#DGRFave & Review: Cruel Paradise by J.T. Geissinger

CRUEL PARADISE
Series:
Beautifully Cruel #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: October 1, 2020

Anti-hero (noun):
1) A powerful and charismatic man lacking moral character
2) A magnificent bastard
3) Killian Black

You don’t know me.
You think you do, but you don’t.
The only thing you know is my name, and even that’s a lie.

I’m king of Boston, lord of criminals, ruler of an underworld empire. Or am I?

Only one thing’s for sure: I operate alone.

Until I cross paths with a brazen little thief who sets my whole kingdom on fire.

Just as two wrongs don’t make a right, two villains don’t belong together. Especially since she’s the daughter of my most deadly enemy.

Taking her would start a war.
Keeping her would be suicide.
Making her mine would break every code of honor and defy all common sense.

Then again, where’s the fun in following the rules?

AMAZON 

Start the series of standalones BEAUTIFULLY CRUEL with here!

AMAZON

I climb into the car. The driver shuts the door behind me. In a moment, we pull away.All heat and coiled tension, Liam simmers in the seat beside me.

After we’ve gone three blocks, he says, “How long are you going to make me wait until you look at me?”

“I’m working on regulating my breathing so I don’t pass out. Maybe ten minutes?”

His chuckle is low and sensual, raising my blood pressure by at least two hundred points.

“You’re tougher than that. I’ll give you ten seconds.”

When the seconds have ticked by, I turn my head and glance at him warily from the corner of my eye.

He stares at me with such blistering intensity that for a moment, I can’t breathe.

His voice husky, he says, “Hullo again.”

Holy mother of god, he’s handsome. How can someone so evil be so hot?

My exhalation comes out in a burst. It’s accompanied by a shudder. Then I clear my throat and pretend I’m a mentally functioning adult. “Hi.”

He lets his gaze drift over me, head to toe, taking in every aspect of my clothing, posture, and expression.

“You still don’t trust me.”

I make a sound that’s supposed to be a laugh, but it sounds more like a small animal being strangled. “Trust? I’m sorry, did you just say trust?”

“I did.”

He’s serious. I stare at him in astonishment. “Of course I don’t trust you! You’re…you!”

The driver pipes in from the front seat. “That’s hardly fair, lass. You’ve only just met.”

Through gritted teeth, Liam says, “Declan.”

“Right. Sorry.” Falling silent, he turns his attention back to the road.

Liam smiles reassuringly at me. “It’s so hard to find good help these days.”

I look back and forth between them, gobsmacked by the whole situation. I could be hallucinating. Maybe that hipster bartender put something into my drink.

I’m still pondering that when Liam leans over and settles his huge, hot hand around my throat.

I grip his thick wrist in both hands, gasping and shrinking back into the seat.

Looking into my eyes, he murmurs, “I’m not going to hurt you.”

My voice comes out high and panicked. “This is a shitty way of proving that.”

“I’m not trying to choke you, lass.”

It’s true, the pressure of his hand on my throat is gentle, but still. “Then what the hell are you doing?”

He slides his thumb back and forth over the throbbing vein in my neck. “Feeling your pulse.”

Heart hammering, I stare at him. “Why?”

“Because I want to see how fast it gets when I kiss you.”

I freeze. “Don’t you dare.”

He quirks one dark brow. “Why not?”

“I don’t want you to.”

He leans closer, his eyes burning into mine, his body heat and the warm scent of his skin surrounding me. He growls, “If you were telling the truth, little thief, I’d honor that request.”

I blurt, “I’m not ready for that!”

Instantly, he stills. His dark gaze searches my face. Then, slowly, his full lips lift into a smile. “Then I suppose I’ll have to wait until you are.”

He stares hungrily at my mouth for a moment before releasing me.

I remain where he left me, frozen and wide-eyed, slumped against the door, staring at him and trying to convince myself of several important facts.

One, that I should be afraid. Because, two, that there’s at least a fifty-fifty chance he’s going to snap my neck. And three, that I really didn’t want him to kiss me.

Especially that I didn’t want him to kiss me. Because what would it say about my sanity if I did?

Adjusting his tie and looking straight forward, he says, “Don’t overthink it. But thank you for being honest. If this is going to work, we have to be honest with each other.”

My laugh is weak and disbelieving. “This? There is no ‘this!’”

