#DGRFave & Review: Smoke and Sin by @Shayla_Black & @authorlexiblake

SMOKE AND SIN
Series: The Perfect Gentleman #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: Shayla Black & Lexi Blake
Release Date: September 26, 2017

More than a decade ago, Roman Calder had a scorching affair with the sister of one of his best friends. Augustine Spencer drove him so crazy he thought of nothing but her. The only thing they did more often than heat the sheets was fight. Unprepared for the intensity of their relationship, Roman broke things off and concentrated on things that made sense to him: his career and putting his best friend, Zack Hayes, in the White House.

Gus Spencer is known to Washington insiders as the president’s secret weapon. Gorgeous and brilliant, Gus runs the press pool with the determination of a shark. No one dares to cross her, not when she’s known for having a spine of steel…but long ago one man melted her down. Despite the fact that she’ll never forgive Roman for breaking her heart, now that they work together she can’t get him off her mind.

When a dangerous investigation leads both Roman and Gus to London, the heat between them becomes unbearable. As they begin to unravel an international conspiracy, they find themselves falling all over again. But when a killer threatens their world, can they fight to stay together or will the sins of their past keep them forever apart?

AMAZON

Nothing has ever made me feel as alive as you.”
“And no one has ever broken me the way you did, Roman.”


Holy.
Mother.
Of.
All.
Things.
EPIC.

This book. THIS BOOK was everything!!! My favorite book in the series so far, Smoke and Sin has absolutely blown me away. I was glued to the pages well into the night, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second.

From what I knew of Gus from previous books, I already knew I was going to love her. What I didn’t expect was to love her as much as I did. There is nothing I love more than a sex positive heroine. And Gus owned her sexuality. This is a woman that finds no shame in her beauty and sexuality and has no issues flaunting it. She wasn’t pining away for the hero without notches on her own bedpost, and I love that. I’m so sick of these heroines that basically go on a sex hiatus in the years that they spend apart from the hero. It’s completely unrealistic and I loved that Gus didn’t stop living her life after hot and brief affair with Roman went up in fiery flames.

The danger this man posed to her was real. When they were close, she couldn’t think about anything except how it felt to be wrapped up in his embrace, how good it was to be the center of all that ruthless attention.

This is a second chance romance with a bit of enemies to lovers thrown in and I couldn’t get enough of it. It gave me life!

Roman doesn’t have the nickname of The Hitman for nothing. As the president’s Chief Of Staff, the man is ruthless and all about the facts. He’s never gotten over Gus and while it’s been years since they’ve been together, he still pines for her…even though Gus can barely stand the sight of him. These two had an extremely antagonistic relationship that had this incredible layer of chemistry underneath it.

Gus never forgave Roman for breaking her heart but she’s no longer the naive girl that once fell for him. She’s fiery, smart, sharp-witted and has an even sharper tongue. She’s not shy about putting anyone in their place, especially Roman.

There’s so much that happens in this book, and the continuing series story arc truly comes to a head with the mother of all plot twists. I was left with my jaw on the floor and desperate for the next book.

Please note that this is not meant to be read as a standalone. While each book focuses on a different couple, there is a continuing story arc that goes through each book. And if you haven’t read the previous books, you would be very lost.

A totally addicting, twisty, page-turner from beginning to finish, this book owned me! I can’t wait for the conclusion!

#DGRFave & Review: Take by @pamgodwinbooks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMAZON 


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

5 STARS


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Deliver Series:

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

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


DELIVER, Book #1

Deliver2500x1563

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

She is a Deliverer.

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

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

Delivering is all she knows.

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

Until him.

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


Vanquish, Book #2

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

He belongs in a prison cell.

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

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

And he just found a sexy new toy.

