#DGRFave & Review: Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron & Kate Stewart

HEARTBREAK WARFARE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Heather M. Orgeron & Kate Stewart
Release Date:

Briggs,

Remember when we parted ways in Germany? It was the day I broke your heart. What you didn’t know was that I was breaking mine too.

I thought they’d be enough–my husband and my son. That I’d get home and everything would go back to the way it was . . .

Before the war.
Before the ambush.
Before you.

But, no matter how hard I try, I can’t erase the trauma we shared. I can’t seem to forget the way my heart beat in time with yours.

The truth is I’m lost without you.

I thought the nightmare was over when they pulled us from that hole in the ground, but nothing could have prepared me for the war I’d face at home.
I know it’s selfish of me to ask, but, please, I have to see you one last time. . .

All my love,
Scottie

AMAZON

She’s handed my heart back to me, and I’m unsure of how I’ll handle its new broken rhythm. 

Oh.
My.
Heart.

It hurts. It hurts so good. This book WRECKED me. It absolutely wrecked me. It owned me, shattered me, and put me back together. It was one of the best books I read this year. PERIOD.

There are only two things in life I’m sure of: my love of this country and my love for you, only one can I do anything about.

I love a story that can take me out of my comfort zone and make me feel. And Heartbreak Warfare is certainly a book that will make you feel. It’s a gut-wrenching, rip-your-heart-out, cry like a baby, unforgettable story that owned me from beginning to finish.

As a reader, I don’t like love triangles. I don’t enjoy fabricated angst and drama for the sake of drama. I hate rooting for the guy that turns out not to get the girl in the end. I just don’t do it. It makes me ragey. But in the case of this book? Man. I’m speechless. It totally worked here.

Katy Scott is leaving her beloved family to be deployed. As an army medic, she’s seen it all. But nothing prepares her for what she’s about to experience. While on tour she meets Briggs, an infantry soldier that doesn’t seem to take much seriously. The connection between them is immediate, but Katy loves her husband and will never betray him. And then the unspeakable happens…

I don’t want to give too much away about this story, but I will tell you that it’s not for the faint of heart. What Katy and Briggs go through du is absolutely devastating. The authors spare no detail and you can’t help but experience the earth shattering losses along with them. It was GUT WRENCHING to
read.

Katy comes back a different woman. Her adjustment to life as a civilian is full of darkness and pain. I think what made this book as compelling as it was, was the fact that you get all three POVs; Katy’s, Brigg’s, and her husband Gavin. Kate doesn’t set out to fall in love with another man. But her experience also changes her and the only one that truly knows and understands what she went through is Briggs.

This is not a story that’s black and white. It’s rooted in the gray area of pain and loss. Katy’s character was such a powerfully written one. This is a woman that’s been through hell and it’s changed her. You understand her. You can’t help but experience all of her pain along with her. It connects you with her on a whole different level. I love the fact that no one is villainized. Both Briggs and Gavin are amazing. AMAZING. And I think that’s what made this story as difficult to read and incredible as it was. You want to root for both of them, but you ultimately know where Katy’s heart will lead. And it makes sense. It really REALLY does.

There is nothing gentle about his kiss. This is passion, doused in kerosene and set on fire. It’s a declaration of war, and I’m nowhere near ready for the feel of it, but I take it all as he hungrily sweeps my mouth with his tongue. 


I respect the hell out of these authors for handling certain subject matters the way that they did without shying away from giving the reader the gritty details. And while it was absolutely devastating to read at times, it was also incredibly powerful.

I feel like I’ve been through the wringer after finishing this book, but it was an experience unlike any other. An intensely emotional, one of a kind sort of read that I recommend EVERYONE needs to experience. I’m blown away, gutted, and simply captivated by this story. It will own my heart for a long time because I just don’t see myself forgetting even one little detail any time soon.

#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

91t23tLVXyL

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

#DGRFave Review & Excerpt: Fall by @Kris10Callihan

FALL
Series: VIP #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: October 23, 2018

The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.

In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.

Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.

Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.

An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.

Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.

Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.

All we have to do is trust enough to fall.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N 

Stella Button, the moment you ripped that ice cream out of my hand, you knocked me off-balance. All I could do was fall.”