He turns his head and sears me with his gaze. “Aye, lass,” he says, his voice thick. “There is.”

Do you always talk like you ate a dictionary for breakfast?” He puts his mouth close to my ear and lowers his voice. “No. Sometimes I talk like I fuck: dirty.”

You all don’t even understand the level of addiction that I have for Geissinger’s alpha males. The woman has created not only some of my most favorite and memorable heroes, but she can write a sharp witted and kickass heroine like no one else. I thought I died for her Wicked Games series, but that was nothing compared to her Beautifully Cruel series.

Now if you’re like me and have also read the Dangerous Beauty trilogy then you definitely remember Killian Black as one of the most dynamic secondary characters and have been slowly dying for him to get his own book. And if you haven’t read that trilogy, it’s an absolute must read.

Having said that, I do not recommend reading Cruel Paradise without having first read Beautifully Cruel. There are too many details and slight nuances that would be lost on you if you don’t read that first. And besides, that book was another HUGE 5 stars for me, so it’s worth the read for that alone.

There are some things I don’t know about you.”
I say tartly, “Like what? Which utensil I’d most like to gouge out your eyes with?”
He stares straight into my eyes. “Like how you sound when you come.”

Nothing can prepare you for the full force of Killian Black as the leading character. NOTHING. The man is potent with a capital P. And if you’re not reading the double entendre there, then you clearly don’t know me *evil grin*. But enough about me, let’s talk about this book. Because this book? This book was EVERYTHING. It was worth every agonizing minute, hour, and month of waiting because Killian Black is jumping straight to my number one.

If you’re a fan of sassy and sharp witted heroines, Juliette is going to be a favorite too. The woman is tough as nails and is full of sharp barbs and witty zingers. The banter between these two was some of the best I’ve read in a while. Killian is single focused on having her and she’s intent on resisting. The chemistry is utterly incendiary.

Cruel Paradise was a slow burn full of heat, suspense, and so much chemistry I thought my kindle would set on fire.

If it meant I could have you for good, I’d light my whole life on fire and walk away from the ashes.”

Killian is the head of the Irish mafia, but he’s not at all what he seems. And if you’ve read the first book, then you already know that. You know this man has secrets that run deep and a past that’s riddled in pain and shadows. Juliette is a bit of a female robin hood. She and her merry band of sassy girlfriends steel from the rich and morally corrupt and give to the poor. But when they steel from Killian, he’s not about to let it go. And when he sees who his little thief is, he knows he has to have her and pursues her with a singleminded intent to wear her down.

This book was completely unputdownable. The chemistry, the utter dominance that oozes from Killian was addictive as all get out. I couldn’t get enough of the man. Juliette definitely puts up a fight in her feelings and at times it almost grated on me, but I simply couldn’t care less because I was so riveted and invested in their story. I lived for these characters. I died for their romance. I couldn’t get enough of it. And I swear on all things holy if JT Geissinger doesn’t prolong this series by giving Fin, Max, and Diego a book, I will die. DIE I tell you. And I don’t even care if I’m being dramatic. I need it.

And as for this book? Cruel Paradise is a must read if you love a protective and possessive uber alpha and a sassy heroine that loves to give him hell! Read it. Thank me later.

J.T. Geissinger is a #1 internationally bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold millions of copies and been translated into several languages, including German, Hebrew, French, Czech, and Japanese. The film & TV rights to her Night Prowler series have been optioned by the BAFTA-winning studio that created VFX for movies such as Avatar, X-Men, and The Avengers.

She is a three-time finalist in both contemporary and paranormal romance for the RITA® Award, the highest distinction in romance fiction from the Romance Writers of America®. She is also a recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book and the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy.

She’s a Southern California native currently living in Nevada with her husband and rescue kitty, Zoe.

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#DGRFave & Review: God of Monsters by Keri Lake

GOD OF MONSTERS
Genre: Dark Apocalyptic Romance
Series: Juniper Unraveling #4
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: September 22, 2020

I’ve heard stories about the Alphas. Violent soldiers, bred to kill both humans and mutations, whose sole purpose was to balance our survival against the infected.

Until they turned on their masters.

Held as subjects of the Calico research facility, they were forced to endure the gruesome experiments that transformed them into callous savages with hearts as impenetrable as their defenses. More terrifying than the monsters that decimated our world with disease and famine.