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

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


Disclaim, Book #3

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

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

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


Devastate, Book #4

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

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

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

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


Deliver Series Audiobooks 

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

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

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

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

Books 5-9 TBA

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

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

Books by Pam Godwin

Tangled Lies Series

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

Deliver Series:

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

DELIVER | VANQUISH | DISCLAIM | DEVASTATE | TAKE | MANIPULATE

Trilogy of Eve Series:

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

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

DARK COWBOY ROMANCE

TRAILS OF SIN SERIES

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

Stand-alones:

DARK NOTES

DIRTY TIES

BENEATH THE BURN

INCENTIVE

#DGRFave & Review: A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone

A LESSON IN THORNS
Series: Thornchapel #1
Genre:
Author: Sierra Simone
Release Date: March 21, 2019

Once upon a time, six children stumbled upon a wild place hidden deep in the moors, shrouded by secrets and fog. There we played a game among the roses and the thorns that would change us forever, that would follow us the rest of our lives. A game that ended with a hard kiss in the rain and tattered flower petals fluttering from above…

And twelve years later, we’re back.

The heir.
The dreamer.
The priest.
The genius.
The socialite.
The saint.

I’m not going to dream of a forgotten place covered in thorns every night.
I won’t be enchanted by Thornchapel and its glossy, glamorous people. I’m not going to fall in love or have my heart torn in two.

I’m not telling the truth.

Because as this place slowly tightens its coil of secrets and thorns around us, as we uncover the knotted mysteries that grow here, the six of us begin to unravel into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Fulfilling the promise we once made as children in those whispering ruins, and awakening a fate that will either anoint us or leave us in ashes…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

The place claims you, it knows your name and the crooked corners of your heart, and you’ve pledged yourself to it before you’ve even realized what’s happening.
Thornchapel knows my name and the crooked corners of my heart, and it wants me to make promises that I’m going to keep.”

Hypnotizing.
Captivating.
Spell binding.
All enrapturing.
Those are just some of the words that were running through my overly sensitized brain as I was reading this book. No. Not reading. EXPERIENCING. Because this isn’t just a story you read. It’s one that unravels before your eyes with every turn of the page. It’s an out of body experience unlike any I’ve ever had with any other book. And I don’t even know how to begin to even TRY to review what I just read.

I want him to be mine. Or I want to deny him the right to ever call me his. I want to heal him and I want to hurt him. All because of one broken kiss.

Truth be told, I jumped at the chance to read this book way before it had so much as a blurb. All I knew was that Sierra Simone wrote it and so I had to read it. I went into it completely blind not knowing what to expect and if you were to take away one thing from my review it’s this; go into it in exactly the same way. Trust me. For the reason of allowing every reader out there to experience this book in exactly the same way I did, I’m going to keep this review just as vague as the blurb. And you’ll thank me for it after.

I’d let him do anything.
I’d let him love me.
I’d let him make me fall in love with him right back.
I’d admit that I’m already in love with him.

I won’t tell you who the main characters are. I won’t tell you how the romance evolves. But I will tell you that there is most definitely a riveting romance at the heart of this story.

The story spins around six characters.
The heir.
The dreamer.
The priest.
The genius.
The socialite.
The saint
Each a unique and broken soul in their own right. Each one you will be dying to learn more about. Each that will capture your heart in their own way.

There’s an added allure of something almost…paranormal about this book. There’s a deep history that drives what happens with these characters. There are rituals, love and pain, jealousy and betrayal. The story has this haunting auto to it that weaves its way around your heart and doesn’t let you draw a breath until the last page. It may take a vanilla reader out of their comfort zone at times. It may make you question everything you just read. And it will leave you with a reeling head and not knowing which end is up.

It.
Was.
Absolutely.
EPIC.

If you read one book this year, make it this one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in the corner with a bottle of vodka until the next book.

Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.

Connect with Sierra Simone:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sierra-Simone-497450453680395/?fref=ts

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SierraSimonesLambs

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheSierraSimone

Amazon : http://amzn.to/1PDR4K4

Goodreads : http://bit.ly/1oo9WEh

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/thesierrasimone/

Website: http://authorsierrasimone.com/

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#DGRFave & Review: Wicked Sexy by @JTGeissinger

WICKED SEXY
Series: Wicked Games #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: September 25, 2018

A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.

Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.

Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.

But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.

When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?