This book.
THIS. BOOK.
*flails happily*

This is, hands down, my favorite Kristen Callihan book to date. A poignantly written, slow burn, friends to lovers romance that was brimming with emotion; Fall owned my heart from beginning to finish. It sucked me in from the beginning and kept me glued to the pages with two incredibly multi-layered, raw, and endearing characters. Jax and Stella were everything. Simply everything!

Oh how I loved this book. Let me count the ways!!!

1. One broken yet devastatingly swoony rockstar.

I want her under me, over me, beside me. I want to dedicate hours memorizing the pattern of her freckles, each curve and dip of her body. I want her body against mine until her scent is in my skin. I want to taste her, to fuck her, to laugh with her. I want everything.

Jax is a man that has been to the dark bottom of emotion, and almost didn’t make his way up.
I really have to applaud the author in just how well she handled such a sensitive matter as depression and suicide. There was just something so real and raw about Jax that you couldn’t help but love. He captivates the reader from the very first page, and you only fall harder and harder under his magnetism and charisma the more you read. As one of the front man of a famous band, Jax is no stranger to all the women that his fame brings. But one quirky redhead that’s set to kiss him out of his ice cream at a grocery store manages to tilt his world on his axis.

2. Stella
She was just so perfectly imperfect. She was completely extraordinary in her ordinariness. Without giving much away, this is a heroine that just wins you over with her quirky, selfless, and loving personality. And then she makes you fall in love with her strength, perseverance, heart, and hints of vulnerability.

Stella works some of the oddest jobs, yet they make her happy. And when her job as a pet sitter land her one rockstar neighbor that she stole ice cream from with a kiss and never expected to see again? Well, let’s just say, things get interesting. Which brings me to the next thing…

3. The banter. OMG! THE BANTER!!

Oh my cock—god. My cock—godcockgod…” She flails her hands. “God. I meant God. God-cock. Argh!”
Her flustered blather ends in a gurgle and a new tide of rapid hand flapping. Even though her sudden appearance scared the shit out of me—until I realized it was Stella and not some stalker who’d gotten in—a laugh escapes me.
“My cock is godlike, so I can see the confusion.”
Her face flames bright red. “Dick.”
“It goes by that name too.” I wink at her.

4. The delicious, and I mean DELICIOUS slow burn romance. It hurt SO GOOD.

I meet her blue eyes and call out—God knows what. Sound tears from my throat, but I don’t hear it past my pounding ears. I look at Stella and fall into the abyss. I. Am. Wrecked.

5. The secondary characters. I love the brotherly camaraderie the band shares. I love the friendship between Jax and Killian. I NEED a book for Whip and Rye.

This book was sheer perfection. It captivated and ruined me. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me swoon. I absolutely loved it. I loved everything about it. Everyone needs to read this book. I just can’t recommend it enough.

The air between us shifts. I’m filled with a strange giddiness, wanting to laugh for the fun of it, but I’m also too warm, my limbs oddly heavy as if simple movements might be too much for me.His tone turns soft and cajoling, teasing the truth out of me. “Are you going to tell me what you do?” When I say nothing, the corners of his eyes crinkle. “I see. You’re going to torture me a bit.”The warm, fuzzy feeling grows as I shrug. “Torture feels apropos in this scenario.”

He hums again, taking another step toward me. “What makes you think I won’t like being tortured by you?”

The heat of his body and the scent of his skin makes my head light and my pulse pound. How did it get to this point where the highlight of my day is flirting with Jax Blackwood? Despite the thrill, I know I’m in over my head. I haven’t gone out on a date in months because I form attachments, I get emotional, and then I hurt when they inevitably leave. And this man will leave. He is as bright and fleeting as a camera flash. I’ll be left with the image of him seared into my memory and nothing more.

I tell myself all of this, the voice in my head as stern as possible. But it doesn’t make me back away. It doesn’t stop my body from somehow straining toward his without even moving. Because it might be stupid of me, but I want to feel something that isn’t planned. Something, for however briefly, that’s real.

He’s too attuned to me not to notice. John’s lids lower as his attention slides down my body before easing back up to my face. Slowly, he rests his forearm on the wall beside my head. “Tell me, Stella,” he murmurs.

“No,” I whisper back, flirting, even though I shouldn’t.

His biceps bunch as he leans in, a smile dancing on his lips. “Tell.”

