#DGRFave & Review: Brutal Vows by J.T. Geissinger

BRUTAL VOWS
Series: Queens & Monsters #4
Genre: Mafia Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: April 28, 2022

An Irish mobster with a brutal grudge.
An Italian mafia princess with a dark secret.
Two enemy empires joined in sacred marriage vows.
Let the hating games begin.


Reyna

If this arrogant Irish mobster my brother sold my niece to thinks I’m going to play nice over this arranged marriage BS, he should think again.
I don’t care if this match with the Mob will make my brother capo of the Five Families.
I don’t care how much money, territory, or power it will gain us.
I especially don’t care that the Irishman is the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.
I won’t allow my innocent niece to suffer the same way I did.
Even if I have to kill him.

Spider

I’m supposed to marry sweet, beautiful Lili. So why can’t I stop thinking about her swamp witch of an aunt?
Reyna who hates me. Reyna who challenges me. Reyna with the guts of a Viking, the body of a fertility goddess, and the attitude of a feral cat.
Nothing good can come of what I’m feeling for a woman who’s not the one in the wedding contract I signed.
A woman I want so much, I’ll have to burn the whole world down to get.
If she doesn’t kill me first.

AMAZON

He’s a riptide and I’m swimming far out in dangerous waters, getting pulled under fast no matter how hard I fight to stay afloat.

This book was hands down. MY. TOP. FAVORITE. IN. THIS. SERIES. And quite frankly one of my top reads of the year. OMG. This banter. It was finger licking good! UTTERLY DELICIOUS!

She glares at me. “Your charm could sweep a girl right off her feet, you know that?”
“Wait till you see my cock. Then you’ll really be swooning.”

Did I mention the banter?

Careful. You’re dangerously close to breaking your promise about your temper already.”
“That’s because you could turn Father Christmas into the Grinch, woman.”
“What did I tell you about using the word ‘woman’ as a pejorative?”
“Something I couldn’t hear over how loud your resting bitch face was screaming.”

Because oh my GAWD the banter!

His voice low, he says, “I’ve been thinking.” “Really? Did you borrow someone else’s brain?” “Very funny, viper.”

Who would have thought that a man who was mostly unassuming until Savage Hearts would come in to steel the show like this? And here I thought no one could top Declan for me!

But you know what I love the most about this series? The sassy, spitfire heroines. And Reyna? How could one possibly top the sassy that was Sloane? With the black freaking widow! MY GOD. This woman was everything. A cosa nostra widow, who holds down the family while making her brother think she does. The woman who lived through hell and rose out of the ashes a fierce warrior who has no desire to rely on a man, god forbid ever marry one. So when her beloved niece gets arranged to wed a Irishman, she has some opinions about it. And the immediate chemistry between her and the man her niece is betrothed to? Highly inconvenient.

You bring out the bastard in me. Now let’s see if I can get you to do something with that mouth other than slice me to ribbons.”

I had no idea how the author would bring these two together, but it was the most satisfying thing I’ve ever read. Their chemistry, their banter, their BANTER. MY GOD THEIR BANTER. I lived for it.

THIS is the kind of heroine I love to read about. A woman with a set of brass ones that gives men a run for their money. And a hero who would burn down the world for her. I. AM. OBSESSED.

If you haven’t read this series, you haven’t lived. And if you haven’t read this book, I don’t even want to talk to you. I question your life choices.

DGRFave & Review: Hunting Adeline by HD Carlton

HUNTING ADELINE
Series:
Cat and Mouse Duet #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: H.D. Carlton
Release Date:
January 28, 2022

The final installment to the Cat and Mouse Duet…

The Diamond

Death walks alongside me,
But the reaper is no match for me.
I’m trapped in a world full of monsters dressed as men, and those who aren’t as they seem.
They won’t keep me forever.
I no longer recognize the person I’ve become,
And I’m fighting to find my way back to the beast who hunts me in the night.
They call me a diamond,
But they’ve only created an angel of death.

The Hunter

I was born a predator,
With ruthlessness ingrained in my bones.
When what’s mine is stolen from me in the night,
Like a diamond hidden within a fortress,
I find that I can no longer contain the beast.
Blood will paint the ground as I tear apart this world to find her.
And bring her back to where she belongs.
No one will escape my wrath,
Especially not those who have betrayed me.

Warning: This is the second and final installment to the Duet. You must read Haunting Adeline first.

AMAZON  

I may own every breath in your body, but make no mistake, Adeline, you own mine, too. I am yours to command. To bend and break. To mold and manipulate. Do you think that makes me weak? Or do you think I’m strong enough to admit that even though my body can physically live on without you, I would never get my fucking soul back?”

It’s a rare occasion that I get to say this, but I loved this book even more than the first. And considering I 5 star loved the first book, that’s really saying something. For the hours that it took me to devour this book, it owned me. Fully and completely. And when I finished, I simply didn’t know what to do with myself. How do you even move on from this? How, I ask you?!