AMAZON

Should I jump to the ending? Spoiler alert: the hero saves her.”
Tabby looks over at me, her eyes shining like gems in the dark. “A real hero would teach the princess how to save herself.”

Where has this book been all my life?! I mean, you GUYS! The amount of love I had for this completely unputdownable story is so ridiculous, I lost count. It had everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. A badass, take no prisoners, sharp witted and sassy heroine. Banter that will make your life. Sexual tension that will make you shiver. And a total badass, dirty talking hero that’s a doppelgänger for Dwayne Johnson
YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

Hacker extraordinaire and just overall badass, Tabby, was easily one of my favorite heroines.

I’m not weird. I’m limited edition.”

This woman made the book for me. Everything from her extremely quirky sense of style and love of hello kitty, to her piercings, and topped off with her sassy mouth just DID things for me. She’s a total ball buster and I couldn’t get enough of the way she gives as good as she gets.

When she first meets Connor in Wicked Beautiful, it’s (lusty) hate at first sight. Now, three years later, she’s no more thrilled to have the man breaking into her room and propositioning her with work. She hates everything about Connor, starting from his all black wardrobe, to his unnerving ability to get a rise out of her, and topped off with his ridiculous sexiness, she wants nothing to do with the man.

Let me tell you, the sexual tension between these two is so potent, I thought MY ovaries would explode. I’m talking fireworks here, people! These two together were everything. JUST EVERYTHING. I couldn’t get enough of their back and forth insults. Mainly because of the heavy underlaying cloak of lust that was in every sarcastic bard they threw at each other. God. GOD. It was utterly delicious.

Connor’s dirty mouth was almost as amazing as the incredibly sizzling love scenes and the slow building and potent romance.

With convulsions that shake the bed, she orgasms in my mouth.
Thunder booms. Lightning flashes. The first of the rain begins a soft, drumming song against the roof.
And for the first time in my adult life, I discover the true meaning of the word yearning.

Then you have the page-turning suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very last page, and you’ve got yourself one amazing read. I loved the mystery of Tabby’s past and the big baddie hacker that you’re practically ravenous to learn more about. This was an incredible fast-paced, action packed and damn near incendiary read that I can’t recommend enough. Chock full of passion, emotion, with fascinating multi-layered characters and a story that you never want to end, Wicked Sexy was absolutely everything I love about romance.

You’re beautiful, jarhead,” I say brokenly.
He pants, “I’m yours, princess.”

 

#DGRFave & Review: The Kiss Thief by LJ Shen

THE KISS THIEF
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: L.J. Shen
Release Date: January 10, 2019

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

AMAZON

Our hearts were tarnished. Stained. And guilty. Unpredictable to a fault. And bound to break.

I got two words for you here: Must. Read.

I know I say this each time I finish a book of hers, but this was my favorite LJ Shen book to date.

I was born into a glided cage.

If you like a modern day arranged marriage trope, welcome to your next addiction. This book? GAH! It had an anti-hero that only Shen can write; brutal and hard but completely redeemable. This is someone you won’t be able to help rooting for! This was like if Vicious and Sparrow had a baby, and that baby threw down the gauntlet of delicious angst and grit. A clashing of a ruthless politician and the mafia, and a young beauty used as a pawn that gets caught in the crosshairs of political agendas and blackmail.

Francesca Rossi was such a breath of fresh air. For someone so young, she had this endearing naiveté to her that was beneath her hardened persona. She’s not a doormat, even when dealing with an extremely dominant man. This is not a woman that takes things lying down. She’s sharp-witted and smart-mouthed. I absolutely loved her.

The Kiss Thief was a book that kept me riveted to the pages from beginning to end. It was unlike any book I’ve read in a long damn while and it was absolutely everything. EVERYTHING, I tells ya!

I know you’re thinking, Lana, you’re being vague as hell right now. But trust me, you don’t need or WANT to know more. This is a book that you NEED to go into absolutely blind, or you’ll do yourself a great disservice. So, you’re welcome 🙂

#DGRFave & Review: Faking It by K. Bromberg

FAKING IT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: January 8, 2019

Faking it never felt so good in this red-hot new standalone by New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg—available in audio first!

Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it.

Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot – but he’s also an arrogant jackass—so . . . no thanks.

But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website – and the best part? He can’t say no because he’ll get caught in his lie too.

Little did I know this would entail sharing a tour bus with him for the next few months. The fact that the bus has just one bed isn’t the most ideal of circumstances, but this spokesperson gig might be the kick in the pants my career needs, so why not take a chance?

Famous last words.

Now I’m crisscrossing the country–and sharing that bed—with the one guy I can’t stand. And even worse, my traitorous body is wondering at every turn what it’s like to be down under the gorgeous Australian. But as the miles unfurl, so does our passion…and if I’m not careful, I might end up believing that fairytales really do come true.

AMAZON

Just face it, Harlow . . . you can’t resist me.”
“Resist you?” I laugh. “I can barely stand you.”

That hot cover and enticing blurb don’t even come close to doing this book justice. And that’s saying something because that cover and blurb are EVERYTHING. But this book is also so much more than just a relationship of convenience trope. It’s a swoony, humorous, perfectly paced, deliciously blended romance cake with plenty of sexual chemistry as the sprinkles on top! I loved the ever loving EVERYTHING out of this book. EVERYTHING!!!!

Harlow Nicks spells trouble for me in every sense of the word. She has my every wire crossed. And she’s made me hesitate to step over a line I thought would be a no brainer to cross: sleeping with her.

K. Bromberg has long been an automatic one-click for me, and Faking It just solidified why. The woman can write her heart out to deliver a bad boy hero that you can’t get enough of and a bold and smart-mouthed heroine that you’ll never stop rooting for. It’s an opposites attract romance that’s effortlessly developed and impeccably paced to deliver a one-two punch straight to the feels and have the reader hooked from beginning to finish.

Everything about Zane Phillips rubs me the wrong way. Even when I’m thinking about how good he can probably rub me the right way.

Now I love me a bad boy. Make that bad boy a self-made millionaire womanizer with a cockiness to boot? DROOLING! But then also make that bad boy something so much more? I’m putty in your hands. And that’s exactly what Zane was. He’s an irreverent womanizer. But there’s something more than meets the eye to him. There’s a depth to him that you only get glimpses of as the author sucks you deeper and deeper into his orbit. You begin to see there’s some much more to Zane than a bored playboy that’s trying to make his new business venture a success. A matchmaking site launched by a man that doesn’t believe in love? Color me intrigued.

As for Harlow? What’s not to love about a heroine that’s not afraid to put this bad boy in his place every chance she gets. This is a woman that doesn’t get played. She’s not afraid to throw the gauntlet and boy does she!

From their very first meeting, I was instantly hooked on this couple. I loved their banter, I loved the hate lust that was sparking out of every barb they threw at one another. I also loved the way that Harlow went after what she wanted. This is a woman that isn’t afraid to to play the player at his own game. But what starts out as a mutually beneficial agreement of a fake relationship until the successful launch of the business, soon begins to turn into something more. The lines get blurred and even when both of them do their best to try to ignore their feelings, it’s not long before they realize the chemistry that’s been slowly building between them from the start is about to become explosive.

I think the pacing was my absolute favorite part of this romance. It was a slow, delicious build up. The banter between Zane and Low serving as foreplay and I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the fact that Harlow never shied away from being herself and saying what she wants. This is a woman that called Zane on all of his bull, and it was AWESOME.

If you’ve never read a K. Bromberg book before, you couldn’t find a better one to start with. Faking It was EVERYTHING! A light hearted, swoony romance with plenty of depth. It brought a goofy smile to my face for the entire time I was reading it, and I never wanted it to end. I devoured this book and loved every minute of it!!

DGR’s 2018 Favorites: Geri’s Picks

I know, I know. It’s 2019 already and everyone and their mothers have already published their list. BUT I am a firm believer of the BETTER LATE THAN NEVER mantra. So here you go! Here are my picks for best books of 2018 in no particular order.


