#DGRFave & Review: Manipulate by Pam Godwin

MANIPULATE
Series: Deliver #6
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pam Godwin
Release Date: June 25, 2019

Tula Gomez is in the most ruthless prison in Latin America.

She only drove to Mexico to help her sister. She did nothing wrong.
But her quiet life changed in an instant.

To survive the violent, cartel-controlled prison where men blend with women, she pledges her loyalty to the notorious leader in exchange for the one thing she needs most.
Protection.

When she agrees to seduce the suspicious new inmates, Martin Lockwood and Ricky Saldivar, she doesn’t expect to enjoy it. Sure, they’re gorgeous, irresistibly alpha, and insanely talented with their hands and mouths. But they’re the enemy. She can’t fall for them.

Torn between her cartel loyalties and two men who want her as deeply as they want each other, she questions who is manipulating whom. Her search for answers leads to a passionate ménage, a soul-crushing secret, and an impossible choice.

BOOK 6 in the DELIVER series.

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

They owned her. No matter what happened, she would always be theirs.

Devastatingly gritty, emotionally gripping, and stunningly dark, Manipulate was everything I’ve come to expect from the brilliant mind of Pam Godwin and SO. MUCH. MORE. This was an edge of your seat and keep you up well into the night sort of read.

Three hearts without walls fused into a single soul without bars. Lost and found. Locked up and freed. Together.

I’ve been waiting for Martin and Ricky’s book for what feels like forever. And man, was their book worth the wait. It was even better than my expectations. And that NEVER happens.

The book starts with the introduction of the heroine, a woman that we haven’t met yet in the series. Her story is full of twists and turns, and devastating experiences that mold her into the woman that she is today; someone locked up in one of the most violent prisons and completely on her own.

Martin and Ricky get put into the prison in order to gather information on a brutal cartel boss that runs one of the worst human trafficking and slave rings. The stunning beauty is not someone they saw coming when they entered the prison full of murders and the worst sort of human scum. But she may also be the one that has all of the answers that they seek.

On a squeaky rusted cot, in the most violent prison in South America, he experienced the best orgasm of his life.

The sexual tension in this book was EVERYTHING. As much as I was dying for more glimpses into Martin and Ricky together and exactly what makes Martin tick, I couldn’t get enough of they dynamic with Tula. She seemed to complete a puzzle piece that neither one of them thought was missing.

Holy fuck.” She moaned against his mouth…
“That’s right, baby. What’s my name?”
“Oh, God.” She clawed at his back.
“God is good, aren’t I?”
“So good.” She made him feel like a god. In her arms, under Martin’s heated gaze, he caught fire.

Martin was a beautifully broken enigma for a long time in this series. I was salivating for just a little more of a peek into what made him who he is today; a man that’s on a hair trigger when it comes to anything sexual. And let me tell you, when his whole history comes to light, I wanted to throw up. It was gut wrenchingly dark. Ricky was the light to his dark, even though he doesn’t exactly have an easy past himself after the painful tutelage of Van during his slave training years.

There’s so much that happens in this book that made it completely impossible to set it down for even a second. I love that Pam NEVER writes heroines that need rescuing. She writes these incredibly broken, yet strong and persevering women that you can’t help but connect with and root for. Tula was certainly not an exception to this. Her story was dark and painful and oh so twisty. I loved every page of it. I loved her and Martin and Ricky together. I was addicted to every page of this book and was dying for more when I finished. I can’t wait for the next installment after the revelation in the end.

Every touch was a sacrament, every caress a solicitation for more. Through it all, they held an impenetrable stare, eating each other with their eyes, wanting, panting, the need in their bodies growing voracious.

#DGRFave & Review: Written With You by @AlyMartinezAuth

WRITTEN WITH YOU
Series:
The Regret Duet #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: June 13, 2019

When I was fifteen, a single bullet changed my life. I spent the next decade trying to outrun the devastation of my past, building an empire that would shield me from whatever life could throw at me.

But all the money in the world couldn’t help me when I found a screaming newborn abandoned on my doorstep.

I’d never wanted to be a father. Passing the sludge that ran through my veins down to an innocent child seemed like a tragedy. But there she was—pink cheeks, red hair, and mine.

Somehow, against all logic, that little girl became the best thing that ever happened to me. It was impossible to stay lost in the past when I was the only one who could protect her future.

Which is exactly why, when her mother came back four years later, I was ready for battle.

If only I could stop myself from falling in love with her during the war.

AMAZON

I lived in the seconds. One emotion. One tick of the clock.

If there’s one thing Aly Martinez can do, it’s write one unpredictable story that will grip you by the heart and keep you at the very edge of your seat. And this book? MY GOD! It was EVERYTHING. Seriously all of the things. An emotional powerhouse of love and secrets, pain and regret, and second chances. Written With You owned me. Absolutely owned me. Beginning to finish. I never wanted it to end.

Admittedly, I struggled a bit with the heroine in the first book. Alright, so I was judging the hell out of her, okay?! So sue me. But if you’ve read the book, than you’ll know exactly why I had problems fully connecting to her. But this book was a total game changer. After the cliffhanger that leaves you reeling in book one, book two finishes you off with a one two punch straight to the feels. Holy mother of everything!!!

I don’t want to give anything away, because to be honest, the entire thing is a dang spoiler of book one. And I wouldn’t want to take that experience away from anyone. I typically struggle with duets and trilogies, but never with Aly’s books. Somehow her second book is always even more powerful than the first. And let me tell you, the first was no walk in the park. It was gut wrenching.

Our entire lives were one impossibility after another.

This was filled with so many twists and turns, it will leave your stomach in knots and your head reeling. I devoured it in one breathless sitting and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s different. It’s gripping. It’s addictive. And it will own you, heart and soul, from one devastating page to the other.

#DGRFave & Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez @readforeverpub

THE FRIEND ZONE
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Abby Jimenez
Release Date: June 11, 2019

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

AMAZON

I’ll orbit around you and be your universe, because you’ve always been my sun.”

Have you ever started a book and knew, you just knew, from the first few pages that it’s THE book. One of those books that you’ll never want to end. A book that you’ll be thinking about all year. A book that you’ll want to be shouting about from the rooftops. Well, my friends, this was THAT book for me. This was everything. It was romcom perfection unlike any I’ve read. And it is an absolute must read. It’s a book that I can’t recommend enough, whether romcom is your thing or not. It’s simply not to be missed and a story that will stay in my heart for a long while. I loved it from beginning to finish!

Food was my currency. Hungry was an emotion for me. I felt that shit in my soul.

Let’s talk about the heroine for a hot second here, shall we? Kristen Petersen is quite seriously my spirit animal. This is a girl that you’ll want for your best friend the near second you meet her on the pages. She’s blunt, honest, sarcastic and with a sharp wit and a type of hangry that you can’t help but relate you. What you see is what you get with her. She’s simple but complex. She’s honest, she’s loyal, and she’s so relatable that you can’t help but just love her.

In between her successful business of adorable boutique pet products, her sassy dog, Stuntman Mike, and planning her best friend’s wedding, Kristen is dealing with an upcoming surgery that will forever change the landscape of her life. She has a loving boyfriend currently serving oversees, so when she meets Josh the best man in the wedding, he’s the worst kind of unexpected; the kind that tempts her beyond reason but she knows she can never be what he needs.

He breathed into my ear. “Why won’t you just let me love you?”

Before you think this is a love triangle, let me say that it is, yet it isn’t. Without giving anything away, let’s just say that if you avoid triangles like a bad case of the clap, you’ll want to read this book. Kay? Great. But I digress.

Josh is sheer perfection. He is quite possibly one of the absolute best heroes I’ve read to date. He’s the quintessential nice guy who’s incredibly endearing and even more lovable. You won’t be able to help but fall head over heels for this man. He is just EVERYTHING. He’s sweet, understanding, patient, and just GAH. GAH!!!

Kristen and Josh form an adorably awkward friendship that soon begins to turn into something so much more. And then things really get complicated.

I don’t have enough words to tell you just how much I loved this book. It had everything; humor, emotion, and a romance that will warm your heart. It’s full of depth and flawlessly written. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished and it’s a book that I recommend everyone check out. If there’s one book that hits your radar this year, make it this one. Trust me. I only hope there’s more to come for some of the secondary characters we get introduced to in this story and I simply cannot wait from this incredibly talented author. I’m still reeling knowing this was Abby Jimenez’s debut novel.

#DGRFave & Review: Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

A KINGDOM OF DREAMS
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Westmoreland #1
Author: Judith McNaught
Release Date (e-book edition): November 1, 2016

Let New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught who “is in a class by herself” (USA TODAY) sweep you off your feet and into another time with her sensual, passionate, and spellbinding historical romance classics, featuring her “unique magic” (RT Book Reviews)—now available for the first time on ebook.

Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, no matter what he threatens. Boldly she challenges his will—until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. Suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering and seductive web of pride, passion, and overwhelming love. This beloved tale about two defiant hearts clashing in a furious battle of wills in the glorious age of chivalry “will stay in your heart forever and be a classic on your shelves” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick).

AMAZON5 MILLION BAZILLION TRILLION STARS!!!!

“You are mad!” she snapped, her chest heaving. “And you are a devil!”
“And you, my dear,” Royce imperturbably replied, “are a bitch.”
With that, he turned to the horrified friar and unhesitatingly announced, “The lady and I wish to be wed.”

I’ve been dreading this moment. This moment that I’ve been saving for last. The very last historical book of Judith’s backlist that I knew I’d want to savor. I tried to pace myself. To truly get engrained and enjoy the experience of this magical world, and yet I ended up binging late into the night, completely unable to set this book down for even a second.

McNaught has given me some of my top favorite historical romances, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to the experience that was this book. It was EVERYTHING. It was like someone took all of my favorite things and put them into one book full of emotion, swoony romance, and created one of the most unforgettable stories I have ever read. EVER.

It’s no secret that I love a good enemies to lovers trope, but every other book I’ve read in this trope pales in comparison to this book and Jennifer and Royce McNaught is a queen of creating these incredibly tortured and brooding heroes and throwing them into the path of even stronger heroines. Jennifer and Royce are easily my favorite characters I’ve read in my entire reading history. I’m not even kidding.

Why is it when you yield, I feel like the one who has been conquered?”

What happens when a strong beauty gets captured by her clan’s sworn enemy, a man known as The Wolf? One of the most swoony romances I’ve ever read. The only thing I loved more than seeing their wills clash was seeing their walls crumble. I loved watching Royce fall for Jennifer, no matter how much he fights it. And boy did he fight it. Jennifer is not the striking beauty that her younger sister is. But there’s something about her that calls to him. Her strong will, her strength, her bravery. All of it make up one incredibly striking woman that he finds himself falling for rather unwillingly.

There’s plenty of reviews that will give you more detail about this book and I don’t want to rehash more than need be to take away from the experience of this story to those that haven’t read it yet. What I will tell you is that I went through so many emotions reading it. I laughed, I cried, and I fell head over heels for the brooding and imperfect Royce. And if there’s anything I love more than Judith’s tortured heroes, it’s watching them fall and fall hard. I love the perfect layer of angst that spans the entirety of the book. I simply loved everything about this book. One of my top favorite romances I’ve ever read. Bar none.

#DGRFave & Review: Midnight Valentine by @JTGeissinger

MIDNIGHT VALENTINE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: February 5, 2018

A hauntingly powerful love story in the tradition of The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

“How can you remember someone you’ve never met?”

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they’d be together forever, but fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye.

When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

AMAZON 

People say time heals all wounds, but that’s a lie. Grief is a chronic disease. The pain just keeps on coming.

Wow. WOW. Just WOW. What an incredibly powerful, unique, and utterly unforgettable story. I’ve been a long time fan of Geissinger, but after this book? I’m a die hard. Ride or die. I’m talking rabid fangirl here, people!!!

First of all, you need to experience this book blind. Don’t read spoilers. Try to read as few reviews as possible as not to ruin even the smallest detail for yourself. All you need to know is that you’re in for one rollercoaster of emotion.

If there’s one thing I love about J.T.’s books, it’s her heroines. The woman knows how to write some of the best, strong yet vulnerable, sassy yet not overboard sort of females. Megan was EVERYTHING I love in a heroine and yet so much more!

I’m not the kind of woman who thinks surliness is charming. All these alpha-holes from romance novels have given women the wrong idea that bad manners are attractive.

This is woman that lost her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life and is still dealing with the never ending grief of that loss. She may be a grief-riddled widow, but that’s not all she is. There’s this spark to Megan that you can’t help but feel right away. This is a woman that’s tough as nails and isn’t afraid to cut anyone to size. She moves to a small Oregon town in order to fulfill a long time dream that she had with her late husband. And even though he’s no longer with her, it doesn’t mean that she can’t do what they both hoped to; remodel a cute yet debilitated house into a beautiful inn.

I kiss him again. I have to. There is no choice. His mouth is the oxygen I need to survive, and I no longer care about anything else but this

The relationship between Megan and Theo is anything but an easy one. The man seems to hate her on site. He’s the town mystery. He also doesn’t speak. But his eyes seems to speak a thousand words when it comes to Megan. The romance is a sizzling sort of slow burn. And what I loved the most is never once does it diminish the connection that Megan once had with her husband. She still loves him, but the connection that she has with Theo is undeniable.

He fucks me like he owns me, body and soul. And he does. But I own him too. Every look and touch is evidence of his total surrender. Every kiss is one more link added to the chain.

There are so many twists and turns that are to be discovered in this story. But the romance? Oh my heart! THE ROMANCE. It was everything. EVERYTHING.

I fell so hard for these two characters that I couldn’t bear to put this book down for even a second. It was beautiful, emotional, incredibly powerful. It was utterly hypnotizing. I loved it so hard!!

If you’re looking for something truly unique and unlike anything you’ve ever read before, you need to experience Midnight Valentine.

#DGRFave & Jenn’s Review: Debase by Rachel Van Dyken

DEBASE
Series:
Elite Bratva Brotherhood #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Dark
Author:
Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date:
April 30, 2019

Debase, the final book in the Eagle Elite Series and the first new book in the Elite Bratva Brotherhood by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken.

With blood on my hands, I held her.

With death in my soul, I took from her.

With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

There are many definitions of Hell.

My list was exhaustive, my definitions tragic.

Tonight I was adding something new to the very top.

Girl number six thirty-two.

She arrived on my birthday, the same day, every year, I play Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.

She was my omen.

My end game.

She made it personal.

And for the first time in my life, I gave in.

A virgin mob boss with no soul.

My name is Andrei Petrov.

They call me the devil.

All I want is for the pain to end.

All she wants is for me to share it.

I am the last remaining heir to a dynasty that should burn in Hell.

And my last wish remains for it to die with me.

AMAZON | NOOK | iBOOKS | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

I slid my tongue into her mouth. I tasted, I took, I was greedy with each kiss. With blood on my hands, I held her. With death in my soul, I drank from her.

With the devil in my heart, I coveted her.

I wanted closer.

More.

My gloves felt too hot for my hands.

My hands too big to contain the weeping leather as I pulled away from Alice and stared into her big blue eyes.

“You don’t want this,” I whispered.

She bit down on her swollen lip and reached for me, I stood still as her warm hands touched both of my cheeks. “Lie.”

I let out a hiss of air at her touch. “Walk. Away.”

“Kiss me again.”

“I can’t do that.” I needed to stop doing that.

“Can’t or won’t?”

I told myself one more kiss, one more touch. I told myself it would be okay, that I was still in control.

That I was above this.

That no woman had ever owned me.

No woman had ever taken everything.

My chest heaved as I stared at her mouth, unable to move, completely rooted to the floor.

Alice moved her hands to my jeans and slowly unbuttoned them. I didn’t stop her, I needed to fucking stop her, but it was like I’d drank this paralyzing poison from her lips and couldn’t function, could only watch her as my soul floated above my body, mocking my inaction, telling me that this would be the end of me.

The very end.

Letting her in.

Keeping her there.

I would give her everything.

And then I would lose control.

Lose my mind.

Lose my heart.

I would lose.

So would she.

“Alice…” My voice cracked. “I wish…” Her hands stilled on my jeans like she was ready to pull them down. “I can’t. I wish I could. I can’t.”

How could she possibly understand?

How could I explain the gut-wrenching fear of looking in the mirror and knowing that one choice kept me sane. One choice.

And that was sex.

He’d made that choice.

I wouldn’t.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t trust myself, couldn’t trust it wouldn’t happen to me too, and hurt someone like her.

Someone so very… perfect.

Without blinking, Alice gripped my jeans, indecision etched on every pretty part of her face.

She was beautiful.

So damn beautiful.

I gripped her wrists with my hands and pulled them away from the very real temptation of getting completely naked and sinking into her, feeling her clench around me, her tight heat.

Shit.

I pulled her into my arms, and she rested her head on my shoulder. Just because I couldn’t let her touch me, couldn’t cross that line, didn’t mean I couldn’t make her happy, I would kill to watch her face in the throes of multiple orgasms.

I quickly gripped her by the hips and put her up on the cold granite countertop.

“Andrei what are you doing?” She looked down at me uncertainty in her blue eyes.

I moved my hands to her ass and pulled down the black leggings she’d been wearing, all the way down to her ankles, right along with a pair of lacy underwear that were bright pink, and perfect.

“Andrei?”

“Yes?”

“Seriously, what are you doing?”

I gripped her knees with my hands and then spread them wide. “What’s it look like I’m doing?” I smirked. “I’m feasting.”

Her eyes widened.

Never underestimate a virgin with an extremely vivid imagination and heightened sexual appetite.

I wasn’t a fucking monk.

I would like to think I knew more than most men, because I’d seen it all, watched it, inadvertently studied it.

If someone gave me a diagram of a woman, I could point out over twenty-two ways to get her off — with my tongue, a feather, my fingers, take your pick.

“You don’t have to—” She let out a gasp, gripping the edge of the granite, turning her hands white.

I chuckled darkly against her right thigh and bit. “I’m sorry, what was that? I don’t have to?”

“I’ve never, nobody has ever… done. This.”

“Tell me,” I asked gently before I dipped my tongue inside her and flicked.

Her entire body jerked.

“Tell me he never touched you like this, tell me nobody has ever touched you like this.”

“Never,” she rasped. “You.” That word was like a gunshot going off in my soul. “Only you, Andrei.”

“Me.” I flicked my tongue again, and gripped her by the ass, pulling her almost completely off the counter while I sat beneath her and sucked her off in the most primitive aggressive way I knew how.

With every ounce of energy I had in my physical body.

With my soul.

I used every weapon in my arsenal.

632 stars!!

Bear with me because this is series is hard to review without spoiling, but I promise no spoilers!

Dark. Twisted. Raw. And yet….Funny. How am I laughing during all this darkness? Because Rachel Van Dyken creates these terrible yet…loveable characters who embrace their darkness and just lie in it. I adore the banter between these guys from all of the previous books. I could read an entire book (or text message chain) of just these guys talking to each other!! Rachel takes all of her characters with her in this series, so we can follow them and always get more of each couple/character. Because I ALWAYS WANT MORE!!


Andrei. The tortured anti-hero. Well, and the anti-hero who also like to torture. Torture is his specialty. Andrei’s history is dark and unthinkable, but he is trying to come out of that darkness. Unfortunately, he has to endure it until he can be free of it completely. He has a plan to be free, but one girl is getting in his way, in his mind….and in his pants. Andrei is constantly wearing a mask, hiding who he really is and his scars. He doesn’t allow himself to trust others easily.

There is a clear comparison between Phoenix and Andrei. As a lover of everything Phoenix (He’s mine!), I quickly became obsessed with Andrei as well. They have a similar past, and Phoenix helps Andrei in his own twisted way, helping Andrei find some light in all of the darkness.


Alice. I love the heroine in this book. Much like the previous heroines, Alice is a strong woman. But unlike the previous heroines, she isn’t jaded. She has been through the unthinkable and struggles trusting people, especially men. But this doesn’t stop her from seeing the (potential) good in Andrei. Of course, Andrei is always pushing her away because he doesn’t want to taint her in any way, but he can only resist for so long. Andrei ends up having to protect her and the rest is for you to read and find out what happens. 😉

This is technically a spin-off of the Eagle Elite series, so I am uber excited about where she is going with this spin-off!! BUT I would definitely recommend reading the previous series because ALL of the characters are included in this book. I love the multiple points of views because there is always something happening, and she keeps you guessing the whole time!

Blood in. No out.

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Connect with Rachel:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/RVDNewsletter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cNVwL9
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RVDGR
Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers: http://bit.ly/RachelsRockinReaders

#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Reckless by LJ Shen

PRETTY RECKLESS
Series: All Saints High #1
Genre: New Adult, Mature Young Adult Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: April 26, 2019

From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

AMAZON

He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache.”

Oh the angst! The angst of it all!!!

Welcome to your new addiction, angst addicts. Because this new series? It’s about to reach into your very soul and tear out all of the feels!

Pretty Reckless took high school rivals, added a splash of enemies to lovers, wrapped around heart-wrenching angst, and delivered one finger-licking utterly addicting page-turner! If NA angst is your crack of choice, then Shen is about to become your favorite dealer.

I don’t have enough praise for this book and everything that I experienced along with it. This is the stuff that my NA romance dreams are made of. Delicious angst, multilayered characters, plenty of plot twists, and an unputdownable story.

If you’ve read Shen’s Sinners of Saint series, then you’ll be familiar with the Followhill from Defy. Daria is the daughter of Melody and Jaime. And if you recall their forbidden union, then you already know that their daughter will have one big chip on her shoulder as she attends the same high school as her parents had their notorious relationship at.

Daria is easily one of my favorite heroines of LJ Shen to date. I love a female that can own the fact that she’s a queen B. But she’s also not the stereotypical do-gooder. This is a girl with a huge chip on her shoulder and she can be downright vicious to those that cross her path. She’s completely unapologetic about it, though being in her head, you see the glimpses of the vulnerability that causes her to lash out the way she does. Poor little rich girl.

As for Penn. Sweet mother of ovaries! I turned cougar for this man and I have no regrets. The turbulent enemies to lovers relationship that happens between these two kept me absolutely riveted to the pages. Daria may give as good as she gets, but Penn doesn’t pull any punches with her either. They are pure fire together.

I devoured and I mean straight up DEVOURED this book and was left desperate for more. Shen is a master of her craft and just keeps getting better and better with each new book. I’m already frothing at the mouth for more ASH!

#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:

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