Review: ★Monster In His Eyes★ by J.M. Darhower

Review-MihEMONSTER IN HIS EYES
Series: Monster in His Eyes #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: April 27, 2014add-to-goodreads-button-2

MIHEFRONT

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him.

Sometimes, I do.

But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4 starsMIHE-DGR

He’s a whirlpool of darkness, and I feel myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into the depths of his abyss. I’m drowning in him.

As I sit here beating my head against the wall for my complete and utter stupidity, I have only one thought in mind: why in the ever loving hell did it take me so long to read it?
No, but seriously. I love anti-heroes. I love mafia romance. And I seriously love J.M. Drawer’s writing. So why did this book spend almost 2 lonely years collecting dust in my kindle? Because I’m an idiot, ladies and ovaries. Complete and utter idiot that’s currently kicking my own ass if it’s any consolation.

I told you, Karissa. I read people. You have the tendency to just go with the flow and see where the wind blows, so I picked somewhere decent for you to land.

I heard many things about Ignazio “Naz” Vitale. Some of them intriguing, some of them scary, and all of them utterly titillating and ovary tingling.

Monster In His Eyes is told entire in Karissa’s POV. Karissa is an 18 year old college student that’s struggling through a philosophy class. She’s a good girl; she’s not into the party scene, she talks to her mother daily, and she has a scholarship to her school which she needs to maintain with her grades. But then Karissa’s life takes a real turn when she meets the mysterious Naz; a man twice her age, rich, enigmatic, with just the right edge of dangerous.

He fucks me like he means it, like he needs it, like being inside of me is more important than anything inside of him, and every cell in my body calls out to him, craving more of it.

Naz is such a magnetic force. As a reader you know there’s something almost sinister and dark about him. You certainly know this way before the pieces begin clicking in Karissa’s head about the man she’s involved with.

At first I was a little concerned with Karissa being only 18, that she’d be too naive, idealistic and immature. And maybe she was those things in a way, but she also pulled it off. Or better yet, the author pulled it off. I’m not sure how she did that, but I connected with her right away.

As you’re reading, you know that there’s something much deeper involved than a chance meeting. Why? Because the prologue gives that little bit away. It gives you a vague piece of the puzzle that will keep you glued to the pages in eager anticipation for more details. Is it truly a chance meeting or the work of something more? What is it that Naz truly wants. What’s his end game and will Karissa survive it?

He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package.
But I find myself wondering at times like this, when I feel the distance between us, if maybe in his eyes, the real monster is me.

Naz is a true force of nature. I fell head over ovaries for him right away. There’s this air of danger to him. But he’s also a perfectly balanced two sided coin. One side nurturing and caring, and the other side dangerous and depraved.

I’m the king of the jungle. I’m the predator.”
“Does that make me your prey?”
“That makes you my queen.”

You never know just what side you’ll get and yet you’re connected to each side equally. You crave that darkness even while you’re enjoying his sweetness. Though to be fair, there’s really nothing sweet about the man. But his treatment of Karissa is almost fervent.

While the romance is hot, what truly grips you is the intrigue behind Naz’s past and present. Who is he really? What does he want? And when the truth finally gets unveiled?
The only thing that kept this from a solid 5 star read for me was the super quick connection between Karissa and Naz. It wasn’t quite insta-love, but it wasn’t quite not either. There was a large chunk of the book centered around the everyday of their relationship which got a tad stale after a while. But then the second half more than made up for the slowness of the first.

JM Darhower crafts yet another addicting tale that’s utterly impossible to put down from beginning to finish. I read it cover to cover in one day. I was ready to cut someone for daring to interrupt me. This author has this way of sucking you right into the story and keeping you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive straight into book two!

Graphic is stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. Please don’t share without permission


MONSTER IN HIS EYES SERIES

MONSTER IN HIS EYES | TORTURE TO HER SOUL | TARGET ON OUR BACKS

Review: ★Outside the Lines★ by Lisa Desrochers

Review-OutsideTheLinesOutside the Lines
Series: On the Run #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Release Date: January 19, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

24381363

The first in an edgy new contemporary romance series that follows a family on the run, from the author of the USA Today bestselling A Little Too Far series…

As the oldest son of a Chicago crime lord, Robert Delgado always knew how dangerous life could be. With his mother dead and his father in prison, he’s taking charge of his family’s safety—putting himself and his siblings in witness protection to hide out in a backwater Florida town.