You’ve never been a good man,” I whisper, reiterating the exact words he’s told me so many times before. “No,” he agrees. “But I have always been yours.”

While I found Haunting Adeline to be more gray than dark, this book made me eat my words. This was dark. Like the very pits of hell dark. Like sick to my stomach, goose bumps, fist in my throat sort of dark. It was pitch fucking black, okay? And holy shit, did I love it!

We’re all fucking damned anyway, forced to live outside of heaven’s gates. I find I like it better living in the darkness next to my shadow.

Am I going to tell you anything about this book that you can’t get from the blurb? Absolutely not. You want to go into this blind. Trust me. But be prepared for one rollercoaster of emotion, because this story puts you through the ringer and then some.

This story was truly the evolution of Adeline. It’s one thing to deal with her obsessed stalker. But when she gets thrown into the pits of hell with true monsters, it’s the true test of her sanity and strength. And this woman has strength. One thing I’ll say is that I loved that Carlton didn’t shy away from the details. She didn’t graze over the difficult things, and go from one extreme to the other. You get to see and experience it all. But what I loved the most, is the aftermath. This isn’t glazed over as it can be in some dark romance. You get to experience all of it with Adeline, the ups and the downs, the painful and gut wrenching. All of it.

Heaven isn’t a place you go to when you die, it’s inside the person that’s worth dying for.

Zade is just as captivating and intense as ever. I fell even harder for this man here. This is the man that will happily walk into hell for his woman, and take on the devil himself. Some may even argue that Zade is the devil, and I loved that about him. This is a man with many layers. He’s firmly rooted in the gray, because while he has a good cause, he’s not a good man by any means. This is a man that does bad things for a good reason, but never loses any of his intensity.

Jesus,” I breathe.
He smirks…“He’s not the one you should be praying to,” he murmurs darkly, sending shivers rolling down my spine. “Only I will be your salvation.”

Now let’s also talk about the secondary characters because OH MY GOD. I’ve always been intrigued by Sibby, and I think that’s now turned into a full obsession. But we get additional secondary characters like a particularly bad man, and some brothers, that I’m desperate for a story for. I won’t tell you the names, because I don’t want to spoiler anything, but GOD. I’m desperate for a certain someone’s book. Talk about your broken men that do bad things for a good reason. I will sell my soul for his story. *desperate sob*

If you’ve been as eagerly anticipating this conclusion as I have, it is worth every painful second of the wait. HD Carlton knocked it out of the park with this book, and I am fully obsessed!


#DGRFave & Review: The Savage And The Swan by Ella Fields

THE SAVAGE AND THE SWAN
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: July 14, 2021

The king of wolves was more beast than man, more tyrant than king, and so much more than he seemed.
Raised to avenge his murdered parents, he’d been trained and conditioned until nothing but violence and hatred lined the walls of his dead heart.

For nearly four years, I’d done all I could to help my kingdom as we faced the wolf king’s unconquerable evil—hardly anything at all.
As the only heir to the Gracewood line, I’d been relegated to menial tasks that would keep me and my secrets safe.

A chance to do more than fret behind our castle walls arrived when I breached them after overhearing my parents’ plans for my future. Fleeing, I unknowingly raced into a fate we’d all desperately hoped to avoid.

By the time I saw him coming, it was far too late. For my family. For my kingdom.
For my heart.
Before I could staunch the bleeding, the king had me under his giant paw, and one wrong move after another caused those razor-sharp claws to sink deeper and deeper beneath my bruised skin.

I might have been trapped, naïve, and furious, but I still had a kingdom to save—and a plan.
 Yet when we collided, the bloodshed, the fear, his atrocities… all of it dissolved like stardust upon the night sea.

The stars had mapped out our destiny, but it didn’t matter what they or my heart wanted.
 I refused to see the enigmatic male, the heartless lost boy with a soul beneath the flesh of a monster.
The savage king who’d destroyed everything I loved would fall—even if my heart fell with him.

Inspired by Hades and Persephone, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Swan Princess, The Savage and the Swan is not connected to any other Ella Fields novel. It’s a full-length standalone romantic fantasy containing mature content.

AMAZON

I loathed her and all she stood for. I loathed her nearly as much as I wanted her. I’d been cursed. I was sure of it. The bird was both my remedy and my affliction.

*deep breaths*

Ok, ok, give me a second to gather my wits here.
*hyperventilates*

So I… no that’s not it.
This book was… no that’s not right.

*takes calming breath*

ILOVEDTHISFREAKINGBOOKSOMUCHICANTEVENDEALRIGHTNOW

Ah. I feel better now. So where were we?

It’s been a hot minute since I read a fantasy romance, and I’m not even sure why. I love PNR so of course I’d love fantasy, but I just haven’t come across anything that piqued my interest lately in the genre. Until I read the blurb for this book….