In the aftermath of Calico’s collapse, many of the Alphas fled, only to be hunted by our own

Legion army. And in their absence, the balance has shifted.

I thought they no longer existed.

Until I met him, the god of monsters.

Now I don’t believe in the stories anymore.

To fall in love with the unyielding heart of an Alpha is said to be impossible.

But to fall in love with a god would be a tragedy.

 AMAZON 


…In the land of monsters, survival comes before everything else.”

What was the last book you read that kept you up all night, turned you inside out, and stuck with you for months to come? I can say this about the ENTIRE Juniper Unraveling series. But God Of Monsters absolutely owned me. A dark, captivating and gut wrenching romance in the midst of hell on earth, this book ripped me to shreds and I’ll never be the same again.

This is a dark apocalyptic romance and if you haven’t read this genre yet, Keri will suck you into this world and keep you on the edge of your seat. Even if apocalyptic isn’t your cuppa, trust me, this series will make a believer out of you.

As for this book? The epic conclusion to one of the most epic series was a non stop, action packed ride. I can’t imagine the series closing with a better book. Thalia and Titus’s story was on a whole other level. It was simply otherworldly. Ha! See what I did there? But I digress.

If you’ve read Kings of Carrion, then you’ll remember Titus. But nothing, and I mean nothing will prepare you for the full force that is Titus as the main character. This man was GAH. He was TORTURED with a capital T. Titus has survived the very depths of human depravity and has seen horrors that most can’t even imagine. He’s lost more than any person could imagine in their lifetimes. He’s a warrior through and through, but this story takes you into the dark depths of his world, and an easy read it is not.

Thalia is a woman that hasn’t truly experienced Calico. She’s only heard stories and warning tales of the Alphas that were created within those walls. She was born with a purpose but her heart doesn’t agree. She yearns for something else, something beyond the life of her small and sheltered village. Something beyond her duty. But nothing could prepare her for what she is about to go through.

Now I will tell you, this book was dark. I mean it was DARK. If there’s one thing that Keri Lake knows how to do, is make her readers squirm. I’m talking, dread in the pit of your stomach, anxiety ridden hot mess of a reader who is just waiting for that other shoe to drop. Keri is not afraid to bring readers into the darkest pits and spare no detail. And she doesn’t. You experience it all; the despair, the violence, the devastation. The story takes you to hell and back and somehow manages to stitch you back together in the end. I sobbed my way through the last 20% of this book and I can’t stop thinking about it months after.

This is a story about survival and love amongst ruins. It’s a story of perseverance and strength. It’s emotional, captivating, and utterly mesmerizing. Easily my favorite series from this author to date. If you read any book this year, make it this one. Trust me. And if you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favor and experience it. Because it’s unlike anything you’ve ever read.

#DGRFave & Review: Playing With Fire by LJ Shen

PLAYING WITH FIRE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: September 15, 2020

A broken boy on the path to destruction.
A scarred girl without direction.
A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.
But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

 AMAZON

He was going to soar and burst like a supernova once he was out of this small Texas town, and I was going to remain the ashes he left behind—the stardust that slowly descended the earth in his wake.

You know what I love about LJ Shen? Her ability to create some of the most unique and memorable characters I’ve ever read. Starting with Sparrow, my first book of hers, to now, I can remember every minute detail of her books, and considering most days I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, that’s saying something.

But Playing With Fire? This one just hit different. It was unlike anything I’ve read from LJ Shen before. It was a fiery, passionate and emotional whirlwind of a story that owned me from beginning to finish.

This was going to be temporary. And painful. And worth it.

Grace Shaw is not your typical heroine and easily one of the most unique characters I’ve read in a very long while. She used to be the queen B, now turned recluse. Her world was turned upside down and nothing has been the same since. She’s plagued by memories of what used to be and the hard reality of her present.

West is the town’s golden bad boy. A sinner on a motorcycle and the epitome of everything that Grace should stay away from. Theirs is the unlikeliest of bonds and friendships that starts with sparks of attraction, burns with a fiery hate, and rises from the ashes like a phoenix of love. Lord, I’m getting poetic here. But y’all. I just don’t have a better way of describing their relationship to you. It’s opposites attract with plenty of banter turned to some of the most delicious sexual tension. It was everything. EVERYTHING. It was angsty. It was painful. It was spellbinding and absolutely magnificent. I died for these two. This tortured town recluse and the bad boy that slowly but surely brings her out of her shell.