My breasts graze his chest, and I feel it in my toes.

“You’re crowding me.” I hate how breathy I sound.

“Can’t help it.” His voice is a rumble, the heat of his breath playing over my skin. He ducks his head, drawing close until our lips nearly brush, and when he speaks again, his tone is almost conversational, except for the husky quality that touches deep within my core. “You smell like strawberries. Fucking delicious.”

My lids flutter, and I swallow hard. “Ordinarily, I’d call you out on that cliché but since I’ve been eating strawberries, you aren’t exactly wrong.”

His chuckle is slow and easy, as he eases back and his gaze slowly travels over my face. “Were they sweet, Stella Button?”

He’s looking at my mouth like he might try to find out. My lips tremble in response, and John tracks the movement, his breathing getting deeper, faster. “You have two freckles on your lips. One on the top lip and one on the bottom corner.”

Those damn freckles. They were the bane of my adolescence. I hid them with lipstick and silently cursed whenever someone mentioned them.

Freckles don’t have any feelings, but I swear it’s as if he’s touching them.

“You’re just noticing this?” I try to make it sound like a joke, but it comes out weak and thready.

His own lips quirk. “Oh, I noticed. It’s distracting as hell. They’re like two little dots of butter toffee. Makes me want to lick them, get a taste.”

Oh, God. Lick them, please. I can almost feel it. I want to feel it.

No. Bad Stella. Behave.

John’s lips part a fraction like he just might take that taste.

“Back off,” I whisper. And yet somehow my traitorous hands find their way to his sides, running over the waistband of his jeans, holding him there.

John makes a sound deep in his throat and tilts his hips, pressing them against mine. A distinctly thick bulge nudges my belly. Both of us lose a breath, and then he’s closer, his cheek touching my temple. “You’ll have to let me go first.”

My thumbs slide under the edge of his shirt and find smooth, taut skin. A tremor goes through his body. I try to think, search for what the hell we’ve been talking about.

His lips brush the crest of my cheek as he murmurs against my skin. “Tell me what you do, Stella. You know you want to.”

My smile feels illicit. Somehow the action is directly tied to all my happy parts, making them draw hot and tight. “I don’t think I do.”

Another hum. “Liar. You’re dying to.”

 

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

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

#DGRFave & Review: Fight Or Flight by Samantha Young

FIGHT OR FLIGHT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Samantha Young
Release Date: October 9, 2018

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Oh God, yes.”
“You keep calling me God, lass, and my ego might get out of control,” he murmured.

OH MY GOD.
THIS BOOK.
*flails happily*
I.
LOVED.
THIS.
BOOK.

So much. SO. MUCH.

This book is what enemies to lovers romance dreams are made out of. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. I fell head over ovaries for The Bastard Scott. Everything about this book was perfection: the banter, the chemistry, the hate lust, the romance, and OMG the hate lust. These two were absolutely incendiary together and I couldn’t get enough of them.

Sparks fly when Ava and Caleb cross paths for the first time on a flight to Boston, and not of the sexual variety. The man steamrolls past her in line and gets her coveted first class seat. Then they end up sitting next to each other on the same flight, and the rude and crude Scott does nothing to hide his disdain for Ava. But underneath the side eyes and the insults is chemistry so potent, you can cut it with a knife. And this reader? I devoured it!!

Caleb is a bearded and tatted CFO of a successful company. He’s also insufferably blunt, downright rude, and infuriatingly sexy. Ava is already flying on frayed nerves after a visit back to her hometown brings back all the painful memories she left behind. So when Caleb first manages to piss her off, it’s no holds barred between them. But when the insult dust settles, the chemistry between them is undeniable. And when they realize that they’re both up for a no strings attached mutually satisfying relationship for Caleb’s short stay in Boston? Well, let’s just say that things get interesting. REALLY interesting.

Samantha Young keeps the tension going with Ava and Caleb for almost 80% of the book, and I absolutely loved that. It’s not a lets hate each other until we jump into bed together and then all is well sort of story. Both of these characters have hidden depth and even deeper hidden pain. And while Ava’s surfaces for the reader gradually, its a long and painful stretch before you get to Caleb’s. I loved the way that Ava was able to handle his gruff demeanor and give as good as she gets. I also loved watching Caleb fall for her through Ava’s eyes. The entire story is told in Ava’s POV, and while a part of me wished to be inside Caleb’s head if even for a second, I can’t deny that it made the story and tension that much better. You get to experience the mystery of this man through Ava’s eyes and experience their highs and lows right along with her.

This was easily my favorite book by this author to date. I adored this enemies to lovers romance. It kept me reading well into the night, completely incapable to set it down for even a minute. It owned me from beginning to finish and I cannot recommend it enough.

#DGRFave & Review: Runaway Girl by @mstessabailey

RUNAWAY GIRL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: September 24, 2018

It’s Naomi Clemons’s big day. Her dream wedding. And she’s outta here.

One moment. A chance meeting of gazes through the church window pane with someone familiar who radiates intrigue. Independence. It’s the final push Naomi needs to realize…she’s boring. A blonde, cookie cutter, well mannered trophy wife-to-be. How can she expect to lead a fulfilling married life when she’s never lived?

Special Forces diver Jason Bristow needs a beauty pageant coach. Not for himself—although the tattooed bruiser could definitely use some charm. For his little sister who he has returned to St. Augustine, Florida to raise. When a beautiful southern debutante lands on his doorstep, she awakens a hunger that won’t be ignored. If only she wasn’t planning on winning back the ex-fiancé she left at the altar…

Despite the potential for ruin, heat continues to build between Naomi and Jason beneath the sultry Florida sunshine, consuming them both. But they’re on borrowed time…and it’s about to run out.

AMAZON

This is it. This is the kiss I’ll think about for decades to come, maybe longer. I can feel it ruining me with every mash of his lips against mine…

A quirky & witty souther belle that’s as proper as she is endearing?

A grumpy, sexy and possessive Pouty Man Bear?

Enough sexual tension to makes your loins tighten?

A sweet and sizzling romance that will put a smile on your face and keep it there?

This book. Oh man. You guys, this book! It was everything I’ve come to expect from the amazing Tessa Bailey and so much more. I thought I loved Getaway Girl, but this book was even better. It was full of swoony feels, sizzling sexy times, incredibly endearing characters, and Bailey’s patented dirty talk that will make any ovary within a 50 mi radius quiver at the mere mention of Jason.

Actual footage of me reading this book:
And don’t you judge me either!

I’m ready to take what I want. What I need. And he’s right behind me, watching, needing me back. Ready for his own seismic shift.

If you read Getaway Girl, you may remember Naomi as Elija’s runaway bride. And while you know that appearances aren’t quite what they seem with her and she’s not the rich and prim southern belle that she first comes across at, you really get to know her here. And let me tell you, she’s an impossible heroine not to love. I’m not typically a fan of the prim and proper heroines, but there’s just something so endearing about Naomi. She’s this adorable combination of vulnerability and strength. I loved watching her grow from a woman that lives to please everyone else and keep up appearances to someone that takes what she wants.

I need her. I want to fucking drown in her.

Jason.
raaaaaaarrrrr
This man. YUM. He was absolutely delicious. Every grumpy and scowly inch of him. And let’s pretend that scowly is a word for the purposes of this review, mkay? Moving on. He’s a Special Forces diver that comes back to take care of his younger sister after a tragedy strikes his family. His sister enters a beauty pageant she has no hope of winning. Naomi is a pageant queen that’s in dire need of a job and no real skill set. Opportunity meet fate.

Sparks fly between Naomi and Jason immediately. And if you like a slow burn that will make you want to rip your arm hairs out one by one and have a smoke afterwards, you will LOVE this book. And I love me some slow burn. The sexual tension here is so thick, you can cut it with a knife and rub it all over your body. OK, I think I’m going too far here. But you know what I mean.

Wrap your thighs around me and hold on.
I don’t come like a gentleman.”

Did I mention the dirty talk? Because OMG the dirty talk!!

I loved everything about this book. I really loved Birdie and Jason’s relationship with his sister and seeing how much he’s willing to do for her. I loved the budding kinship form between Naomi and Birdie. And the romance? GAH! Perfection in a way that only Tessa Bailey can write. An absolute must read that’s full of humor, feels, and hot as sin sexy times!

#DGRFave & Review: Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen

DIRTY HEADLINES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: September 7, 2018


Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
…And my new boss.
I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory—namely, his wallet.
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I.
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

AMAZON

Part of me wanted to screw her, the other to spank her. Those two didn’t necessarily contradict one another.

An über alphahole, a chuck loving, sharp-witted heroine, laugh out loud humor, and a romance hot enough to set every ovary within a 100 mile radius aflame all blend together into another page-turner from the awesome LJ Shen! It was sinfully delicious with some of the HOTTEST sex scenes and one dirty talking mega asshole. *swoon*

Did I mention the alphahole part? Because I swear, no one writes a hot alphahole quite like LJ Shen.

How had this guy not been assassinated yet? He was a walking, talking personal offense.

Dirty Headlines was a refreshingly different tone than what we’re used to from this author. Yes, it had all of the sexy and yes it had that sizzling enemies to lovers vibe that she’s oh so good at. But it was a lighter and more fun book than her usual, and I loved it for that! There was no crazy angst, but it was still ridiculously addicting. So much so, that I never even missed the angst I’ve come to love from her. What it did have was perfectly timed and quirky humor that I couldn’t get enough of. I simply adored the voice she used to write this one, and gobbled it up like the Shen Addict that I am!

Judith “Jude” Humphry is a down on her luck, poor girl struggling to make ends meet for herself and her beloved ailing brother. She’s also a chuck loving sasshole and I loved her for it. This is a chick that speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to give as good as she gets. And when it comes to Célian Laurent, there’s a lot of taking. Uhem.

Célian is the ridiculously rich, too sexy for his own good heir to a media empire. He’s also Jude’s new boss. But before that, he was Jude’s one night stand and the man she left sleeping in a hotel room while making off with his wallet. Desperate times and even more desperate measures make a girl do some things she never thought she would. Sparks fly immediately between these two, but when they run back into each other in the newsroom? Hells fire but I was addicted! The antagonism is strong here, people. And the back and forth sharp witted banter with a HEAVY undercurrent of sexual tension? INCENDIARY!!!

Dirty Headlines is one of those books that will set your loins on fire while also putting a smile on your face. It’s fun, sexy, full of witty banter, and a page turner from beginning to finish. In a word? LOVED!!!!!

#DGRFave Review: Josh + Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by @ChristinaLauren

JOSH + HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: September 4, 2018

From New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren comes a new romantic comedy about two friends who are definitely, for sure, in no way dating…maybe 

Most men can’t handle Hazel. With the energy of a toddler and the mouth of a sailor, they’re often too timid to recognize her heart of gold. JOSH AND HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING tells the story of two people who are definitely not dating, no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

AMAZON | B&N | B-A-M | INDIEBOUND | iBOOKS | BLIO | GOOGLE BOOKS | KOBO

Sometimes your lack of filter kills me,” he says. “It’s not even like you lack a filter; you lack a funnel.”

Oh my gosh! I loved this book! If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, put-a-smile-on-your-face-and-keep-it-there rom-com, this book is it! I was immediately hooked from the first page and stayed glued to my kindle until the end. It was the most fun I’ve had reading in a while! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was a refreshingly different take on friends to lovers and I loved every adorably quirky page!

It’s cool.” I wave an extremely casual hand. “Josh has already seen my boobs.”
The party stops. Air stills.
“I mean, not because he wanted to see them.” My brain desperately tries to fix this. “They were forced on him.”
A wind chime rings mournfully in the distance.
Birds stop flying midair and fall to their deaths.

Josh and Hazel first met in college when she threw up on his shoes at a party and proceeded to have a few more fun run ins when he was her TA. A particular favorite of mine was the email she sent him while hopped up on pain killers after having her wisdom teeth removed. Suffice it to say Hazel is the sort of woman that makes a lasting impression. She’s adorably different with her borderline manic personality, and I loved how comfortable she is in her own skin. This is a woman that knows she’s different, and she makes no apologies for it. She is who she is, and she accepts that about herself. She knows that she can be a lot to take and she won’t settle for anyone that will make her feel like she should be embarrassed about herself. I absolutely LOVED that about her.

Sorry. I’m being too Hazel-y.”
I watch her wash the dishes and manage to clean up the kitchen quite capably while I pick at my breakfast. She isn’t pouting, and it doesn’t seem like I’ve hurt her feelings—she honestly just seems to have heard something in my tone that I didn’t intend.
“What does that mean,” I ask, “ ‘being too Hazel-y’?”
Turning with a dish towel in her hand, she shrugs. “I tend to be too chatty, too silly, too exuberant, too random, too eager.” She spreads her hands. “Too Hazel-y.”

Hazel was simply adorable with her brood of equally quirky pets. There’s Winnie the poodle, Vodka the parrot, Janice Hoplin the rabbit, and the fish Daniel Craig. I mean, seriously! This is rom-com magic right here. But I digress. Hazel knows what her faults are, and she knows that she’s doomed to short lived relationships because of it. Men seem to think that her over the top personality is cute at first, but then they expect her to settle into being a ‘normal’ girlfriend. And when she doesn’t, things end.

Josh Im is Hazel’s best friend’s brother. And as fate would have it, they stumble back into each other’s life years after college. Hazel takes one look at Josh’s calm manner and unassuming personality, and immediately decides they’re going to be best friends. She makes no secret of the fact that she had a huge crush on him in college, but she knows that they’re simply not suited for each other. And when Josh’s current relationship comes to a crashing end, they make a bid on setting each other up on blind dates until each of them find ‘the one’. What ensues can only be described as one hysterically bad date after another. I was eagerly turning the pages just to read the next laugh out loud disaster of a date they’d inadvertently line up for each other next. And as the dates continue, Josh and Hazel’s unlikely friendship blossoms.

I can’t believe I’m encouraging this conversation, but you were telling me about your gynecologist snubbing you and I’m actually curious to hear how it turned out.”
“So I stopped in the middle of the gymnasium and smiled at him—not my courtesy smile, but my real one—and he just walked by.”
“Maybe he didn’t see you.”
“He definitely saw me—and don’t get me wrong, I run into guys all the time who’ve seen my vagina and pretend not to know who I am. Things don’t work out and that’s fine. But I paid this guy.”

I adored Josh. Where Hazel was a refreshingly different heroine, Josh was definitely a refreshingly different hero. He’s a serial monogamist that doesn’t sleep around. He’s sweet, serious, and in any other book he could have been entirely forgettable. But Christina Lauren made him one of the most lovable and memorable characters here; with Hazel being the perfect kooky balance.

Your turn.”
“Me?” I honestly have no idea how many guys I’ve been with, so I pull a lowball number out of the air. “Maybe twenty.”
His eyes go wide and he coughs as he swallows. “Twenty?”
“Actually probably more? Let’s say thirty.”
Josh shakes his head and laughs. “Wow, okay.”
This response is not an improvement.
“Don’t do that.” I point a finger at him. “Don’t act like I’ve crossed some magical threshold of appropriate numbers for a woman. If I was a dude and said that, you’d reply, ‘In high school, right?’ and then high-five me and call me brah.”

This was easily my favorite rom-com I’ve read all year. It was absolute perfection that kept a goofy smile on my face the entire time! I couldn’t get enough! I adored everything about this book and the characters. If you’re looking for your next read, look no further. Because this book is simply not to be missed!

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. They are New York Times, USA Today, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Sublime, The House, Dating You/Hating You and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography. Roomies (released December 2017), has been optioned for film by Jenna Dewan’s company Everheart Productions, with Christina and Lauren set to write the screenplay.  

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#DGRFave & Review: The Truth About Lies by Aly Martinez

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES
Series: The Truth Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: August 23, 2018

Truth: From over a thousand miles away, I watched on the screen of my phone as two men murdered my wife.

And I was helpless to save her.

Consumed by hate and rage, I spent four years running from my memories.

Until a shattered woman gave me a reason to stop.

Cora lived in a nightmare, but through sheer force of will, she’d turned it into something beautiful.

She had a smile that could pierce the darkest soul.

And with one glance, she shredded mine.

Lie: I was only there for a fresh start.

Lie: I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Lie: There was nothing I could do to save her, either.

But that’s the thing about lies—you never know who to believe.

AMAZON

One in. One out.

This book! OH GOD! THIS. BOOK. I knew from the very first chapter, that this will be unlike any other book that I’ve read from this author. And having had read her entire backlist, that’s saying something. The Truth About Lies is not a sweet story. It’s not a light and sunny romance. It’s spine-tingling good and oh so gritty. I had goosebumps from the first few pages, and that told me immediately that I was in for one emotional ride!

I was the sinner in this story. With a heart filled to the brim with hate and a mind overflowing with vengeance and chaos.

If you’ve ready any Aly Martinez book before, then you already know that she knows how to pack one hell of an emotional punch. Her duets absolutely slay you, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience with The Truth About Lies.

Lies—I needed them more than oxygen. I was never going to be able to survive the truth. Not again.

This is a story of two people who have gone through their own personal hell. People who hide their pain and personal demons behind a smokey veil of lies; lies that are absolutely necessary for their own survival.

Cora is a heroine unlike any that Aly has written to date. This woman is a survivor. She’s got an inner core of strength that allows her to do anything she has to do to protect those that she cares about. And that’s ultimately what she is; a protector. This is a woman that cares and cares deeply. I couldn’t help but connect with her right away. She’s been through hell and back in her young life, but that doesn’t get her down. She’s the epitome of perseverance.

Then there’s Penn. This man is an enigma. He’s utterly magnetic. There’s this electric current to him that you feel when you read about him. I can’t even describe it to you, but every time you get one kernel of information about him, you’re also left desperate for more.

Sometimes lies are a necessary part of survival. Sometimes the truth hurts more than you can imagine. Sometimes what you think you know isn’t even what’s close to being reality. And sometimes, two lies crash into something incredibly real that has the power to send everything into a flame of betrayal and love.

The Truth About Lies was raw, gritty, emotional, and completely unputdownable. It was a smoke screen of half truths and lies, all wrapped around a gripping romance that owns your heart from beginning to end. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was utterly captivated, hypnotized, and totally enraptured with this story. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner until book two, because I still CAN’T EVEN!!!!

#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Venom by Ella Fields

PRETTY VENOM
Series: Gray Springs University #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: August 3rd, 2018

Callum Welsh perfected the art of hating me when we were two kids who believed we’d be forced into marriage.

He thought I wanted it, but my only wish had been for him to leave me alone.

Then one afternoon, he stole my first kiss.

Despite all he’d done, everything changed after that.

As the years passed, our hearts thawed, and he no longer hated me.

In fact, he loved me enough to make me his wife.

Until I ruined everything with one stupid mistake.

That hatred returned in the form of cruel words and even crueler deeds.

But we weren’t kids anymore.

I could handle his brand of venom.

He would be mine again, even if it cost me the remains of my heart.

Warning: contains cheating and an anti-hero who might make you throw your kindle.

FREE in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON

If someone has control over your heart, the worst thing you could do was make an enemy out of them. And like a fool, I had.

OH MY GOD! THIS BOOK.
I.
Can’t.
DEAL.

First of all, that warning is no joke. I wanted to cry, yell, rip my hair out, and throw my kindle at the wall. This book wrung every emotion out of me, most of all all consuming rage. So much rage. Like ALL OF THE RAGE. But it was also all consuming. This book took over my entire existence for the hours that it took me to devour it, completely unable to put it down for even a second. I’m a sucker for some devastating angst, and if the blurb didn’t lure me into reading my first Ella Fields book, that warning ultimately did the job.

His brand of assholery had a ricochet effect. Affecting other things in my life, piece by little piece.

The story takes a delicious turn from enemies to lovers and back again in this ulcer inducing romance, and this reader couldn’t get enough of it. Heartburn and bald spots and all.

You smell like peaches.” “And you smell like an asshole.

Renee and Callum have history going back to their early teens. They first meet when they’re in high school and their back and forth antagonism starts. Callum resents the fact that their parents are essentially planning their marriage already. And he takes special exception to Renee, by serving her to a daily dose of his special brand of douchebaggery. Renee is no wallflower, and she’s not shy about giving as hard as she gets. Their connection is tumultuous and antagonistic, with a heavy undecurrent of chemistry that they’re both too young to fully grasp and understand when they first meet. But then as the years pass, and their push and pull continues, it eventually begins to morph into something else. When Callum stops hiding how he truly feels behind cruel words and deeds, he goes after Renee with a completely different motivation, and a relationship blooms.

Being kids when they first get together, life doesn’t really prepare them for the obstacles they’ll face when they go off to college together. Then one mistake driven by hurt and anger changes everything.


I couldn’t do this, yet, at the same time, I couldn’t see a way out of this. Falling in love changed you bit by bit in a way you didn’t realize until that love had left you suffocating in the remaining pieces of who you once were. If this was what I had to live with, what I had to endure … I was afraid it’d kill me slowly. 

And this is where the angst really starts. Callum’s brand of punishment and cruelty truly takes a turn from painful to downright eviscerating. The man puts Renee through hell. Every move, word, and look is calculated for maximum pain. That warning is no lie, because the things he does makes you want to peel your skin off and throw it at him. But at the same time, knowing what he’s going through in his head, you get where the anger is coming from. You hate him for what he does, but you understand why he’s doing it. It’s a special sort of hell, because as much as it hurts, it’s also absolutely riveting.

If you make someone your world, do not complain when the ground crumbles beneath your feet.

Pretty Venom was an all consuming sort of story. It’s the sort of book that takes over your entire world when you read it. It’s gut wrenching, emotionally annihilating, and rip your hair out sort of angsty. Ella Fields is clearly a master of her craft, because she delivers two characters that are far from perfect, yet somehow relatable. They both make mistakes, and as much as you want to judge them for it, you simply can’t. You’re much too wrapped up in their pain to do anything else. It’s no lie that there’s a thin love between love and hate, and this book takes you through both extremes and then back again.

My enemy, my ally, my best friend. She was love in its rawest form. Everything I needed wrapped in one multilayered bow. One that I refused to let unravel ever again.

It was utterly delicious and I binged on it like the angst addict that I am. Ella Fields just went straight to my auto-buy list, no blurb required. This is an author that’s not afraid to write about the ugly side of human emotion, and Pretty Venom was certainly that. This book owned me and I’m seriously kicking myself for only reading this author now. I plan on rectifying my mistake immediately by reading the rest of the series.

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

Connect with Ella:

Facebook | Reader Group | Instagram | Twitter

Stay up to date with Ella by joining her mailing list: https://ellafields.net/subscribe/

#DGRFave & Review: Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

ALMOST HEAVEN
Series:
 Sequels #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Judith McNaught
Release Date: November 1, 2016 (release date for e-book)

In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

ELIZABETH CAMERON

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

IAN THORNTON

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth’s heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.

Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

AMAZON

There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?”

All.
Of.
The.
Swoons.

This. THIS is exactly why I love historical romances. And it’s also why I’m currently kicking myself for only discovering this incredible author now. There’s only one thing I love more than a good bastard in a romance, and that’s a redeemable bastard that’s not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve when he finally sees the error of his ways. Even if that particular feet takes him the majority of the book to do.

Almost Heaven is the story of a young beauty just entering London society in search for a husband that will save her beloved estate, and a man that’s always been the source of most gossip within it. Ian is known as a scoundrel, a gambler, anything but the titled husband Elizabeth needs. He’s also a beautifully dangerous enigma that draws her like a moth to a flame. Until she gets too close and they both get burned.

This was a delicious tale of secrets and betrayal, of mistakes and forgiveness, but ultimately of a love that prevails against all odds. It was WONDERFULLY swoony.

At first I was a little concerned because Elizabeth and Ian get together so quickly. I’m not usually a fan of quick coupling. I was yearning for angst and emotion. I shouldn’t have been concerned, because their initial meeting was only the calm before the storm. And what a storm it was! Ian is a downright bastard to Elizabeth when they meet again two years after the fateful first time. GOD BUT I LOVED IT! But it’s no secret that I love the bastards. Elizabeth was an incredible heroine. She’s young and sheltered, but she’s clever and smart and so endearing. I loved her strength and her sharp wit. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself, but she also knows that sometimes the biggest fight requires a sacrifice. She was the perfect match to the broody and enigmatic Ian.

The story was phenomenal and kept me glued to the pages long into the night. I NEEDED to see how it all unveils and I couldn’t be more satisfied. This is going down as one of my favorite historical romances. And that epilogue?! SWOON!!!!

SIDE NOTE: The ebook version of this book had a RIDICULOUS amount of typos. For how big the publisher is AND the price point of this book, that’s pretty bad. I’m talking typos, missing quotations, missing punctuation points, etc. Luckily I loved the book enough to overlook it, but it’s fair to mention that your money may be better spent on the paperback version instead. 

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: