Review: Dark Queen by Ker Dukey

DARK QUEEN
Genre: Dark, Mafia Romance
Author: Ker Dukey
Release Date: June 28, 2021

He was my boss.

Rich, ambitious, dominating.

I was a waitress, struggling to pay the fees for ballet school.

Poor, talented, desperate.

He needed to marry to appease his dying father, to inherit the family empire.

It wasn’t supposed to be real, or forever.

Until he changed the rules.

What Mafia king Luca Leto wants, he gets, and he’s crowned his queen.

Me.

I’m under his rule now.

And his reign is cruel and toxic.

They call him the dark king and to gain my freedom I’m going to have to become a dark queen.

#Standalone Mafia romance.

AMAZON

You’re how villains are made, little ballerina,” I growl. “Tempting fate, wanting to play with the wicked.”

I have a confession…
*whispers* this was my first Ker Dukey book *hides*
I know, okay? Clearly I’ve been living under a rock for some time. But in my defense, the second I read the blurb for this book, I knew I would be introduced to this author. I’m a sucker for a dark mafia romance and when that romance is between a down on her luck and trying to make something of herself ballerina and the bad boy mafia king determined to resist her? SIGN. ME. UP.

I love the fact that we’re given a young female heroine that isn’t a naive virgin. This is a female that knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Though I will say I didn’t particularly love her choices in the very beginning. After the death of her mother, Alyssa escapes her small town to chase her dreams to become a ballerina. The prestigious ballet school having a scholarship position for her is step one, but trying to afford her life in the big city is another. A job at a gentleman’s club is the solution she’s been looking for, but the mercurial and hot and cold owner is nothing she expected.

Luca is determined to fight the chemistry between them and the push and pull element had me hooked. Unfortunately, and I can’t quite put my finger on the why, the characters and their relationship failed to really draw me in. I just never fully connected to them. It felt surface level and something just always felt missing for me. What ultimately fell short was the extremely rushed ending, and particularly the strange bit at the end. I appreciated the twist that I didn’t see coming, but I really wished it was more fleshed out. As it was it felt like the story dragged for about 90% to ultimately feel like it was quickly wrapped up in one chapter that didn’t feel satisfying in the least.

But all that aside it was still an entertaining read and had me hooked on the author’s writing to want to read all her other books.

Review: Carnal Urges by J.T. Geissinger

CARNAL URGES
Series: Queens & Monsters #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: June 30, 2021

Carnal (adjective):
1) Relating to the pleasures of the body
2) Given to sensual indulgence
3) The man who kidnapped me

The devil has blue eyes, an Irish accent, and a hatred for me that runs deep.

He blames me for starting a war.
Consorting with his enemies.
Getting his men killed.

Though I’m innocent on all charges, he wants his pound of flesh.
With an eye on revenge, he makes me his captive.

But as we’ll both soon discover, there are more powerful urges than that for revenge.

 

When the devil meets his match but she’s his sworn enemy, that’s when the real war begins.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

AMAZON 

In a life full of unforgivable sins, sleeping with the enemy would be the absolute worst.

In case you were wondering, above is actual footage of me reading this book. BECAUSE OH MY HOLY BOOK CRACK. This was DELICIOUS.

Men say they love a strong woman, right up until they meet one.

The second Sloane appeared on the pages of Ruthless Creatures, I was instantly captivated. There’s just something about a strong, smart, fiercely independent woman that owns her sexuality and doesn’t feel bad about being one and done with men while leaving them all panting in her wake. And what I mean by that, is this woman was instantly my spirit animal. I loved her as a secondary character but I was nervous about her being the main one. Because it’s so easy to take a character like this and overdo it. Make her too much. But somehow, she was even better than I ever hoped.

I’m not the girl who gets butterflies. I’m not the girl who swoons or begs. I’m the one who moves on before things get complicated, who keeps moving on relentlessly without looking back, like a shark that has to keep swimming forward its whole life or it will die. I’m the one who doesn’t fall. Who doesn’t feel. Who doesn’t get attached.