The romance is a delicious slow burn that I couldn’t get enough of. The story was packed with feels, plot twists, and enough chemistry to set fire to the pages. Pun intended. It was a unique, captivating, and utterly unforgettable standalone from the queen of angst, and I can’t recommend it enough.

#DGRFave & Review: Exodus by Kate Stewart

EXODUS
Genre: Contemporary Romance (maybe. I don’t even know. My brain hurts, OK?!)
Series: Ravenhood Duet #2
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 28, 2020

Can you live a lie?

It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.

It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.

I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.

Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.

I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.

There was never going to be an escape.

All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.

I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.

It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.

And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.

But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.

At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.

Because I can no longer live a lie.

 AMAZON

Once upon a time, I was a lonely girl who met a lonely king, and we both suffered from too much pride and oh, how the reckless have fallen.

Do you see that crazy person staring blankly at the wall while clutching a bottle of wine and babbling to herself? Great. Now mind your business because she is NOT OK. She is me. OK? Alright? I am not ok. How do you even go on after this duet? How do you read anything else after it? How do you gather the remnants of sanity long enough to write a coherent review? You don’t! So don’t be expecting anything like that here, because you won’t get it. What you will get is incoherent babbling in bouts of full body sobbing and maniacal laughter. In that exact order. I said mind your business! I feel like I’ve just been hit by a mac truck of feels.

How do I even describe this duet to you? Soul shattering. All encompassing. Heart wrenching. Erotic. Utterly unforgettable. PHENOMENAL.

He didn’t want to feel anything, and instead, he felt everything. We’ve just ruined ourselves with our hate for the other.

Full disclosure, I must have spent a good 60% of this book hysterically sobbing. Like to the point of full body shakes when my husband finally looked at me like I’ve gone and lost it completely. And you know what? He was not wrong. God damn but Stewart can write. The woman can wring emotion out of her readers like nobody’s business but she seriously hit it out of the ballpark with this story.

Let’s talk about Cecelia for a second, because as many may judge her, I loved her. It’s not often you read about such a sex positive heroine that owns her desire and what she wants and I loved her for it. She’s a fighter and she’s magnificent in her fight. This is a woman that doesn’t take things lying down and isn’t afraid to rage and fight for what she wants.

Now as for the rest of it, you’ll get nothing. Absolutely nothing from me. Because this is just one of those books that you need to experience totally blind. I thought I was a pretty open minded reader, but this story took me so far out of my comfort zone, I was lost at sea. Drifting in an ocean of emotion so potent, I could practically taste it. But that’s also what I loved about this story. The fact that it was unlike anything else I’d ever read. It was one of those books that I will never forget. Ever. And this is coming from someone that barely remembers what she had for breakfast. Puny memory here, people.

Do yourself a favor and go in blind. Don’t seek out spoilers. Don’t read in depth reviews. Just trust me on this.

Is it an easy read? Not even a little. But what I appreciate about Kate Stewart’s raw talent is nothing was for shock value. There’s hints throughout the very first pages of what’s to come and the story unravels like the most enrapturing mystery. It was gritty and all encompassing. This book owned me. Cold black heart and soul. It will be a book I’ll be singing the praises of for years to come. It will be the book I recommend to anyone and everyone. It will be a book I will never, ever forget. It’s one of my top reads of the year. Magical. All encompassing. Unique. A one of a kind experience that broke me and put me back together again. INCREDIBLE.

#DGRFave & Review: When The Time Is Right by M. Mabie & Aly Martinez

WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Mabie & Aly Martinez
Release Date: July 30, 2020

Fate doesn’t always happen overnight.

Hudson Bradley is the cockiest, most stubborn, hard-headed man I’ve ever known. And for fifteen years, he’s been my brother’s best friend.

But lately, what I’m feeling for him isn’t friendship at all.

Why is my heart racing every time his blue eyes lock on mine?
Why does every word he rumbles in my ear make my body come alive?
And worst of all, why did I bet him that I could find a woman he and his son would both love?

If I hadn’t given up on love altogether, Hudson would have been perfect for me. After all, he was there the day my world fell apart. He’s spent the last six years piecing me back together.

There are a million reasons why we could never work, but after a single kiss, I can’t remember any of them.