GERI’S FAVORITES OF 2018


MAGIC TRIUMPHS by Ilona Andrews


You and me, Kate. We’re forever.

I think I have run out of words to describe how much I love Ilona Andrews. They have forever changed my reading life for the better.

Magic Triumphs delivered an ending to my favorite series that I will not soon forget. Ilona Andrews had painstakingly laid the foundations of this finale over the course of 10 books and several novellas.Everything that happened in this book was foreshadowed in previous books and delivered in a way that only Ilona Andrews can. I finished this book satisfied and yet oddly, craving for more.

I’m gonna miss Kate and Curran and the whole gang but knowing Ilona Andrews, they’re going to be writing more stories, and I’m gonna be ready to read them all.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


REBEL HARD by Nalini Singh

Forget about internet dating. All this traditional meet and greet and reject stuff was brutal.

There isn’t a sub-genre in romance that Nalini Singh can’t do.

I was blown away by just how good she is the moment I started reading Rebel Hard. It is, hands down, my favorite Nalini Singh contemporary to date!

The romance between Raj Sen and Nayna Sharma will make you swoon and will put a dopey smile on your face. Seriously. This book is one of those books that makes go, “This is why I read and love romance!”

Rebel Hard was a joy to read from start to finish. Hilarious, poignant, and sexy, Rebel Hard is everything I wanted in my contemporary romance. Nalini Singh’s writing shines through as she takes us through Nayna and Raj journey to HEA.

Seriously. You guys need to read this book!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


A DUKE BY DEFAULT & A PRINCESS IN THEORY by Alyssa Cole

“You’re my liege. You’re the person I’m fighting for.”

I LOVED THIS SERIES with all my heart!

Alyssa Cole quickly became one of my favorite authors after delivering not one, but two favorite books on this list.

A Duke by Default captured my heart from the get go. Not only does it have a swoony, Scottish hero in Tavish, but it has one of my favorite heroines ever in Portia! I ADORED Portia Hobbs so much. The way Ms. Cole wrote her struggle with ADHD, her relationships with her friends and family and Tav were the best things about this book.

The tone, the chemistry, the banter — all of it was perfectly done. My one wish for 2019 is that more readers will discover and love Alyssa Cole she’s a talented writer who writes unique stories about unique characters.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


IRON AND MAGIC by Ilona Andrews

This marriage is in name only.” 
“Sweetheart, you couldn’t pay me enough.”
Pink touched her tan cheeks. “If you betray us, I’ll make you suffer.”
“We haven’t even married yet, and I’m already suffering.” 
“We have that in common,” she snapped.

Listen. I’m not into anti-heroes at all. I’m not the kind of reader who falls for the villain. But if there’s an author who can manage to make me root for the villain, it would be Ilona Andrews.

It would be an understatement to say that I hated Hugh D’Ambray in Kate Daniels. I hated him. Loathe even. But by goddess, Ilona Andrews managed  the impossible. They actually made me like the bastard. I’m so offended by this, I can’t even. Also, how in the hell did they manage to take a loathsome character like Hugh, give him a character arc, a heroine to match and make him sympathetic? It’s magic, really.

Well the authorlords certainly knew what they were doing with this book, and I cannot wait to read more of Hugh and Elara!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


WHAT KIND OF DAY by Mina Esguerra

Mina Esguerra continues to wow me with her stories. It’s one of the reasons why she continues to be a mainstay in my end of the year lists.

What Kind of Day reads to me like a love letter to the city of Manila. The heroine, Naya, run a specialized tour around the city. Ben, the hero became one of her passengers after getting fired from his job as a political aide. Sparks fly and the rest, as they say, is history.

I adored both Ben and Naya. Loved their HEA, but there’s another character in this book that captured my attention: Manila. The city that is. I feel like Manila was the third main character in this book. It came alive in Mina’s descriptions that I actually promised myself to find a similar tour that Naya runs and just explore the city that way.

I adored this book. The writing, the characters, the city…it just all came together perfectly for me.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


RAINY DAY FRIENDS by Jill Shalvis

“I’ve learned that life is a crapshoot, and at any moment someone can walk into it and change it forever.”

