensured that he feels almost nothing. No empathy. No sympathy. Most human emotions are far beyond his realm of understanding. But you see more and more of his humanity peak out with each minute he spends with Sasha.

Nobody else gets to see you like that,” he declares. “Ye’re claimed.” His words douse me in gasoline. His eyes light the match. And when he grinds himself against me, all that’s left to do is burn for him. 

I loved this gritty and sexy dark mafia romance. The story was completely unputdownable and the characters vivid and unforgettable.


THE SERIES

CROW | REAPER | GHOST | SAINT

Jenn’s Review: The Prince by Skye Warren

THE PRINCE
Series: Masterpiece Duet (Prologue)
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: June 14, 2017

Penny doesn’t dream about a prince coming to save her from the trailer park.

She knows better than that.

And the boy she finds hiding in the woods out back is too wild and dangerous to trust.

But he may be her only chance at survival.

From New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren comes an emotional new spin-off series.

THE PRINCE is a 13,000-word prologue to the new Masterpiece duet.

I was ridiculously excited to get inside this book and eat my way threw it. Because, let’s face it, Skye Warren is my every indulgence. The book was very short, but even in a short prequel, Skye still makes me FEEL EVERYTHING with her words.

I long for the impossible.

à la Mode St. » fashion

Damon Scott traded himself for me. He’s the only reason I’m safe. And I’m the reason he’s not.

à la Mode St. » fashionYou’re probably like, “Wtf with the mermaid gif?” WELL, you should read the book to find out wtf :).

Damon. His black-lake eyes. When I first met Damon Scott, in the The Pawn, my brain and my body were begging for a Damon Scott book. He is just so evil and perfect. Damon is the not a good man, raised by his father, who is evil incarnate. But I was drawn to Damon right away, even though it wasn’t even his book. And Skye writes THE BEST anti-heroes.

Penny. I loved learning more about Penny in this book. We didn’t know much about her from The Castle, so I was glad to learn about her past and who she is. And I love her already! She is a “baby genius” in all things numbers, helping her father gamble and cheat. And I love a GIRL GENIUS! She meets Damon when they are young, but there is another story, Damon’s story, that we still don’t know. This prequel is written from Penny’s pov. And I am dying for Damon’s pov and to dive inside his evil brain!
à la Mode St. » fashion

I want to know when we resigned ourselves to this. When we noticed the iron bars around our lives and decided not to rail against them.

à la Mode St. » fashion
The ending of this prequel was perfect, and I am so excited to start The King and learn more about Damon, Penny, and Damon & Penny!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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