And then I may have begged, pleaded, and offered an ovary in exchange for an ARC. What? Don’t you judge me. Have you read that blurb? I mean C’MON!

Don’t you have innocent people to slaughter?” My cheeks burned, and I refused to meet his eyes, choosing instead to stare at his throat. The fine hairs that dusted it, crawling up and over that fiercely hewn chin.
“I’ve already crossed that off my to-do list,” he stated with such irritating indifference that I wished I had hit him with the poor books.

There is only one word to describe the experience that was this book. EPIC. The story developed behind my eyes like a movie reel and the majestic and rich world building sucked me right into an obsession.

The second I read that it was inspired by Hades and Persephone, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Swan Princess, I had to read it. Because I love all things Hades and Persephone, The Swan Princess is one of my favorite cartoons, and rumpelstistskin? Well I was simply rabid with curiosity on how that even fit in here.

Now imagine a world where two kingdoms are engaged in a bloody battle for years. A fae land where the beautiful princess has to marry a human prince in order to gain protection from the savage king of wolves, only to fall right into his clutches. Sound delicious? Well, that’s because it is.

If there’s one thing that I love, it’s a fierce heroine. And Opal? She was all of the things. She was fierce, brave, and one of my favorite heroines I’ve read in a while. And our wolfish king? OH MY OVARIES. The man was to die for. Pun intended. He’s a man who’s been honed into a finely tuned weapon for revenge. He’s vicious, cold hearted, and feared by all. The enemies to lovers vibe in this story was ON POINT. I couldn’t get enough of the tension between the two of them. And if there’s one thing that Ella does is deliver on that delicious angst with the feels thrown in and I was so here for it.

This is seriously going right up there in my top reads of 2021. I simply loved everything about this story. I devoured it. I was obsessed. I was riveted. Captivated. Hypnotized. I never wanted it to end. Ella seriously hit it right out of the ballpark with this book and I simply cannot recommend it enough. It was magical. It was deliciously, finger licking good. IT WAS EPIC.

#DGRFave Review & Excerpt: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER
Series: It Happened One Summer #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: July 13, 2021

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.

AMAZON

Brendan Taggart was the first Westport resident to spot the women.He heard a car door slam out by the curb and slowly turned on the barrel that passed as a seat in No Name. His bottle of beer paused halfway to his mouth, the loud storytelling and music filling the bar fading away.

Through the grubby window, Brendan watched the pair exit on opposite sides of a taxi and immediately wrote them off as clueless tourists who obviously had the wrong address.

That is, until they started hauling suitcases out of the trunk. Seven, to be exact.

He grunted. Sipped his beer.

They were a ways off the beaten path. There wasn’t an inn for several blocks. On top of misjudging their destination, they were dressed for the beach at night, during a late-summer rain, no umbrella to speak of—and visibly confounded by their surroundings.

It was the one in the floppy hat who caught his eye right away, purely because she looked the most ridiculous, a lipstick-shaped purse dangling from her forearm, wrists limp and drawn up to her shoulders, as if she was afraid to touch something. She tilted her head back and gazed up at the building and laughed. And that laugh turned into what looked like a sob, though he couldn’t hear it through the music and pane of glass.

As soon as Brendan noticed the way the rain was molding the dress to Floppy Hat’s tits, he glanced away quickly, going back to what he’d been doing before. Pretending to be interested in Randy’s overboard story, even though he’d heard it eighty goddamn times.

“The sea was boiling that day,” Randy said, in a voice equivalent to scrap metal being crushed. “We’d already hit our quota and then some, thanks to the captain over here.” He saluted Brendan with his frothy pint. “And there I was, on a deck slipperier than a duck’s ass, picturing the bathtub full of cash I’d be swimming in when we got home. We’re hauling in the final pot, and there it was, the biggest crab in the damn sea, the motherfucking grandpappy of all crabs, and he tells me with his beady little eyes that he ain’t going down without a fight. Noooo, sir.”

Randy propped a leg up on the stool he’d been sitting on earlier, his craggy features arranged for maximum drama. He’d been working on Brendan’s boat longer than Brendan had been captaining it. Had seen more seasons than most of the crew combined. At the end of each one, he threw himself a retirement party. And then he showed up for the next season like clockwork, having spent every last dime of last year’s take.

“When I tell you that sucker wrapped a leg around the arm of my slicker, right through the pot, the mesh, all of it, I’m not lying. He was hell-bent for leather. Time froze, ladies and gentlemen. The captain is yelling at me to haul in the pot, but hear me now, I was bamboozled. That crab put a spell on me—I’m telling you. And that’s when the wave hit, conjured by the crab himself. Nobody saw it coming, and just like that, I was tossed into the drink.”

The man who was like a grandfather to Brendan took a pause to drain half his beer.