This book also has one of the most emotionally intense confrontation I’ve read in a Jill Shalvis book.

The conflict and the road to that confrontation was so well written that it really hits you when it happened. And it’s not just that one moment in particular, it’s the way Lanie processed her emotions when confronted with that something that got to me. That, in my opinion, is great writing.

Rainy Day Friends also delivered on the romance and I’m so happy it did. I was wary because this was marketed as women’s fiction but my wariness was unfounded because there’s a lot to swoon over in this book.

I highly recommend this book. If you loved Jill Shalvis, then this is a must read. If you’re just starting out reading her books, this is a great book to start.

AMAZON | GOODREADS | MY REVIEW


SCORING OFF THE FIELD by Naima Simone

No commitment.
No relationship.
No changes.
Just sex.

Wowza! This book checked all my boxes!

Sexy.
Steamy.
With the right amount of angst thrown in!!

Naima Simone did an exceptional job with Tenny and Dom. I loved them as individuals and loved them together. I sound like a broken record saying this but the romance in this book was so satisfying.

It’s no secret that I love the two tropes equally: unrequited love and friends-to-lovers. Scoring Off Field has both. So yeah definitely one of my top reads of the year.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BEST OF LUCK by Kate Clayborn

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

Best of Luck is the third book in Kate Clayborn’s Chance of a Lifetime series about 3 friends who won the lottery together. It has one of my favorite tropes: best friend’s brother and filled with flawed, complex characters. It’s emotional and sexy, sweet and funny, and so well written.

I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series so I expected to enjoy the third one too. But I was unprepared by how much this book spoke to me on every level. I liked Kit & Zoe but Greer…oh man, Greer I understood so much.

I won’t spoil the story or the journey she went through but let me just say that I love her so much. And Aleksandr 😍 I love him too. His vulnerability and his flaws makes him one of my favorite heroes ever.

There are not enough words to express how much I love this book. Go forth and read it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang

“I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”

Oh my gosh, this book!

The Kiss Quotient not only met my expectations, IT EXCEEDED IT! Not an easy feat considering my expectations were sky high!

These characters that Hoang brought to life in the pages of her book made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with them.

This book is definitely one of the best I’ve read this year. Everything about it worked for me. The romance was excellent and the characters are interesting. It’s no wonder that this book has been making the rounds lately. It’s an excellent debut by Helen Hoang and the accolades are well deserved.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


That makes it for me, dirty birds! I’d love to hear about some of your top year favorites in comments below. And may 2019 bring us all plenty of books to rave about.

DGR’s 2018 Favorites: Lana’s Picks


I can’t believe that 2018 is almost done. I swear, it went by even quicker than last year. We’ve had such an amazing year here with so many incredible reads. I had the hardest time narrowing down my list for this year’s top favorites post. Seriously, guys, it was almost impossible. I had so many amazing 5 star reads. But these sixteen definitely stand out among the best of the best. These are the books that I know will stay with me for long after and I’ll be shouting from the rooftops about. These are not just books that were released in 2018, but simply books that I read this year. Some are really oldies but they were new to me. So without further ado, behold my top 16 reads of 2018!


LANA’S FAVORITES OF 2018



ALMOST HEAVEN by Judith McNaught


“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?”

I’m ashamed to admit that I had never read this author prior to this year. And after I read my first book of hers, I went on a two-week long binge. I’m talking mad addiction here people! If you like historical romance that’s full of swoons, angst, and redeemable alphaholes, you need to experience the magic that is Judith McNaught.

But this book?

*flails happily*

This was easily my favorite of hers.

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.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


KISS AN ANGEL by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“I take thee… to be my awful wedded husband” 

Considering I’ve practically read this woman’s entire backlist, I was shocked to discover that the one book every SEP lover recommends wasn’t one of them. So I decided to rectify this mistake and dove right in.

And OMG you guys! I don’t have the words to describe everything this book was. It was magic. Pure SEP magic!