And you may also remember Declan from Cruel Paradise. And if you haven’t read that series, you haven’t lived. Just sayin’. But I digress. Declan was the right hand man for the Irish mafia, and suddenly finds himself at the head of it in this book. He’s also the mortal enemy of Kage from Ruthless Creatures, who happens to be Sloane’s bestie’s new man. Complication, they has it. But I digress again.

This was enemies to lovers GOLD. Declan kidnaps Sloane and keeps her captive, only it doesn’t go as he planned considering the woman is opinionated, with a razor sharp tongue, and completely fearless. She challenges him at every turn and turns him on at every corner. Their banter was the thing mu bookish dreams were made of.

I’m probably going to die with only you for company. Can you blame me for being upset?” His eyes are narrowed, doubtful, arctic blue.
I throw my hands in the air. “I’m not invincible!”
“So that deal you made with the devil for the power to kill with run-on sentences didn’t include immortality?”

Y’all. When I tell you I lived for this banter, words can’t describe the level of goofy smile I had on my face reading it.

Now I liked book one, but also wanted more story and more tension and (whispers shamefully) less sex. What? Yes it happens even to me. But I digress again. This gave me the tension I had so needed. The buildup was fiery and delicious. And when these two finally collide? HOLY MOTHER!!!!! What’s the best thing you can imagine for a fiercely independent woman? Give her an uber dominant alpha with a penchant for kink. YES PLEASE.
I’ll bind you and blindfold you, probably gag you with my tie, too. And I’ll make you come, over and over. I’ll make you glad you let yourself submit. Are you ready?”


The steam, people! THE STEAM. I died for it. I loved Sloane slowly work her quirky charm on Declan almost as much as I loved his dominant side completely own her in bed.

In this moment, all I want is to let him run me over. To let him break me, savage me, tear me apart.

Carnal Urges was action packed, quick paced, filled with humor, banter to die for, and steam hot enough to set fire to your reader. When I tell you I died for this book, I mean I DIED FOR THIS BOOK. This was JT Geissinger in all of her amazing glory and I was so here for it. And the twist at the end? DIE. I DIE. Seriously. I need the next book like yesterday.

If you love a sizzling hot mafia romance with an uber alpha to die for and a sassy and strong willed heroine to challenge him at every turn, welcome to your next addiction. This book was all of the things! I cannot recommend it enough.

J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

Connect with J.T. Geissinger

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |  Pinterest | GoodReads |  BookBub |  Join Geissinger’s Gang Reader Group |  Stay up to date by joining J.T.’s mailing list | Website 

Review: Mafia King by CD Reiss

MAFIA KING
Series: The DiLustro Arrangement #2
Genre: Dark, Mafia Romance
Author: CD Reiss
Release Date: June 15,  2021

Santino is my king.
My lover.
My husband.

 

He’s the head of the Cavallo crime family and the moment he choked my vows from me, my life was bound to his.

 

I’m done fighting my fate, until I hear two rumors, and I’m shaken to the core.

 

One rumor about the past—that I wasn’t the first bride Santino took.

 

Another about the future—a new bride is about to be taken.

 

Changing the old ways is like dousing the flames of hell with tears.

 

But I married the devil himself, and when I vowed to obey, I lied.

 

Book two of three in the The Dilustro Arrangement.

AMAZON

I hate him for letting me love him almost as much as I hate him for loving me.

Holy. Mother. Of. Cliffhangers!!! CD Reiss, you sadist! And the below is actual footage of me at the end of this book.
Where book one was a slower paced climb, this was roller coaster plummeting from the highest high to the lowest low, with my heart in my throat from beginning to finish. After the cliffhanger at the end of Mafia Bride, I wasn’t sure how I felt. The story could have taken a really rapid turn into my no bueno territory. But I should have known better than to doubt the brilliance that is CD Reiss. Because she took everything I thought I knew and understood and tilted it on its axis. Mind. Blown.