Now that the time is right, I have to make him mine—before I lose him forever.

 AMAZON

He was Hudson. My brother’s best friend. My reluctant partner in crime—or at least the man there to bail me out when I was partnering in crime alone. He was…a really fucking good guy. Not to mention stupid hot and all that masculine energy I craved.

Excuse me? Can I have your undivided attention please? I have a big announcement to make.
*clears throat*
This was easily my favorite friends to lovers romance I have EVER read.
*pauses for dramatic effect*

I KNOW. Big statement, right? But let me just tell you. This book? It was absolute perfection. It was everything. All of the things. It was swoony and emotional. It was hilarious. It was full of the best banter and so many laugh out loud moments that my face still hurts from grinning like a loon the entire time I was reading. I don’t even have the words to describe to you all of the ways I loved this book. But I’m going to attempt to here. Because it deserves all of the words.

Hudson has been the rock for Alexis as long as she’s known him. He’s the stable, reliable, and always there for everyone kind of man. He’s her brother’s best friend, but he’s been her friend as well. He was there for her through the worst and helped piece her together in the after effects.

His best friend’s family has been the only family Hudson has truly ever known. He loves them like they’re his own. Hudson is a single father and an amazing daddy. He’s also not exactly winning it in the dating department. Hard to date when you’re a workaholic single father after all. But then he makes a bet with Alexis on who can set the other up on the best blind date…and things take a very interesting turn.

Now lets talk about the friends to lovers trope for a hot second here, shall we? Because the pacing from friends to the realization that there’s something more was pure perfection. I adore the way the authors handled the timing of everything. It just felt so genuine and authentic. It sort of snuck up on both Lex and Hud and hit them over the head but it didn’t come as a shock. I don’t know how to explain it to you without you experiencing it, but let’s just say that it was SO GOOD.

These two together was everything. I couldn’t get enough of their banter and their easy camaraderie. They love each other so much but they don’t see what everyone around them have seen for years, which is how perfect they are for each other.

I loved Lex’s fiery sass. The woman had attitude and zingers for days and I couldn’t get enough of it. She’s a spitfire but she’s also a fierce friend and I loved the way she loved Hudson. As for Hudson, I can’t even begin to describe all of his perfection. This single daddy with a heart of gold was just GAH. He was everyone’s rock. He’s there for his family and his friends when they need him and he’ll do anything for those he loves. His son was the most adorable secondary character every and the way Hud and Lex were with him just melted my heart.

There was no crazy drama but there were plenty of feels. It was just one of those utterly perfect feel good romances that just suck you right into its world and wrap you up in it like the coziest blankets. It was magical. It was swoony perfection. It put a smile on my face and kept it there until the very last page. I loved the hell out of this book. I didn’t want it to end. And if you’re a fan of friends to lovers, you simply need this book in your life. It was EVERYTHING. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. And I simply cannot recommend it enough.

#DGRFave: Flock by Kate Stewart

FLOCK
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ravenhood Duet #1
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 28, 2020

𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭?

I grew up sick.

Let me clarify.

I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy.

Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness.

When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow.

Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets.

Secrets that cost us everything to keep.

That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to.

Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness.

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥.

 AMAZON

My greatest hope is to be in all-consuming love. My biggest fear is to be in all-consuming love.

Shut. The. Front. Door. TWICE.

I am totally and completely ruined. Dead. DEAD I tells ya. How do I even go on living after this book? HOW? I’ve been sitting in my room, staring blankly at the wall for the past 3 hours, just trying to figure out how to go on with my life. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply impossible. Until I have book two in my hands, the only existence is my currently over caffeinated and slightly manic state of OHMYGODWHATDIDIJUSTREAD!!!!

The only love I’ve ever known or craved is the kind that keeps me sick, sick with longing, sick with lust, sick with need, sick with grief. The distorted kind that leaves scars and jaded hearts.

I don’t know about you, but my love affair with Kate Stewart actually began with her books under her pen name. All I remember is cracking open Excess and falling head over ovaries for this woman’s words. Since then, I’ve been greedily devouring each of her releases without even bothering to read the blurb. This one being no exception. And if there’s one piece of advice I can give you, is that you do the same thing. Go in absolutely blind. Trust me on this and thank me later.