It is hands down my favorite contemporary romance, not only from this author, but period. Yes. It was THAT good.

Actually, no. It wasn’t just good. It was brilliant.

It was enchanting, sigh inducing, heartwarming, funny, swoony, PERFECTION.

If you love the arranged marriage trope, you will LOVE the story of Alex and Daisy.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


JOSH + HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by Christina Lauren

“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!

Seriously, guys. This book was SO much fun. The heroine was adorably quirky…and I really DO mean quirky. The woman was hilariously over the top, but man did I love that about her. Combine that with a serious hero, a one-of-a-kind friendship, and a slow burn romance? WINNING!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BIRTHDAY GIRL by Penelope Douglas

 

“You make my heart pound so hard it hurts, Jordan. You, your mouth, and who you are, it all makes me want to touch you. It makes me not want to stop this.”

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all of the words Penelope Douglas ever writes. This woman can write angst like no other. And her new adult romance is my crack of choice.

Then she went and had a surprise release and entered the forbidden romance arena and I was a goner! GONER I tells ya! We’re talking falling for your boyfriend’s father here, people. I was salivating through every page.

Birthday Girl is a story of forbidden romance, yes. But it’s so much more than that, too. It’s a story of strength and forgiveness. Of making mistakes and learning how to write them. It was raw, and sexy, and unique. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE FALL by Kristen Callihan


“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 was, 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. If you haven’t read the VIP series, no worries, because you can easily enjoy this as a standalone. But I highly recommend the first two books simply because they’re fantastic!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES by Aly Martinez

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

Look, there’s a reason this woman somehow manages to always make it onto my year favorites reads, and that’s because she can write the hell out of a book. I’ve loved her entire backlist for goodness sake! But I knew from the very first chapter, that this will be unlike any other book that I’ve read from this Aly. 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!

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.

AMAZON | GOODREADS | MY REVIEW


BUCKLED by Pam Godwin

Wild and molten, wet and volatile, her fight is beautiful, but her surrender is goddamn exquisite. I consume it with everything inside me, feeding on it and fueling a desire that has never felt this out of control.

There is nothing that Pam Godwin can’t write that I won’t love. A love triangle? Yep. The sadist made me love it. Dark romance? Devour it. A suspenseful trilogy with kinky cowboys? OH MAMA!!!

Ever since I read Knotted, sparks flew, I was instantly hooked on Jarret. I couldn’t wait for his book. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. I devoured this story in one sitting. It kept me squirming on the edge of my seat, starved for each new revelation and totally captivated by the story. It was this magnetic combination of mysterious and kinky with a dark edge that Pam Godwin is oh so good at weaving into her writing.

If you love a kinky enemies to lovers tale with a spunky heroine that has a smart mouth and a hero that knows exactly what to do with a rope, you need this book in your life! (Not meant to be a standalone. You need to read all three books in order)

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


HEARTBREAK WARFARE by Kate Stewart

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

Kill me slowly with words, why don’t you, Kate and Heather! Because MY HEART! MY HEART!!!

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.

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. I don’t care who you are or what your likes are, this is simply a must read.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BANE by LJ Shen

We weren’t a boy and a girl. We were two lonely, fucked-up souls. It made wanting Bane in my life acceptable. I wanted him to fix me.

Look, there’s a reason that this author makes my list without fail every year. And that’s because she writes my crack of choice. LJ Shen can write angst like no other. And her alphaholes? OVARY TINGLING. And when I realized that the bad boy Bane will be getting a book? I didn’t even need a blurb before jumping on this book!

And the queen of angst did it once again. She gave me a hero that I fell head over ovaries for, and I couldn’t stop thinking about. Bane is so different from the heroes we’re used to from LJ Shen, but he’s no less potent. He’s not the typical alpha-hole that she writes oh-so-well. But he’s also not quite a nice guy either. Bane is that somewhere in the middle, that gray zone of sex appeal and criminal. And this girl absolutely loved it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH by Stylo Fantome

The man was trouble. Always would be. He was vice and sin wrapped into a ridiculously sexy package, with a healthy sprinkling of damaged-dickhead on top.