Violetta made my head spin. I loved her growth as a character. I loved seeing this almost child bride who was thrust into a world of strict tradition, hard men, and harder secrets. And I loved watching her glow and the way she slowly made her way into her own. I was also beyond frustrated with the way she forgets what world she’s in at times with her self-righteousness and unknowingly throw her and Santino into further danger. I wanted to slap a sense into this woman numerous times, not even going to lie.

Santino is everything I’ve come to love from Reiss’s alphas; he’s fiercely protective, borderline domineering, dominant, and with a filthy mouth you want to lick clean. Uhem. His dark secrets begin to unravel here, and when they come to light, it’s enough to leave your head spinning.

Every day I pray to God and the devil answers. You want me to rot in hell, but I don’t have to rot to know where my death will lead.”

The story is quick paced, and I spent the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop. And when it did, my jaw dropped right along with it. MY GOD. That cliffhanger.

I’m desperate for book three. Absolutely desperate! If you’re looking for a dark and sizzling arranged marriage mafia romance, this is going to hit spots you didn’t even know you had.

Review: Mafia Bride by CD Reiss

MAFIA BRIDE
Series: The DiLustro Arrangement #1
Genre: Dark, Mafia Romance
Author: CD Reiss
Release Date: March 16,  2021

 

An epic mafia romance trilogy that sets a new bar for just how dark a hero can get, from NY Times Bestselling author CD Reiss.

 

Some girls dream of marrying a prince, but I never imagined I’d be sold to a king.

Santino DiLustro.

The king.
The monster.
The keeper of secrets.

When he forced me to marry him, I cried for love I’d never know.

When he locked me away, I cried for the freedom I lost forever.

Every other tear I’ve shed is for my soul, because I’m falling for the devil himself.

AMAZON

I’m a prisoner of a man too beautiful for human eyes and more evil than I can comprehend.

This was the book that I never even realized I was waiting for CD Reiss to write. My obsession with all things CD began with her Songs of Submission series waaaay back. And while I’ve loved all of her books since, they haven’t quite given me the tingles of SoS variety. Until this one. THIS ONE. GAH. This is how you write a mafia romance. You know those traditional mafia romances with the virgin heroine that’s essentially sold to her husband? The books that I don’t typically care for because well…virgin heroine. I am happily eating my words when it comes to this story. Because this story? SO STINKING GOOD.


He is a predator. I am his prey. I am his property, and he is my master.

This story was utterly delicious. Violetta Moretti is a 19 year college student that suddenly finds her life turned completely upside down. Having lost her family at a young age, she’s lived the last few with her aunt and uncle in America. But suddenly finds herself thrust into her Italian roots and the bride of the mafia king, Santino DiLustro, whose mere name sends fear shivering down men’s spines.

A debt that’s to be paid.

A marriage that she never wanted.

A husband that’s determined to own her and her submission.

And a deliciously twisted story full of mystery and secrets.

The story was a bit of a slow start, and I found myself skimming through a few details. But then when it took off, it really took off. I was hooked. Completely captivated. Santino is the ultimate alpha hero. He’s magnetic. Domineering. Uber protective. And has sexual chemistry basically oozing from his every pore. GOD but I loved this man.

Violette for being a young and somewhat sheltered heroine was FIERCE. I loved this woman and her spine. She was spitting fire the entire time and never backed down. You seriously gotta love a female like that.

As for the rest? It was one of the most delicious slow burns I’ve ever read. And when that cliffhanger hits you? MOTHER OF ALL SANITY! I’ll go crazy waiting until the next book.

Review: I Thee Take by Natasha Knight

I THEE TAKE
Series: To Have and To Hold Duet #2
Genre: Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Author: Natasha Knight
Release Date: February 23, 2021 

Scarlett

Cristiano is my enemy. He’s also the only man with whom I’ve ever felt safe. Protected.