But back to my point and where I was going with this. When I learned that Angelica Chase was none other than Kate Stewart, it was like two worlds colliding for me. Angelica wrote twisty and erotic romances and Kate Stewart wrote unforgettable stories. So where am I going with this? Well, Flock happened to be the most amazing culmination of Kate and Angelica that I couldn’t even imagine in my dreams.

This book was….how do I even describe this to you. First of all, that blurb is vague AF. And as much as I want to give you more, I won’t. because this isn’t a story you read. It’s one you experience. And it’s one you need to experience to its full potency. It was a twisty and erotic masterpiece that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. It’s a thrill ride of emotion and frustration as you grasp at straws to try to make sense of it all, only to fall victim to the author’s evil genius mind and realize you no longer know up from down and left from right.

All I know is I binged. BINGED y’all. I stayed up all night reading and while I can barely function this morning, I’m not even a little sorry because it was all worth it. Well. Maybe not my manic screaming when I got to the end and woke up my husband who preceded to look at me like I just lost my ever loving mind at 4 am. And you know what? He’s not wrong. Because I definitely did. And I won’t be sane until I get my answers in book two. And while it’s only a few days away, the wait for Exodus is the worst sort of torture.

So let me end my “review” (if you can even call it that) with this: if this book is not on your radar (you’ve been living under a rock), it NEEDS to be. If you’re not sure about reading it, dive in! If you read ANY book this year, make it this one. If you want a unique, captivating, and utterly unforgettable read, GET. THIS. BOOK.

That is all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere (preferably with booze) in my wait for Exodus. And in case you’re wondering, no, I am most definitely NOT OKAY.

#DGRFave & Review: Black Tangled Heart

BLACK TANGLED HEART
Series: Play On #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Samantha Young
Release Date: May 14, 2020

To my siblings, Jane was a friend. A pseudo-sister, the girl we grew up with.
To me? She was everything.
Our passion consumed us.

When our world fell apart, I thought our love would be the thing that held us together.
She was the love of my life. But she abandoned me when I needed her most.
And I’ll never forgive her.

For years I’ve been planning my revenge against the people who took everything from me.
Jane won’t be an exception. I’m coming for her.
She knows it.

She says she wants to help me serve my version of justice on the people who hurt me.
I’ll let her.
She probably thinks it will save her from me.

It won’t.

*This is a complete standalone. The Play On series are books connected by the theme of the arts industry, not by characters.

AMAZON | PAPERBACK

A love that consumes, consumes everything unto utter desolation.”

I loved this so hard! SO FREAKING HARD! I can’t even deal right now. I need a minute to calm my tits and collect my thoughts here.

Ok. I’ve calmed my tits. Maybe. I may have fangirling bursts throughout the review. Fair warning. So deal with it, mkay?

If you haven’t read Young’s Play On series yet, you’re seriously missing out. I’ve loved every book so far, but this one was definitely my favorite. And if you haven’t read the previous books, don’t worry, they’re all complete standalones. There’s not even a crossover aside from being set in the same “world”. Different characters, different stories, and all completely unforgettable.

The story here, there was just something about it that owned me so completely. It was magical, beautiful, and heartbreaking. It’s told in two parts. The first part tells the story of how Jane and Jamie meet as kids and ultimately fall in love. The kind of love that’s blistering and all consuming. The kind of love that can make you or break you, and it was MAGICAL. I lived for the two of them together. The progression of their characters was one of my favorite parts. Seeing Jane grow from a quiet, shy and unassuming child that doesn’t want to rock the boat, into a stunning teenager that’s just as shy but also isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. She was this perfect balance of quiet strength that I fell hard and fast for. And Jamie? Be still my heart! The guy was intense even as a teenager.

Life doesn’t always follow the plans you have, and soon Jamie and Jane fall apart as intensely as they fell in love. The second part is a second chance romance that reunites these two as adults and OMG I was so here for it. Jamie is no longer the young man that Jane once knew. He’s colder. Harder. Angry. And full of vengeance, all of which is aimed at her.

As the layers of lies and betrayal get pulled back, the reader gets pulled in. This story was all encompassing. I was completely consumed by their romance and their story. I binge read it. This was one of those stories that I couldn’t bear to put down for even a second. I was rabidly reading and never wanted it to end.

If you’re looking for a gritty second chance romance, look no further. This was EVERYTHING!