“When they pulled me in . . .” He exhaled. “That crab was nowhere to be found.”

The two people in the crowded bar who hadn’t already heard the legend laughed and applauded—and that was the moment Floppy Hat and the other one decided to make their entrance. Within seconds, it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop, and that didn’t surprise Brendan one bit. Westport was a tourist stop to be sure, but they didn’t get a lot of outsiders stumbling into No Name. It was an establishment that couldn’t be found on Yelp.

Mainly because it was illegal.

But it wasn’t only the shock of non-locals walking in and disrupting their Sunday-night bullshit session. No, it was the way they looked. Especially Floppy Hat, who walked in first, hitting the easy energy of the room with shock paddles. In her short, loose dress and sandals that wrapped around her calves, she could have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine for all those . . . tight lines and smooth curves.

Brendan could be objective about that.

His brain could point out an attractive woman without him caring one way or the other.

He set his beer down on the windowsill and crossed his arms, feeling a flash of annoyance at everyone’s stupefied expressions. Randy had rolled out the red carpet in the form of his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and the rest of the men were mentally preparing marriage proposals, by the look of it.

“Little help with the luggage, Pipes?” called the second girl from the entrance, where she’d propped open the door with a hip, struggling under the weight of a suitcase.

“Oh!” Floppy Hat whirled around, pink climbing the sides of her face—and hell, that was some face. No denying it, now that there wasn’t a dirty windowpane distorting it. Those were the kind of baby blues that made men sign their life away, to say nothing of that wide, stubborn upper lip. The combination rendered her guileless and seductive at the same time, and that was trouble Brendan wanted no part of. “Sorry, Hanns.” She winced. “I’ll go get the rest—”

“I’ll get them,” at least nine men said at once, tripping over themselves to reach the door. One of them took the suitcase from Floppy Hat’s companion, while several others lunged into the rain, getting stuck side by side in the doorway. Half of those jackasses were on Brendan’s crew, and he almost disowned them right then and there. 

Within seconds—although not without some familiar bickering—all seven suitcases were piled in the middle of the bar, everyone standing around them expectantly. “What gentlemen! So polite and welcoming,” Floppy Hat crooned, hugging her bizarre handbag to her chest. “Thank you!”

“Yes, thanks,” said the second girl quietly, drying the rain off her face with the sleeve of a UCLA sweatshirt. Los Angeles. Of course. “Uh, Pipes?” She turned in a circle, taking in their surroundings. “Are you sure this is the right place?”

In response to her friend’s question, she seemed to notice where she was standing for the first time. Those eyes grew even bigger as she catalogued the interior of No Name and the people occupying it. Brendan knew what she was seeing, and already he resented the way she recoiled at the dust on the mismatched seats, the broken floorboards, the ancient fishing nets hanging from the rafters. The disappointment in the downturned corners of her mouth spoke volumes. Not good enough for you, baby? There’s the door.

With prim movements, Pipes—keeper of ridiculous names and purses—snapped the handbag open and drew out a jewel-crusted phone, tapping the screen with a square red nail. “Is this . . . sixty-two North Forrest Street?”

A chorus of yeses greeted the strangled question.

“Then . . .” She turned to her friend, chest expanding on quick breaths. “Yes.”

“Oh,” responded UCLA, before she cleared her throat, pasting a tense smile on a face that was pretty in a much subtler way than Pipes’s. “Um . . . sorry about the awkward entrance. We didn’t know anyone was going to be here.” She shifted her weight in boots that wouldn’t be good for anything but sitting down. “I’m Hannah Bellinger. This is my sister, Piper.”

Piper. Not Pipes.

Not that it was much of an improvement.

The floppy hat came off, and Piper shook out her hair, as if they were in the middle of a photo shoot. She gave everyone a sheepish smile. “We own this place. Isn’t that crazy?”

If Brendan thought their entrance had produced silence, it was nothing compared to this.

Owned this place?

From IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER by Tessa Bailey, published by Avon Books. Copyright © 2021 by Tessa Bailey. Reprinted courtesy of HarperCollinsPublishers.

He was a set-in-his-ways fisherman. She was a rich, adventurous socialite.

Y’all. I’m going to make a pretty extreme statement here and you may want to sit down for it. But this? This was, hands down, my favorite Tessa Bailey book to date. I’m on bookish cloud nine. I felt like I was floating just reading it. And the goofy grin on my face for the entire book? Couldn’t help it! I’m in love and his name is Brendan Taggart.
This book had everything; humor, steam, a slow burn, a small town setting, a quirky socialite, and a grumpy bear…err…fisherman.

It won’t let me just use my own name as my username.”
“Yeah, probably because about nine hundred Brendan Taggarts joined before you.”
“So what should I use?”
“CaptainCutie69,” Fox spat out.
“IGotCrabs4U,” Deke supplied.
“SlipperyWhenWet.” Brendan stared.
“You’re all fired. Go home.”