Fourth grade teacher Adri Wilson is worried about the new boy in her class. Sherm is quiet and evasive, especially when he’s around his even cagier older brother. Adri can’t help her attraction to Rob, or the urge to help them both in whatever way she can.

But the Delgados have enemies on two sides of the mob—their father’s former crew and the rival family he helped take down. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds them. And if Rob isn’t careful, Adri could end up in the crossfire…

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

Review3 starsOutsideTheLines-DGR

 

You are so fucking beautiful in every way, and all I can do is ruin you…”

From the second I read the blurb to Outside The Lines I was hooked. I knew I had to read. You see, I have this obsession with mafia romances. As in, I can’t ever pass one up. And having loved Lisa’s A Little Too Far series, adding this one was a no brainer.

The premise of the book is fantastic. Robert “Rob” Delgado is the oldest son of a Chicago crime lord. When a rivalry with another mafia family finally overbuilds with a hit gone wrong against Rob and his four siblings, his father takes a plea bargain in order to get them WITSEC. Now Rob finds himself at a backwater Florida town, still plotting revenge against those that betrayed their family. The only problem is finding out who they are first.

Adri Wilson has grown up in the small little town. Her father is the sheriff (enter super delicious set up of boy on the wrong side of the law falling for the sheriff’s daughter) and a fourth grade teacher who happens to have Rob’s youngest brother in her class. Robert draws her in straight away. There’s something about him, something behind those unreadable eyes that intrigues her. She wants to help him. She wants to help his siblings. But before she does all that, she needs to find out the truth he’s hiding behind all his lies.

This book had such strong potential that got lost somewhere between all the mundane details. After the first 15%, I found my interest steadily waning until I was almost ready to give up by the halfway point. Luckily it does pick up, but not enough to really raise my rating.

There’s a lot of day to day activity, description, and just mundane detail that takes away from the story. It could have easily been cut out and not effected the book any in my opinion. The characters were in their head a little too much for my tastes and it also took much too long for Robert to come to his senses with certain things. There was a scene with Rob and another woman at one point that I truly felt the story could have gone without. Particularly since this was already past the 40% mark, the only thing it did was diminish his connection with Adri for me. I don’t mind scenes with ow so long as I feel they add to the story, and it really didn’t here.

Adri was incredible naive and pure for my tastes, too. Her constant drive to fix everyone around her with no thought to her own safety didn’t do much to endear me to her. Her being a virgin on top of everything was just another added blah.

I did like the two of them together, but the sex scenes, while hot, were almost cheesy at times.

What ultimately hooked me was the set up for the rest of the siblings. While the book ends on a romance HEA between Rob and Adri, the whole who done it of the hit is still unclear and the Delgado siblings are still in WITSEC. There was a bit of a hint at a rival family’s son and Rob’s sister that I’m hoping will be getting a book. I’m also itching to get my hands on Grant’s story as well as Ulie and Lee. That alone is enough to keep me reading. Hopefully the next book will be a little quicker paced.

Outside The Lines was one of those reads that wasn’t bad and wasn’t great. It was just ok. A middle of the road kind of read if you will. I didn’t hate it, but it’s nothing I’d come back to either. I do have my hopes set on the next book because like I said, the premise of the series is truly a fantastic one.

Graphics are stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. Please don’t share without permission

Review: ★The Marriage Contract★ by Katee Robert

The Marriage Contract 
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 2, 2015

25253481-2-2

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert begins a smoking hot new series about the O’Malley family-wealthy, powerful, dangerous and seething with scandal.

Teague O’Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family’s name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a “business” alliance, Teague’s ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and vows he will do everything in his power to protect her.

Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. But the closer they get, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret-and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.

Whatever she’d expected from this kiss, it certainly hadn’t been desire. Though DESIRE was too tame a word. She’d felt desire before, and this wasn’t it. This was…need. All-consuming need that devoured everything in its path, leaving only destruction in its wake.