This year I read my very first Stylo Fantome book…

And promptly kicked my own ass for not reading her sooner. For someone who claims to love alphaholes and anti-heroes as much as I do, I’m as shocked as you are that I’ve only just discovered this author. But boy am I glad I did!

Landon Edenhoff is in a category all of his own. This man was the alphahole to beat all alphaholes, and he makes no qualms about it. He owns it. He knows it. He even enjoys it.

Neighborhood Watch was a deliciously sexy and utterly riveting story from beginning to end. If you like bad boys and watching them fall for sassy women that give as good as they get all wrapped around a gritty and addicting story, this book is simply not to be missed!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE GOVERNESS GAME by Tessa Dare

“You are the worst example of false advertising. I was led to believe I was hiring a prim scold. Then I learn you’re remarkable and bold and interesting.”

Historical Romance fans, this book is not to be missed. Seriously! It’s an absolute must read.

I absolutely LOVED The Duchess Deal, but I was so unprepared for just how phenomenal this book would be. I kept thinking nothing can top the first book for me, but this one managed to blow it right out of the water! The banter, the romance, the characters, I adored absolutely everything about it. This just may be my favorite Tessa Dare book now. I loved it so hard!

What starts as a bit of unrequited love with the heroine’s crush on a mysterious stranger she once bumped into at a book store, soon turns into one of the most sizzling romances. The Governess Game was one of my favorite historical romances of the year! It was everything! Just everything! Funny, swoony, and full of banter that’s sure to put a smile on your face. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang

“I don’t want just a night or a week or a month with you. I want you all the time. I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”

If ever there was a book that needed to be on absolutely everyone’s radar, it’s this one. Trust me. If you read just one book from my list, then let it be this one. You’ll thank me.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it would have been hard to miss all of the raving about The Kiss Quotient. Well believe the hype, people, because this book was absolutely magnificent!

The Kiss Quotient was quite possibly the most charming, addictingly satisfying romance I’ve read all year! It was everything. ALL. OF. THE. THINGS. And I was on cloud 9 after finishing it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE PAPER SWAN by Leylah Attar

“You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.”

How I only read this book this year, I have no idea. I was questioning all of my life choices after finishing it. I couldn’t believe I waited this long to read it.

And I didn’t just read a book, I experienced one. I fell head over heels for an all-encompassing, gritty and emotional romance that kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve had this phenomenal story on my kindle for over 2 years and only now just read it. I’m kicking myself for it fully for only now discovering the raw talent that is Leylah Attar writing. It was devastating, passionate, beautiful and dark. It was flawlessly written and entirely unforgettable.

The Paper Swan is a stunning story of vengeance and sacrifice, of regret and forgiveness. It was passionate. It was gritty and raw. It was absolutely, positively unforgettable and a story I’ll take with me for a long time to come.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


RUNAWAY GIRL by Tessa Bailey

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 southern 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 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. True story. After meeting the heroine as the runaway bride in Getaway Girl, I couldn’t wait to get Naomi’s book and I’m happy to report it was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be and so much more!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


PRETTY VENOM by Ella Fields


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.

Another new to me author that I was seriously kicking myself for not discovering sooner? Ella freaking Fields.

Holy mother of angst, this book!

I MEAN, THIS BOOK!
I.
Can’t.
EVEN

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 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.

I may have come out of it with stubs for nails and a bald spot on my head, but damn was it worth it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BALLISTIC by Keri Lake


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

Of course no top favorites list of mine would be complete without the queen of dark romance, Keri Lake. The woman managed to blow me away yet again with the much awaited and highly anticipated installment in her Vigilantes series. And if you guys follow my reviews, you know how obsessed I am with this series.

Ballistic 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. I loved that we had an anti-heroine for the revenge seeker in this story. And in a word? This book was UNPUTDOWNABLE!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


That makes it for me, dirty birds! I’d love to hear about some of your top year favorites in comments below. And may 2019 bring us all plenty of books to rave about.

#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

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

Three years ago, I had everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

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

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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.

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