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

FacebookWebsite | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Email | Amazon  Goodreads | Bookbub 

#DGRFave & Review: Beautifully Cruel by JT Geissinger

BEAUTIFULLY CRUEL
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: May 15, 2020

Alpha (noun):
1) Having the highest rank in a dominance hierarchy
2) The most powerful man in a group
3) Liam Black

He was a stranger to me, a dark and dangerous presence who materialized from the shadows one rainy night to save me from a vicious attack.

I didn’t know his name or where he was from. All I knew was that the only place I’d ever felt safe was in his arms.

But safety is an illusion.
And not every savior is a hero.
And—as I’d soon find out—having an alpha save your life comes with a price.

Liam Black wanted something from me in return.

AMAZON 

Don’t mistake me for something I’m not, Tru.”
“Like what?”
“A good man.”


If you like:
Intense, protective, and possessive alpha males
Fierce and I mean FIERCE, take charge and sharp witted heroines that take no bs
a story that will keep you glued to the pages from cover to cover
and
a mother of all plot twists that you will SALIVATE OVER

READ. THIS. BOOK.

There is only one word to describe this book: ADDICTIVE. I couldn’t get enough of Liam Black. I couldn’t get enough of this story. I couldn’t get enough of this romance. I devoured this in one intense sitting. SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

Y’all. It is really no secret that I live for JT Geissinger’s books. The woman can write an alpha male like no other. But what I love most about her writing are her heroines. They’re fierce, take no prisoners, rescue themselves sort of females and I am so here for it. But when I tell you that Tru may have easily been one of my favorite heroines of hers to date, that’s saying something. There’s just something to be said for a woman that’s shy but is also a sharp witted ball buster.

I don’t know what kind of women you’re used to, but my mother didn’t raise a worker bee. She raised a queen.” I stare at him without smiling. “And I don’t give away the honey for free.”

GAH. Do you see what I mean?

So here’s the thing, that blurb is vague AF. And there’s a good reason. You want this story to take you by surprise and go into it totally blind. Trust me on this. Avoid reviews and just read it. There’s so much that can be a spoiler, so of course my review will be vague AF.

What I will tell you is that the romance was incendiary. The characters were amazing. And the story was addictive. And there’s a surprise to beat surprises if you’ve read Geissinger’s other books. I won’t tell you which one, but just trust me. READ THIS. You will not want to miss this.

I inhaled this story in one breathless sitting. It was a page-turner from beginning to finish and I cannot recommend it enough!

#DGRFave & Review: The Hunter by LJ Shen

THE HUNTER
Series: Boston Belles #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: May 10, 2020

Hunter

I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.
Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…

Sailor
I didn’t want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?
It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.

AMAZON

He was a lonely prince. Untouchable yet in need of a hug. Brilliant, yet deeply misunderstood. Sitting on a throne of broken expectations and disappointment.

Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. With. This?!!!!

Welcome to your next addiction, people! Because this new series from LJ Shen is the best sort of crack. Not that crack is good. Crack is whack. But you know what I’m saying so just go with it, mkay? What I’m saying is this book was finger-licking good. Like want to slap your own ass and have a cigarette after kind of good. And I don’t even smoke. GAH. Let me calm my tits for a hot second here.

This was easily, without a doubt, my favorite LJ Shen Book to date. And considering I’m obsessed with everything the woman writes, that’s saying something. Hunter forever owns both my heart and my ovaries and I never want them back. Addictive, unputdownable, and all encompassing.

You know when you crack open a book and you get honest to god tingles? That’s what this was for me.
I thought I loved Shen’s Sinners of Saint and All Saints High series, but that was nothing next to my giddiness of this new series. And it has the mother of all crossovers. I won’t tell you which book or who because you need the element of surprise, but DANG it was good.

I love a strong heroine, and Sailor was all of the things. This woman was FIERCE with a capital F. I loved the way she stood up for herself and stood her ground, even when the odds are stacked against her. Then again, with a family like hers, fierceness is damn near guaranteed. She couldn’t NOT be a awesome.

As for Hunter? GAH. This guy. He’s this incredible combination of goofy but with a good dose of intensity. He’s quick to joke and easy to smile, but beneath the handsome good looks are plenty of hidden layers. And the more they get unraveled, the deeper into this rabbit hole I fell.