This story reminded me a little of It Had to Be You but in a totally unique way. Maybe it was just the feels that it brought out, but man, I just died.

Piper is a type of heroine that could easily be seen as a fluff, unless Tessa writes her. She’s a spoiled socialite who has never known hard work or trouble beyond no good parties around on the weekend. So when her stepfather finally has enough of her antics and inability to take anything serious, her and her sister find themselves in a small town running their late fathers dive bar in the middle of a fishing town. Suffice it to say they’re ill equipped for the task, but in the most hilarious of ways.

Piper followed, looking down at him from the top of the stairs. “Are we friends, Brendan?”
“No,” he called back, without missing a beat.
Her mouth hung open, a laugh huffing out of her as she closed the door. Hannah sat up and asked, “What the hell is going on there?”
Slowly, she shook her head. “I have no freaking idea.”

No one has ran the bar for years since the passing of their father. And the town just kind of took it as their own. So when Brendan meets who he assumes is an air headed socialite, suffice it to say they get off on the right foot. Add into the fact that no one knew of the long lost daughters and they do anything but fit in with the locals and well, it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. But god was it good!

The slow burn of this romance was EVERYTHING. And I really mean everything. I loved watching Piper grow into her own and I loved watching Brendan fall for her. She was such a sweet, quirky, and endearing character. And the grumpy and broody fisherman captain? I LIVED FOR HIM.

Going to fuck the word ‘friend’ right out of your beautiful mouth. You’ll forget how to say anything but my name. Real quick, honey.”

I loved this book beyond words and beyond reason. It was funny, swoony, and with a sizzle of Tessa’s signature dirty talk and I was so here for it. If there’s one book you add to your TBR this summer, make it this one. The perfect beach read is here and I can’t recommend it enough. Now if Tessa can just write Hannah and Fox’s book faster because the level of need that I have for that one is UNREASONABLE.

 

Review: Lessons In Sin by Pam Godwin

LESSONS IN SIN
Genre: Taboo, Forbidden Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: June 29, 2021

There’s no absolution for the things I’ve done.

But I found a way to control my impulses.

I became a priest.

As Father Magnus Falke, I suppress my cravings. As the headteacher of a Catholic boarding school, I’m never tempted by a student.

Until Tinsley Constantine.

The bratty princess challenges my rules and awakens my dark nature.

With each punishment I lash upon her, I want more. In my classroom, private rectory, and bent over my altar, I want all of her.

One touch risks everything I stand for.
My faith.
My redemption.
And even my life.

As if that could stop me. I need her pain, and her heart, and she needs my lessons in sin.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY 

Iron sheathed in suede, that voice belonged to a man who bent for no one. His sculpted lips lured victims to the altar with the promise of heavenly salvation before condemning them to eternal hell.

Age gap. Forbidden romance. Student/Teacher. Dirty Priest. I am in book heaven right now floating on endorphins so high, I don’t know if there’s moving on from this story.

Pam Godwin never ceases to amaze me with her talent of creating raw, riveting, and broken characters that I simply cannot get enough of. And a priest with a tortured past, seeking salvation of the collar within the walls of a school for the rich and broken…well it just doesn’t get much more delicious than that. Father Magnus was pure, sizzling energy. The second the man appears on the page, it crackles with electricity. I can’t even describe it to you, but this was one of the most enigmatic characters I’ve read from Pam. And having read her entire backlist, that’s saying something.

Now while there’s no doubt Pam can write the hell out of an alpha hero, what I’ve come to love most about her stories are her heroines. These are tough as nails women who are no simpering ingenues. And it’s not small feat to write an 18 year old virgin heroine but make her an old soul in an entirely believable way. Tinsley Constantine is the youngest daughter in the extravagantly rich Constantine family. She’s also the f*ck up. Turning her nose at tradition, she yearns for freedom to discover herself, but one act out too many lands her in the strict Catholic boarding school. What first starts as bratty behavior to get herself expelled, soon turns into something more when she lands in the crosshairs of Magnus.

For the next hour, I showed her how a sadist made a woman beg. I taught her my lessons in sin.

This is a slow burn. A deliciously painful slow burn full of chemistry and sexual tension. I fell instantly for Tinsley’s character. She’s wild, willful, but also incredibly smart and caring. She has no problem standing her ground and challenges Magnus as every turn. I also loved her loving nature.

The romance here is GAH. It was EVERYTHING. When I tell you that I devoured this from cover to cover in one sitting, I mean I couldn’t set it down for even a second. I though Pam created my favorite student teacher romance in Dark Notes, but man, this book owned me. I don’t know anyone else who can pull off a 20 year age gap with an 18 year old heroine like this.

Lessons in Sin was deliciously taboo, darkly erotic, sinful, and oh so addictive! This may be my favorite Godwin book to date.