Having loved every Brazen book of Katee’s I’ve ever read, when i saw that she’s releasing this brand new series that’s grittier and has a mob story line? I was hooked. Line and sinker. Reading it was an absolute no brainer.

The set up was extremely intriguing. Callista “Callie” Sheridan is the daughter of one of the prominent Boston mafia families. In the hopes of uniting themselves with an even more powerful one, her father arranges her to marry the eldest son of the Halloran family. Unfortunately he’s also known as more ruthless with his women than he is with his business. When he also turns up dead a few days before the engagement announcement her father doesn’t spare a moment before promising her to Teague O’Malley.

Teague is the son of a powerful Irish Boston mafia family and he also wants absolutely nothing to do with the family business. But when his eldest brother comes to him with this “business alliance”, the last thing he expects is to be inexplicably drawn to the delicate beauty that’s now his “fiance”. As much as Teague longs to be away from this life, he can’t leave his siblings. Being incredibly attracted to Callie certainly doesn’t hurt things either. Unfortunately it’s not all smooth sailing when their engagement leads to a deadly mafia war started by the Halloran family.

There’s a lot that happens in this book aside from the central romance. There’s numerous POVs and several characters introduced, including all of Teague’s siblings and the Halloran brothers. Because of this it took me quite a bit to truly wrap my mind around everything and really get into the story. While each character added to the story, it was also a lot to keep track of at first. This may very well be a case of the “series firsts”. This book definitely had a much grittier feel to it than any of Katee’s previous books, which was great. So what didn’t work for me? The romance.

Now I’ll say this; considering both Teague and Callie’s personalities, their romance fit them. I just didn’t feel like it fit the story. It was just too saccharine sweet. I’m not a fan of insta-love and this was a very solid case of this. They basically fall for each other at first sight. Katee pulls it off because, again, she makes it fit the characters. But I just needed something…more. The amount of time Teague called her “angel” almost drove me up the wall crazy. 59 times to be exact and yes I counted because I was just that irritated by it.

Sadly I’m one of those reader that if I don’t connect to the main couple, it won’t matter how great the rest of the book and story is. And the story itself was great. The set up for the next book with James Holloran sounds like it will be right up my alley as a matter of fact. Unfortunately with this book, it just fell a bit flat. I wanted a more gritty feel to it considering the story line and I just didn’t get that. Readers that haven’t read much mafia romance will definitely enjoy this. I like my mafia books with a little more of an edge, so this one just fell a romance shy of that for me.

I’m definitely hooked on the series and absolutely cannot wait until the next book. ESPECIALLY after that preview that we got in this book. Can’t hurt that I had a mental visual of Charlie Hunnam after reading James Holloran’s description. Nope. Didn’t hurt one tiny bit.

ARC Review: ★By Any Other Name (Forbidden, 1)★ by @JMDarhower

By Any Other Name
Series: Forbidden #1
Author:  J.M. Darhower
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 23, 2015

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.Genevieve “Genna” Galante knows a thing or two about causing trouble. After all, it’s engrained in her DNA. As the only daughter of Primo Galante, notorious boss of the Galante crime family, her life is dictated by a certain set of rules… rules Genna was never very good at following.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti never wanted anything to do with the family business, but as the first-born Barsanti son, certain things are expected of him. It’s his duty, according to his father, to help take down the enemy… even if that enemy means something to him.

A chance encounter on an elevator changes the course of lives, causing the biggest trouble of Genna’s young life. The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti. She’s heard it said time and time again. So what happens when she falls in love with one of them?
The story of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the biggest rivalry New York has ever seen, determined to make it… if only they can survive their parents’ feud.

Buy Links
Review
4 stars

Shall I compare thee to a…uh…whatever the hell Shakespeare compares thee to.”
“A summer’s day, but I’m more like a winter storm.”
“Ice princess,” he joked, softly kissing her as he gripped her hips. “You feel warm to me.”

Are you sitting down for this? Because what I’m about to tell you here is so shocking, it’s crazy! *whispers* (this is the first J.M. Darhower book I’ve read) *pause for dramatic gasps* I know! I’m not sure what rock I’ve clearly been living on there, but I have found my way out and seen the light because I am definitely a huge fan after finishing this book

Their families didn’t just carry animosity- they were mortal enemies, hell-bent on destroying each other. The two of them were a disaster waiting to happen, and they had just been fooling themselves if they thought anything good could come out of this thing.”