But I have to remember that he married me with one purpose in mind. Revenge. I would be the bridge to his real enemies.

I can’t let myself forget that he isn’t the hero of this story. His hands are covered in blood. I saw that with my own eyes.

Cristiano

I thought I knew Scarlett’s past, but I didn’t know anything.

I thought I knew the worst of monsters, but I hadn’t seen anything yet.

Sometimes you have to lie to yourself to survive.

Sometimes it’s those closest to you who will bury their knives in your back.

Too many times it’s the innocents who pay for your mistakes. For your refusal to see.

I can’t let Scarlett pay for mine.

But I may be too late to stop it.

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ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 With This Ring


He pulls the blankets around us and I feel safe for the first time in too long to care that I’m lying in the arms of the man who should be my enemy.

Talk about ending on a bang! This was a heart racing, non stop thrill ride that I devoured in one engrossing sitting.

I Thee Take was the epic conclusion to what’s come to be my favorite duet from Natasha Knight! Revenge, betrayal, secrets, and a marriage of convenience? Yes, please and thank you!

I fell hard for Scarlett and Cristiano in book one. Cristiano spent the majority of the first book as the hard and untouchable surviving member of a rival mafia family. And he really showed his ass at the end of the book only to regret it severely in this one.

In this one, we finally get to see his softer, fiercely protective side towards Scarlett. When her life is in danger, he stops at nothing to save her. His single minded intent and devotion towards her really explodes here, and I couldn’t get enough of it. There’s just something about a hard and ruthless mafia boss that has a soft side for the woman he loves that just does it for me. And what I love is seeing that softer side towards Scarlett without having him lose any of his edge. Because he never did.

Scarlett was even better in this book than the first one. The woman is a survivor. SHe’s been through hell and she never stopped fighting, even when all of the odds are stacked against her.

There’s so much to unpack with this book. But while I saw the ultimate reveal coming a mile away, there’s a plot twist that came out of left field that left me reeling and hoping we get more in this world. Because holy hook batman!

If you’re looking for a steamy and thrilling mafia romance, look no further. This one had it all!

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.

 

AUTHOR LINKS

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Review: Ruthless Creatures by J.T. Geissinger

RUTHLESS CREATURES
Series: Queens & Monsters #1
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Suspense
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: February 19, 2021

An explosive new novel of love, lies, and obsession from bestselling author J.T. Geissinger

Five years ago, my fiancé disappeared. Left me with a wedding dress I’d never wear. Left me with the kind of scars that can’t be healed. The man I built my future on vanished like a ghost. All that remained were my broken heart and unanswered questions.

Until a mysterious stranger arrives in town.

Tall, dark, and dangerous, Kage is as full of secrets as he is sex appeal. Though I know he’s hiding something, I’m drawn to him like a moth to flame.

The intensity of our connection is addictive, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Heat crackles between us with every look, desire flares into passion, and I fall hard, helpless to resist.

But when I discover how he’s tied to the darkness in my past, I learn what happens when you fly recklessly into fire:

You get burned.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

AMAZON | AMAZON PAPERBACK

People say time heals all wounds, but those people are assholes. Wounds like mine don’t heal. I’ve just learned to control the bleeding.

I have an obsession with JT Geissinger’s words. The woman has created some of my absolute favorite alphas and some of my favorite heroines. She’s the queen of banter and uber alphas. And I love me some uber alphas.

Ruthless Creatures is the start of her brand new Queens & Monsters series and I was so here for it. Mafia bad boys meet their match with fierce heroines? Yes please and thank you!

Let’s start with what I loved. Nat and Sloane. I am a sucker for a sassy and fiercely loyal BFF dynamic, and these two had it in spades. I couldn’t get enough of them.

He said that?”
“Verbatim.”
“Holy shit.”
“That was pretty much my reaction, too.”
Sloane pauses. “And you didn’t throw yourself to your knees, rip open his zipper, and latch onto him like a sucker fish?”
Rolling my eyes, I sigh. “And they say romance is dead.”

I lived for glimpses of Sloane in all her sassy, maneater glory. I love a female that owns her sexuality and is not one to settle. I can’t wait to meet the man to bring her to her knees. But I digress.

Nat met the love of her life, only for him to disappear on their wedding day. Five years later, she’s still moving on from the loss. The worst of it is the not knowing what happened to him and whether he’s alive or dead.

She’s been living in limbo all these years, keeping her heart in check, and not able to commit to any man. Until a mysterious stranger with an aura of danger changes everything.

Kage was absolutely DELICIOUS. When I tell you that the man has presence, I mean he has PRESENSE. He practically oozes sexuality and badass. But he’s also hiding something dark and dangerous with Nat in the front and center of it. He tries to deny their chemistry for as long as he can (which wasn’t that long) until his need for her turns desperate. Now I’m not one for the insta-love vibe, but it actually worked for me here.

What kept this from being a five star were a few things. One, while the sex was hot, there was just too much of it. I found myself skimming sex scenes, and when I admit to doing this, you know it’s a lot. This was a lot more erotic than what I’m used to from JT’s other books. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a girl that loves a good sex scene. But when it begins to detract from the plot, it’s too much. I wanted more character development. I wanted more meat to the story. I felt like the focus was on the sexy times rather than the seriously intriguing plot. There’s so much to unpack here with the rival mafia families, and I would have loved to spend more time with that. As it was, I found the primary focus to be on the sex. The other, because the focus was primarily on the plot, the characters were more forgettable then what I’m used to from this author as well. I won’t find myself going back for a re-read of this one.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I really did. I finished it in one sitting. Did I love it? No. But I did like it quite a bit. I’m complete hooked on the series, and the set up for the next book? I’m drooling.

If you’re looking for a super spicy book with a bad boy, mafia, suspense, and the hottest dirty talk, you need to check this one out.


J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

Connect with J.T. Geissinger

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |  Pinterest | GoodReads |  BookBub |  Join Geissinger’s Gang Reader Group |  Stay up to date by joining J.T.’s mailing list | Website 

Review: With This Ring by Natasha Knight

Title: WITH THIS RING
Series: To Have and To Hold Duet #1
Author: Natasha Knight
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: February 2, 2021

When I rescued Scarlett De La Cruz from her tower it’s not like her prospects were looking so great. 

You’d think she’d show a little gratitude. Thank me for putting my ring on her finger and marking her as mafia property.

My property.

I’ll keep her safe. And the trade-off isn’t so bad. Most women would jump at the chance to sleep in my bed. 

Not Scarlett, though.

My Cartel Princess has a big mouth and an even bigger attitude. But it’s her furious caramel eyes that keep me coming back for more. That and the way her body bends to mine like it already knows it belongs to me.

Scarlett is my enemy. She’s also the one woman I can’t keep my hands off. 

But if I don’t keep my head on straight, everything I’ve worked for all these years will have been for nothing. 

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Lace falls across my face. It’s yellowed over the years and the smell that clings to it is musty. Old. But it’s my mother’s. The one she wore on her wedding day. Baby’s breath and discarded lilies litter the stone floor as the woman grumbles behind me. She’s annoyed at having to work with the old veil when a brand new, prettier one sits unused in its box. I move my foot, crush the delicate baby’s breath, impaling the fallen petal of a pale pink lily with my heel. 

Funeral flowers for a wedding. An omen. 

Not that I need one. 

The stink of them turns my stomach. This isn’t how I imagined my wedding day. 

“Finished,” the woman announces. 

I stand, the petal sticking to my heel. I don’t care. I look up to meet my reflection in the mirror. 

“He won’t like the veil,” she says. She’s a blur beside me. 

I shift my gaze, letting my eyes focus on her. She’s plump and short and has a wart on the side of her face with a thick black hair growing out of it. Don’t judge a book by its cover has nothing on this one. She is as much a bitch inside as she looks on the outside.

“I guess he’ll have to get over it.” 

“You should wear the one he sent.”

I don’t bother to answer her, although I agree. The veil was a gift from my brothers. 

Gift. 

No, not a gift. 

Just another cruelty to make me wear my mother’s veil for this sham wedding. 

She snorts, turns to gather up the dress, the keys jangling on her belt. I could take them. Overpower her. That part would be easy. It’s the men with the guns outside the door who’d be the problem. 

Noisy footsteps on the hundred stairs announce the approach of soldiers to my tower room. 

A tower. They locked me in a fucking tower. My own fucking brothers. 

From the sound of things, they’re expecting me to put up a fight. They’ll take me kicking and screaming if I do. Besides, I know better than to waste my energy on them. I’ll need it after. For the wedding night. 

A man says something, another one laughs, just before I hear a loud crash, like something smashing hard against the wall.

It’s then that it happens. Gunfire explodes just beyond my room. A bullet splinters its way through the thick wooden door and shatters the mirror, breaking my reflection into a thousand pieces, sending me backward into the stone wall.

The woman with the wart screams.

I right myself. Touching the back of my head with one hand, I somehow still manage to keep hold of the lilies. Suddenly, the door is kicked in, banging against the wall as heavily armed men in military fatigues raid my room. A cloud of smoke follows behind them, seeping into my circular tower.

They fan out, a dozen of them and I don’t recognize a single one. These aren’t my brothers’ men. 

The woman is on the floor blubbering something, sobbing. 

I just stare at the door as another set of footsteps approach, quieter now. This one isn’t in a hurry.  And I know the instant he steps into my line of vision that he’s in charge. 

He’s the one to worry about. The only one who’s masked. 

He stops just inside the room, surveys it, eyeing every soldier, every stone, every cobweb. And when deep blue eyes land on me, a weight drops in my belly, a hundred-pound cement block. 

The woman with the keys stands, tripping over her words as she walks toward him. He looks down at her like he’s irritated, and she doesn’t get far. An echo of bullets shuts her down, splattering blood like paint on my neck, my face. The shots put her back on the floor. 

Fuck.

I don’t spare her a glance. I don’t need to, to know she’s dead. 

The man’s eyes return to mine. They narrow. And when he takes a step toward me, I take one back, knocking the chair behind me to the floor, panicking then. Animated then. 

I turn to run but see a dozen sets of eyes staring back at me. The masked intruder, the biggest of them all, blocks the only exit. I can’t even jump from the window. They’re barred. Suicide was never an option, not for my brothers. They needed me.

But something’s gone wrong. 

And before I can decide what to do, before I can make up my mind to try to charge him, to risk bullets putting me down like they did the woman on the floor, he’s got my wrist in his right hand and he’s squeezing it. 

My hand opens. Flowers scatter to the floor. I watch them, then watch him lift my hand to his face. His thumb comes to my ring finger where the hideous diamond catches the waning sun. For a moment I think he’s going to break my finger. But he twists and forces it off. It’s tight but he manages. He pockets the ring then shifts his gaze to mine again. 

I swallow hard. 

He cocks his head to the side, one hand still locked around my wrist. He spins me around.

I scream as he jerks me to him, his body a solid wall at my back. 

He releases my wrist and bands his arm beneath my breasts. With the other, he pushes the veil off my neck, his hand rough against my skin, fingers digging, bruising. I think he’s going to snap my neck. One quick twist is all it would take. He’s a fucking giant. 

But he doesn’t.

Instead, the moment I turn my face up to his, he squeezes and instantly, my knees give out. My arms drop uselessly to my sides. He shifts his grip and as I slip, he lifts me up, hauling me over his shoulder, turning the room upside down before it goes black.

Are you afraid of me?” he asks more quietly but no more gently. “Yes.”
He leans in close, inhales deeply. “Good. Because you should be,” he says, his lips brushing my cheek, the corner of my mouth when he does. “Because you don’t know what I want to do to you.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Natasha Knight books are my crack. She writes some of the most sizzling and addictive mafia romance and this one may be my favorite of hers to date!

Cristiano is a man set on bloody revenge and Scarlett the beautiful woman that gets caught in the crosshairs of a year old war in the making.

What I love about Knight’s duets, is the way she really sets the stage with book one. The slow burn, the tension, the secrets, the questions that are burning through your brain. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Scarlett has been collateral for ruthless man for almost all of her life. Being forced to marry a man she hates by her vicious brothers is one thing. But being rescued out of the marriage only to see another guided cage is another thing.

Cristiano has been waiting to avenge the murder of his family for years and now the cards are finally falling into place for him. Even if it means a marriage to the woman whose family took center stage in the ruination of his. It doesn’t matter that she’s an innocent. He’ll use her for what he needs.

There’s just enough character development in this book to get you completely hooked on both characters while still leaving you burning with questions on their past. The tension between Cristiano and Scarlett is so thick, you can practically taste it. This is the ultimate enemies to lovers catnip. Scarlett may be young, and her past may be riddled in pain and demons that she tries to forget, but she’s a fighter through and through. She protects her youngest brother with a type of ferocity that a mafia princess should have. But she’s no princess. She’s been through hell, even if we haven’t fully learned the extent of it.

THis story had me eagerly turning the pages well into the night only to be slammed with a cliffhangers to beat all cliffhanger and desperate for my next hit. I can’t wait to get my hands on the conclusion. This had everything I love in a mafia romance; grit with just enough dose of darkness, sexual tension, plenty of action, secrets and betrayal. I need the final book IMMEDIATELY!


COMING SOON

#2 I Thee Take – Releasing February 23

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS 

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.

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#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.

Review: Bound by Honor by Cora Reilly

BOUND BY HONOR
Series: Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #1
Genre: Mafia Romance
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: December 14, 2014

Born into one of the leading Mob families in Chicago, Aria Scuderi struggles to find her own path in a world where no choices are given. Aria was only fifteen when her parents betrothed her to Luca – The Vice – Vitiello, the oldest son of the head of the New York Cosa Nostra to ensure peace between the two families.

Now with eighteen, the day Aria has been dreading for years is looming dangerously: her wedding to Luca.
Aria is terrified of marrying a man she hardly knows, especially someone like Luca who got his nickname ‘the Vice’ for crushing a man’s throat with his bare hands. Luca might be one of the most sought after men in New York thanks to his good looks, wealth and predator-like charisma that radiates power, but the society girls throwing themselves at him don’t know what Aria does: that the bad boy aura isn’t just a game; blood and death lurk beneath Luca’s striking gray eyes and arrogant smile.

In her world a handsome exterior often hides the monster within; a monster who can just as easily kill as kiss you.

The only way to escape the marriage to Luca would be to run away and leave everything she’s ever known behind but Aria can’t bear the thought of never seeing her family again.
Despite her fear, she decides to go through with the marriage; Aria has grown up among predators like Luca and knows that even most cold-hearted bastards have a heart and she has every intention of working her way into Luca’s.

Books in the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles:
Bound By Honor
Bound By Duty
Bound By Hatred
Bound By Temptation
Bound By Vengeance
Bound By Love

AMAZON

I’ll burn down the world if I have to. I’ll kill and maim and blackmail. I’ll do anything for you.

Confession time: I totally read this book for the cheating.
What? Don’t you judge me. It’s an enticing hook. But I digress.

Truth be told, this book has set on my kindle for way too long. I’m not sure why I’m only getting around to it now since it’s been on my radar forever. I first tried Cora’s books Twisted Pride and was left….a touch underwhelmed. Then I tried a few of her other recent releases, and felt much the same way. The forgettable heroines. The lackluster romance. The somewhat formulaic plot. It just didn’t entice me to read her earlier books. But I’m certainly kicking myself for it now. Because this book was totally right up my alley.

I love a mafia romance. Make it gritty, raw, and a touch dark and I’m all over it. I think that’s what I really appreciated about this book, the rawness of it. Aria is promised to Luca when she’s 15 and married at 18. She may not be naive to the reality of being a mafia daughter, but she’s still young and naive to her ultimate reality of being married to one of the most feared men and soon to be head of New York Cosa Nostra. Theirs is not a love written in the stars. Theirs is a reality born of duty and alliance.

What I loved about the story is that Luca doesn’t change. I think that’s what I really appreciated about the author here. She took a risk writing a hero that’s imperfect but she stayed true to her characters. I simply wouldn’t buy it if it was any other way. I loved the push and pull dynamic between the two of them. I love that Aria may fear him but also doesn’t back down or cow down to Luca. She doesn’t just take her reality sitting down, and for an 18 year old, this was truly refreshing. I loved seeing her grow into her own and slowly fall for this capo. I also loved watching the cold and unfeeling Luca slowly fall for his young bride. There’s a bit that’s left open ended here which I’m assuming is later addressed in Bound by Love. One thing that’s for sure, I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

Review: Ruthless Savior by Julia Sykes

RUTHLESS SAVIOR
Series: Captive #5
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: November 17, 2020

My pretty little captive thinks she can run from me. She doesn’t understand how ruthless I truly am…

Guarding my lovely hostage has become my obsession. I protect Marisol from the vicious men in my brutal cartel, including myself. I’ve kept the promise I made to my boss on the night of her capture: No one touches her.

But she runs from me at the first opportunity, escaping the safe cage I built for her.

I’ve denied myself for far too long. She’s made the mistake of believing I’m gentle and forgiving. There’s nothing gentle about what I intend to do to her once I catch her, and she’ll have to beg for my forgiveness.

I’ve spent endless nights imagining so many delicious ways to torment her.

Now that she’s defied the cartel, I can indulge all of my twisted desires.

I’ll never let her escape me again. Marisol is mine


AMAZON 

My dark affinity for dangerous men would be my ruin.

The Captive series is one of my favorite guilty pleasure reads. I’m a sucker for a good captive romance, and Julia Sykes writes some of the most delicious antiheroes. They’re ruthless criminals that become borderline obsessive and uber protective when it comes to their females and I am so here for it.

Ruthless Savior is the story of Marisol and Ruel, who we met in Wicked King. Marisol was Carmen’s maid and a long time captive of the cartel. She yearns for freedom but seems to always get in the crosshairs of dangerous and ruthless men. This time her captor is Stefano’s right hand man, Raul.

Raul is fiercely protective of Marisol, but he’s no different than all other men in Marisol’s life; he wants to own her. She’s been planning an escape and when she finally takes it, she knows he’ll stop at nothing to bring her back. And when he does catch up to her, he won’t let her out of his sight again. She becomes his captive and even though he vows to protect her at all costs, she still knows that he won’t let her leave. Haunted by her past mistakes with dangerous men, Marisol can’t stop fighting for her freedom. her past haunts her and her dark urges for Raul terrify her.

If you like dark romance to dip your toe into the genre, this is the series. It has just the right amount of danger and darkness to be delicious, without being overwhelming. Raul is fiercely protective and dangerously lethal. But there’s enough characterization to humanize this cartel criminal that you also feel for him. I love how Sykes captures that in all her romances. This was a sexy romance full of grit and danger and just the right amount of suspense. I’m already salivating for my next fix in this series.


Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.

You can usually find Julia in Starbucks with a venti iced coffee clutched in her hand (two pumps of mocha, liberal half and half). If she’s not in Starbucks, you will find her with a glass of prosecco in hand, probably reading Harry Potter. Again.

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