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.
Facebook Reader Group: here

#DGRFave & Review: For Lucy by Jewel E. Ann

FOR LUCY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Release Date: May 23, 2020

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jewel E. Ann comes a novel so heartfelt and real it redefines the meaning of love. I’m the wrong guy in the right place the night I steal Tatum Bradshaw from another man. When she mistakes me for her blind date, I decide she deserves a man who shows up on time … like me. Emmett Riley, Mr. Punctual. Once I confess my true identity and convince her I’m not a creep–just a thief–it’s only a matter of time before my sexy smile and quick wit claim her heart, her hand in marriage, and the perfect life. Unfortunately, perfection is an illusion, like the promises of our wedding vows. No one can prepare for the unimaginable–the heartbreaking exception to all the rules in life. When thirty seconds destroys everything, I have to find a new existence and keep my promise to always love our daughter, Lucy, the most. For Lucy, I will keep a secret, and I will watch my wife drift into the arms of another man. Given the chance … can I reclaim my wife and the pieces of our life? *This story contains sensitive subject matter.

 AMAZON

It’s never been my hands keeping her hostage. I’ve always loved her with open arms. My love has never been forced. It’s always been free. She’s the one who cannot walk away. And she knows she needs me to take the blame for that too. So I do. Because that’s how I love her

This. Book. It emotionally eviscerated me. I was sobbing into my pillow at 2 am, completely incapable of setting it down, and totally wrecked by the story. This was a second chance romance unlike any I’ve every read. It was raw, devastating, heart wrenching, and so full of depth I felt like I was drowning in it. I think what struck me the most is that you can easily see yourself in the couple. In the devastation and what ifs that they go through, you feel it on a soul deep level that just stays with you and burrows so deep, it hurts even when you finish.

No matter how hard we try to be perfect, we are not. No matter how hard we try to do the right thing, the wrong thing manages to trip us up. No matter how undeserving one might feel of forgiveness, no one is unworthy of it.

While I’m not usually a fan of time jumps, it’s done absolutely flawlessly here. Jewel effortlessly weaves the past into the story where it doesn’t detract from the time line but adds a morsel of understanding with each new detail of their past that gets unveiled. I’m not going to tell you what the story is about. Read the blurb and go in with just that. Trust me on this. This a book that you simply need to experience blind. What I will tell you, is that I already somewhat knew what I’d be getting into and avoided starting it for that reason. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the type of feelings I knew it would invoke. However, the author handled the incredibly delicate subject matter so incredibly well, that I kicked myself for waiting to start. She gives details without going into too many details. I can’t tell you more so as to not ruin it, but I’ll say that the way it was written was sheer perfection. It was depth without being too much that I would be bawling my eyes out. All the while I still bawled my eyes out, but for other reasons.

Emmett?” “Hmm?” “Thank you.” “For what?” “For being in my corner.” Swallowing my pride, my pain, and a lifetime of emotions, I nod several times. “Always.”

When Emmett met Tatum, he knew she was the one. And no it wasn’t the corny insta love sort of thing. It could have easily been that way. But instead it was endearing and emotional and oh so good. The book is told entirely in Emmett’s POV which I really loved. Being in his head was unlike anything I’ve experienced. The man is flawed but also perfect. He loves selflessly. He gives everything. And he’s impossible not to love wholeheartedly. The story spans years, the majority of it in the present, where Tatum and Emmett have been divorced for 5 years, still dealing with the fallout of their marriage. I hated Tatum for a good portion of this book. While a deeper part of me understood her, I still couldn’t help but hate her for the things she says and does. Emmett is just so flawed yet perfect, that it was impossible to hate her a little being in his head, even though he loves her selflessly through all of the pain.

You can’t love me,” she whispers. “You can’t tell me who to love.”

The story is incredibly emotionally charged and raw. It’s full of love and pain, mistakes and forgiveness. If you’re looking for a second chance romance that will own you, heart and soul, look no further. Dare I say this may have been my favorite Jewel E Ann book to date.

Jewel is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today best selling author a with a quirky sense of humor. When she’s not saving the planet one tree at a time, you can find her role modeling questionable behavior to her three boys, binge-watching Netflix with her husband, and writing mind-bending romance.

Connect with Jewel 

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#DGRFave & Review: Reparation of Sin by Natasha Knight & A Zavarelli

REPARATION OF SIN
Series: The Society Trilogy #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli
Release Date: April 20,  2021

My husband hates me. But he’s also the only man who can save me.

Taken by a stranger, Santiago is my only hope.

Except that I don’t know if he’s dead or alive.

And for as cruel as he can be, the thought he might be gone is unbearable.

But he has nine lives, my monster.
He’s not finished with me yet.

And soon I’m back at The Manor.
Locked in my room.
At his mercy.