Star crossed lovers on opposite ends of rivaling mafia families? Sign me right up!

Genevieve “Genna” Galante is the youngest child and only daughter of Primo Galante; the notorious and ruthless head of the Galante crime family. She may be daddy’s little girl, but she’s no innocent. If there’s trouble to cause, she’s in the thick of it. Her life is kept under tight control by her father and older brother who is set to take over the family business. Gemma may be a trouble maker that loves to break rules, but there’s one thing she knows

The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti.”

While her family has plenty of enemies, the most dangerous is the rivaling mafia family, the Brasanti’s. A deadly rivalry that began years ago. A rivalry where no one is spared, and Gemma knows the price her family paid that began the ruthless war between the two families.

Gemma longs to escape the rules, the life, the restrictions, the death of it all. Then one night she looks into a pair of the most striking blue eyes she’s ever seen, and is completely captivated by the man that owns them. Matty. But what she doesn’t realize is that the man that captures her heart in just a few short hours happens to be the first born son of her family’s rival.


This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“What?”
“You.”
“You had me,” she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
“I did,” he agreed. “But the past isn’t what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the NOW. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to HAVE you.”

Sure this had a little insta-something feel to it, but hey, you are reading a Romeo and Juliet-esk romance after all. I loved how the author managed to have that but also stretch it out and truly build up the chemistry between these two characters.


Can I ask you something?”
Matty’s brow furrowed. “Sure.”
“How do you fix your hair so your horns don’t show?”

I was afraid that with Gemma being only 18 years old, she may come off as too naive and annoying for my tastes, but that was never the case. While she may have been young, she had a sensibility to her that was beyond her years and circumstances.

I absolutely adored her and Matty together. It definitely helped that the story is told in alternating POVs (though I did find myself wishing it was in first person, as I felt it may have helped me to connect even more to the characters).


Feels different, doesn’t it?” he asked.
“It does,” she agreed, suddenly queasy as she admitted it out loud. “I feel kind of like Julia Roberts.”
“Pretty Woman?”
“Sleeping with the Enemy.”

The focus of the book was more so on the romance, though you do get bits and pieces of the history of these two families. You get a lot more from Gemma’s family than you do of Matty’s, however. There’s a few hints that are dropped here and there about what began the rivalry and there’s clearly a huge piece of the puzzle that is still missing from Matty’s side, but you won’t be getting much here. This book truly set up the romance aspect, while leaving the reader with plenty of questions to have you burning for the next book.

I loved all the secondary characters, and the plot had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I think I spent the last 30% of the book with my heart in my throat, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. With stories of this nature, you just know that all shit is about to hit the fan sooner rather than later, but you just never know when or how. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page, and after that ending? I’m dying to know how everything concludes.

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★The Untouchables★ by @JJMcAvoy

TheUntouchables Tour
The Untouchables
Ruthless People #2
Publication Date: January 22, 2015
Also in this series: Ruthless People
Genres: Contemporary, Dark, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Tour: The Untouchables by J.J. McAvoyBook 2 in the Ruthless People Trilogy.“One Secret. Multiple Casualties.”

Everything Melody Callahan has ever been told about her past is a lie. Her father lied. Her husband lied. But like all secrets…they come out. Not only is her mother, Aviela, alive but she won’t stop until she tears down everything Liam and Melody have spent the past year building.

With a new target on their back and the media now focused on their family as the Presidential election approaches, Liam and Melody must fight on two battlefronts. Melody is torn between being in love with Liam and wanting to kill him for lying to her. Being in love and showing love are two different things in her world. Liam wants to do anything to protect his family even if that means hurting the people he loves.

Family is everything… but what happens when they’re out for your blood? Everything they have been through is nothing compared to what is coming…

***Warning: This book contains adult language and subject matter including graphic violence and explict sex that may be disturbing for some readers. This book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.***

Buy Links
BOOK TRAILER

The Untouchables Soundtrack http://wp.me/p3p2N1-tj
Read The Untouchables Prologue and Chapter One http://wp.me/p3p2N1-sR
Review
3.5 stars
I was a Callahan. God help whoever stood in this family’s way. 