I was hooked, line and sinker on this new world. I was obsessed with the characters. I was gaga over the romance. SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

#DGRFave & Review: Sea of Ruin by Pam Godwin

SEA OF RUIN
Genre: Dark Historical Pirate Romance, Stand-alone
Author:
Pam Godwin
Release Date:
April 28, 2020

Bennett Sharp is on the run.

Wanted for piracy, she fears neither God nor death nor man.

Except Priest Farrell.

 

The unfaithful, stormy-eyed libertine hunts her with terrifying possessiveness. Nothing will stop him from coming for her. Not his unforgivable betrayal. Not when she’s captured by the ice-cold pirate hunter, Lord Ashley Cutler.

She must escape Ashley’s prison and Priest’s deceit. But can she walk away from their twisted desires?

 

Two gorgeous captains stand on opposite sides of the law. When they collide in a battle to protect her, the lines blur between enemies and lovers.

Passion heats, secrets unravel, and hearts entangle until they break.

Can love prevail in the sea of ruin?

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS | GOOGLE PLAY


The short story, KING OF LIBERTINES, can be read before or after SEA OF RUIN.

It’s only available in the AUSTRALIA anthology:

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

Love isn’t a decision. It arrives unannounced, breeds madness, and leaves a sea of ruin in its wake.

Two words: FUCKING. EPIC.

My god. Y’all. I’m rendered speechless. This is easily my favorite Pam Godwin book to date. And considering I’ve read and loved her entire backlist, that’s saying something. But this book? It was something else entirely. Mesmerizing. Magical. Unique. And totally and completely unforgettable. It was unlike any book I’ve read lately, and I loved it so much more for that!

There was only so much suffering a person could endure before they broke. Sometimes, broken things couldn’t be put back together.

This was certainly a huge step away from Pam’s usual dark romance, but it was no less gritty or gut wrenching. This is a historical romance that introduces the reader to one of the most fierce lady pirates you will ever read. Not that I’ve ever read about a female pirate before. But now that I did? I NEED MORE!

How do I even begin to describe to you the incredible experience that was this book. And that’s what it was. An experience. It was so much more than just a romance. The rich world building, the characters, the depth and development. All of this combined to make this like a movie reel that unrolls with every turn of the page.

Bennett Sharp is a force to be reckoned with. Her birth is the result of two worlds crashing together that couldn’t be more different. Her childhood wasn’t perfect, but she had hope for something more, until an a tragedy rips that away from her in the most devastating of ways. Now she’s a pirate, a captain of her ship, with the sea the only thing she craves. She’d do anything for her loyal crew, even sacrifice herself to ensure they survive. This is how she ends up in the hands of the commander of the royal navy and facing one of the biggest battles of wills I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

I can’t seem to make sense of you.”
“It’s easy, Commodore. Just think of the smartest man you know, remove all the hauteur and bigotry, and add a larger pair of testicles.”

Now that is all of the details that you’ll be getting from me. I went into this completely blind, and I recommend all readers do the same. All I can tell you is prepare for the experience of a life time. Yes, this is a historical, but it’s no less edgy than what we’re used to from Pam. This story was heart wrenchingly dark, sinfully erotic, and oh so gritty. It packed one hell of a punch that kept me riveted to the pages. And that’s not even starting on these incredible, multi-layered characters. MY GOD. It was utterly hypnotic.

Pam not only mastered this genre, she slapped it’s ass and made it call her daddy. PERFECTION. Sheer perfection between the pages. This is an absolute must read. Trust me. Even if historical isn’t usually your cuppa, this will make a converter out of you. It’s simply not to be missed.

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.
Join my Facebook Reader Group: here

Other 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
DELIVER (#1) – FREE
VANQUISH (#2)
DISCLAIM (#3)
DEVASTATE (#4)
TAKE (#5)
Manipulate (#6)

Trilogy of Eve
HEART OF EVE – FREE
DEAD OF EVE (#1)
BLOOD OF EVE (#2)
DAWN OF EVE (#3)

Stand-alones

🎼 STUDENT-TEACHER ROMANCE 🎼
DARK NOTES

🏍️ ROMANTIC SUSPENSE 🏍️
DIRTY TIES

🎸 ROCK-STAR DARK ROMANCE 🎸
BENEATH THE BURN

👄 CELEBRITY ROMANCE 👄
INCENTIVE

 

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