I know I am despised.
I know I have become the face of his vengeance.

But there’s something else too. Something between us. It’s a dark and gnarled thing. And it has its claws around my heart.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

 

Requiem of the Soul #1

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PREORDER #2 & #3 TODAY!

Resurrection of the Heart #3– Releasing May 18th

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It’s not my right to claim this yet, and it may not be healthy, but she’s mine. I didn’t see that for too long, I didn’t value that the way I should have, but she is God damned mine.

When I tell you that I INHALED this book the second it landed on my kindle…

I’m talking the sort of obsessed that keeps you hidden in a dark bathroom with a locked door so the kids don’t interrupt your reading. I’m talking the sort of obsessed that leaves you with honest to gawd shakes when you’re done because you’re that desperate for your next fix. I CANNOT DEAL RIGHT NOW. THIS TRILOGY.

Do you know the last time I can tell you when I liked book two in the trilogy almost more than book one? Never. It’s pretty much never happened. But where book one was spell binding, this was a dose of electricity straight down my spine. I LOVED IT is what I’m trying to tell you here. LIKE dying for the next book loved.

Now if you follow my reviews, you already know I love mean heroes. If they’re extra tortured and mercurial, even better. And Santiago is the definition of a tortured alphahole. The man is beyond broken and all things damaged. His pain is rooted with the type of betrayal you can’t recover from. So when faced with the betrayal of his own wife? Not even the devil himself can keep his vengeance at bay. There were times in this book where I wanted to throw him off a tall cliff. Honest to god, the man took things way too far and almost to the point of no return when it came to his wife. And yet, I couldn’t help but still root for him. How does that even happen?!

Ivy is the type of heroine by bookish dreams are made of. She’s a fighter with a sharp wit and a spine of steel. She doesn’t back down easily and even though she’s been through hell and back, she doesn’t stop fighting. This book almost brings her to her breaking point, and it was devastating to watch that point be brought by here husband. But man was it unputdownable.

Lies, betrayal, murder, a secret society with archaic rules…this story had it all. It was spine tinglingly delicious and addictive to the point where I binge read it in one sitting. To say that I’m dying for the conclusion is a mild understatement here!

About A. Zavarelli:

A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of dark and contemporary romance.

When she’s not putting her characters through hell, she can usually be found watching bizarre and twisted documentaries in the name of research.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

Connect w/A. Zavarelli: 

FacebookFacebook GroupInstagram | Twitter | Mailing List | Website | Goodreads |Amazon | Bookbub

About Natasha Knight:

Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over half a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.

Connect w/Natasha: 

Website: | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter  | Instagram | Pinterest |  Goodreads | Bookbub | Amazon |  NL Signup 

#DGRFave & Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

THE DARKEST TEMPTATION
Series:
Made #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Danielle Lori
Release Date: December 12, 2020

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia.

Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

 AMAZON 

He was a monster dressed like a gentleman.

When I tell you that I am obsessed with this series, I’m saying I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS SERIES. If you have been sleeping on this author and haven’t yet been introduced to her brilliance, allow me to give you the swift kick in the @ss that you obviously need. READ. THIS. BOOK.

Now if you haven’t read the first two books in this series, you’re seriously missing out, however, you can easily read this as a standalone. Ronan is Christian Allister’s brother from The Maddest Obsession and when I tell you that NOTHING will prepare you for his story, I mean NOTHING will prepare you for his story. This book isn’t quite dark, but it’s gritty AF. It skates the edge of darkness with a splash of dub-con and this girl LIVED for it.

She gave me her forgiveness. I had nothing to give her but vengeance

Ronan is the ultimate anti-hero and Mila is his innocent and slightly naive unsuspecting victim in his plot for revenge. Oh and did I mention the age gap? Because GAH. Delish! But I digress. One of my favorite things about this book was the development of both of these characters. It was watching Mila go from a young, naive, and sheltered young woman to someone that’s fierce and has a spine of steel, even when facing off with the devil of Moscow. She’s searching for answers and freedom and lands in the lap of her family’s ultimate enemy.

Ronan’s name gets whispered in fear throughout Moscow. The devil of Moscow, as he’s so eloquently called, is a ruthless and brutal crime boss. He has a hidden agenda when the beautiful Mila lands so perfectly in his clutches, one she never sees coming. But the more time Mila spends in his captivity, the more the plot twists. Because the cold and unfeeling devil soon begins to feel.

When I tell you I lived for this book, I mean I LIVED for this book. This was my most anticipated and favorite book in the series. Hands down. The tension. The grit. The slow burn. The character development. All of it so flawlessly combined to create a completely unputdownable and unforgettable story. These characters will stay with me for a long while and will be my ultimate rec for anyone looking for a great mafia read. This book was EVERYTHING. Sexually charged, quick paced, and full of twists and turns. I devoured it from cover to cover. Danielle seriously outdid herself with Mila and Ronan’s story.

#DGRFave & Review: The Villain by LJ Shen

THE VILLAIN
Series:
Boston Belles #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: December 16, 2020

Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.

Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.

To the media, he is The Villain.

To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.

Now I need him to do me another, small solid.

Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.

What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?

Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors.

The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.

Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy.

To play, to mold, to break.

Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.

Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.

He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.

He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest

 AMAZON 

It’s never too late to change the name of the prince in your story. Just as long as you don’t end up with the villain.”

No one, and I mean NO ONE writes a true alphahole quite like LJ Shen. And she seriously outdid herself with The Villain. Because this alphahole? GOD. I loved to hate him and hated to love him and just plain wanted to have his babies. What? I like my fictional men mean, ok? Like MEAN. Gah. Makes my ovaries go all aflutter.

Nothing will prepare you for the delicious angst ride of this romance. It was heart wrenchingly good and tear your hair our frustrating. An unputdownable and mesmerizing story from beginning to finish. It hurt so good that I never wanted it to end. It was everything I adore about Shen’s books and so much more.

Now if you know me or follow my reviews, you know that I love my heroes mean. Like so mean it makes me want to punch them while also wanting to have their babies mean. And Cillian? The man is cold, calculating, unfeeling, and blunt to the point of rudeness.

Welcome to the dark side, Persephone. Leave your heart at the door.”

Now allow me to address the elephant in the room.
*cough*
Persephone
*cough*
When I tell you that she couldn’t have been a better heroine for Cillian, I mean she couldn’t have been more perfect for him. She was perfection. Seeing her growth throughout the book from infatuated belle to a woman that really stands up for herself and what she deserves was deliciously satisfying. And seeing Kill unwittingly fall for her, even more so.

The tension was absolute perfection. What I simply adore in Shen’s books is her ability to really stay true to her characters while giving them so much heart. This was the epitome of Kill for me. The man is calculated and unfeeling, yet you see him slowly thaw for the woman he never saw coming. His fall is realistic and it makes it that much more satisfying. I thought I loved Hunter, but that was nothing in comparison to my feelings for Cillian and Persy. This book was everything I hoped for and nothing I expected. A flawed hero, a blooming wallflower that comes into her own heroine, and a love that is absolutely EPIC. I loved this HARD.

#DGRFave & Review: The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden Mills

THE REVENGE PACT
Series: The Kings of Football #1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: December 3, 2020

River Tate is a god on campus.
The king of football.
A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you.
The only chink in his armor is her, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is him, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life comes crashing down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces.
Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is, sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.

The Revenge Pact is first in a series about three college football players.

 AMAZON 

There’s something real between us… The question is, what am I willing to do about it?

When I tell you that this book owned me. When I tell you that this story was absolutely EVERYTHING. When I tell you that River Tate is the ultimate book boyfriend that you will never be able to move on from. When I tell you this was easily my favorite book I’ve read from this author. When I tell you that this book is an absolute must read. BELIEVE. ME.

River Tate is a dangerous man. And the best thing I can do is stay away from him.

The second I started reading this story, I knew it would be different. River and Anastasia are going down as one of my favorite New Adult romance couples. It was THAT good.

I’m a sucker for a strong female and a tortured male plot, but this was so much more than that. It was all things forbidden, angsty and packed with enough emotion to make you turn each page with bated breath.

Anastasia and River’s relationship is tumultuous to say the least. He pretends that he hates her and she pretends like his presence doesn’t effect her. She also happens to be dating his frat brother. But if you’re thinking this is a love triangle or cheating book, think again.

River is a god on campus but he’s so much more than his image. This is a man with so many layers, you feel like every chapter offers more depth. He’s such a beautiful soul that I couldn’t help but fall for him immediately. His perseverance and honor make him one of the most beloved people on campus. He’s always there for his brothers and teammates. So it doesn’t matter how much he wants Ana, he can never go there.

Ana is a bit of a black sheep with lavender hair. She’s beautiful and smart, but her family is anything but conventional. She struggles to find a place for herself in the midst of the expectations from those around her. And when everything comes crashing down on her, the one person there for her is the last one that she expects.

This was an incredibly emotional and poignant slow burn romance. I fell so hard for both of these characters. Their imperfections and strengths, their pain and happiness. All of it was blended together so flawlessly that I couldn’t set the book down for even a second. You know when you read a book and you just have this feeling, like this power punch of emotion that goes through you like electricity? I had that the entire time reading this. These characters were so incredibly memorable and their romance was so incredibly powerful, that I felt a sense of loss when I finished because I couldn’t part with them.

If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s packed with feels and a book boyfriend that will own your heart from the very first page, you need this book in your life!

Wall Street JournalNew York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Connect with Ilsa:
Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Book+Main | Website 

Stay up to date with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2ZWaTYh

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: http://bit.ly/37B6Nay

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