The Callahans are back and they’re as crazy as ever. Ruthless People was one of my favorite books from last year, but it’s definitely a book that’s either for you…or not. There’s not really a middle here. Melody and Liam are borderline psychotic, violent, ruthless, and their volatile relationship pretty much mirrors that. If the first book wasn’t your cuppa, I don’t suggest you read this one. If you were like me and found the first book entertaining for exactly what it was, then you definitely need to read this one.


We were all fakers; lying to people who were lying to themselves.

The Untouchables takes off immediately where Ruthless People ended; Liam finds out that Melody’s mother that everyone thought had died in the plane crash years ago is not only alive and well but is even more ruthless than her daughter and wants them all dead. He’s determined not to let Melody find out until he has more details, but Melody is just as determined to discover whatever it is that Liam is keeping from her.

All the motives for murder are covered by four Ls: Love, Lust, Lucre and Loathing.”
-P.D. James 

Of course nothing stays hidden long and when the queen B is pissed, heads start to roll. The truth about her mother turns out to be much more than her simply being alive and after Melody and her family. A long standing vendetta soon begins to become uncovered and the Callahans may be facing an enemy that is even more ruthless and dangerous than them.

I wasn’t sure what was coming, but I knew it was coming straight from hell. 

When Melody’s life is threatened, Liam is determined to protect her at whatever cost…even if he has to kill his own family members to do it. This is not a man to be messed with. Liam is as Liam was, quick tempered, violently overprotective, and always horny.

While Melody and Liam may still fight like they want to kill each other, the passion between them is just as fiery.

I was addicted to her.
She glared at me and I wanted her, she sneezed and I wanted her. She was everything… 

There was a lot, and I mean A LOT that happens here. Truth be told, it was almost too much for my puny brain at times. I think that had I read Ruthless People right before this and had all those details fresh in my mind, I would have enjoyed this a lot more. As I began to get further into the story I began to realize that I had forgotten some very pivotal details and the author doesn’t really ease you into that information here, more throws you right into the deep end. Now that’s not necessarily bad, because it may get redundant to have all these things repeated, but it did impact my enjoyment since I did forget. It was the smallest details too, like Declan being Liam’s cousin and not brother. At first I thought it came completely out of left field, but when I went back to re-read parts of Ruthless People, I realized this was something that was revealed a while ago.

Murder is like potato chips: you can’t stop with just one.
-Stephen King 

All that being said, the biggest reason for my lower rating was the POVs. There were a lot of them. I’m talking everyone and their mother had one. Literally. You had Liam, Melody, Declan, Olivia, Sedric, Neal, Coraline, and even 2 side characters that were the hired muscle. This is something that will either work for you or it won’t. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter. my puny brain just couldn’t keep up. Between trying to remember all the details from book 1 and then wrapping my head around everything that was happening here, it was taking me forever to read. I kept having to go back and re-read many parts simply because I would find myself lost. Now again, perhaps if Ruthless People was still fresh in my memory, I wouldn’t have had this issue, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt.

This wasn’t a game. This was our fucking family, and nothing trumped family. 

My one quibble aside, this was still entertaining as fuck. Filled with murder and betrayal, mystery and suspense, this was a non-stop action packed ride. The question of who is the game changer that is currently pulling the strings and looking to overthrow the Callahans is something that remains a mystery until the very end. Then JJ hits you with a motherfucker of a cliffhanger. Luckily the wait for book 3 isn’t long, so my reaction wasn’t quite as stabby as it could have been haha.

I can’t wait to see how it all resolves. The stakes are certainly high and it’s bound to be one epic conclusion.

READING ORDER

 

RUTHLESS PEOPLE (BOOK ONE)
THE UNTOUCHABLES (BOOK TWO)
AMERICAN SAVAGES (BOOK THREE)
About The Book
65497_1541399449440285_8932564999068005789_n

J. J. McAvoy first started working on Ruthless People during a Morality and Ethics lecture her freshman year of college. X number of years later, she is an insomniac who has changed her major three times, and is a master in the art of procrastination. If you ask her why she began writing, she will simply tell you “They wanted to get their story out.”

She is currently working on her next novel . . . so please bug her on Twitter @JJMcAvoy

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: