Review: Gold Mine by Skye Warren

GOLD MINE
Genre: Dark Romance
Series: The Diamond Trilogy #2
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: September 15, 2020

Holly Frank is in trouble. The deadly kind.

She and her sister must evade the authorities and the criminals who want them dead. Including Elijah North. The man who took her heart in Paris, her body in a prison cell, and her trust without remorse.

He’s determined to keep her safe. Even if that means losing her forever.

Adam Bisset has his own dark agenda.

She’s caught between the two men, torn apart with every sensual push and pull. Each touch is a lie, each whispered tenderness a trap—but she can’t resist them.

Their lies are tearing her apart. Her enemies are catching up with her. And when she’s taken captive again, she finds out secrets to unravel it all.

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When you run, I will come after you. I will always come after you. You belong to me now, Cristina. For better or for worse.”

Oh.
My.
GOD.

I need the next book immediately!!!! My ovaries shall not survive it! I’m a sucker for a good anti-hero, and no one writes them quite like Natasha Knight. As a matter of fact, Damian Di Santo may be my favorite antihero I’ve read from her to date! This man was SHIVER inducing.

The pacing of this story was PERFECTION. It gives just enough chemistry to make the progression believable all the while maintaining the dangerous and dark notes of Damian and Christina’s relationship.

Christina is only a child when she first gets in Damian’s crosshairs. A bloody revenge, secrets and promises bring them back together years later on her eighteenth birthday. I loved that even thought Christina is so young and has the naiveté to go with it, she’s not a pushover. She’s a fighter. She’s not reckless but she’s also not a doormat. She’s an incredible balance of fierce and vulnerable. As for Damian? GAH. This man. I loved him. He’s lethal, cunning, and oozes danger and sexuality. Christina can’t accept that she was promised to Damian in a deal that cost her family everything. She’ll fight him with everything she is. But there’s so much more at play here. There’s dark secrets and dangerous plot twists lurking at every turn and I was so here for it.

I DEVOURED this book, y’all. Couldn’t stop reading for even a second. It was everything I love in a dark romance and I’m absolutely desperate for the conclusion!

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Review: Diamond in the Rough by Skye Warren

Diamond In The Rough
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Series: The Diamond Trilogy #1
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: July 7, 2020

Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…

Diamond in the Rough by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren, is available now!

I’m stepping off a nine hour flight when it happens.

A white van.
A dark hood.
Every woman’s worst nightmare.

Now I’m trapped in an abandoned church.

The man who took me says I won’t be hurt.

The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie.

I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls.

I’ll need every single one of them to survive.

 

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren.

 

This is a trilogy with cliffhangers.

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The dream comes to me before death.

I’ve seen it before. It comes to soldiers taking their last ragged breaths. They see their mothers kneeling over them in the middle of the godforsaken desert. They see a beloved wife holding their hand. I don’t have a mother or a wife. So it makes sense that the angel would come in the form of a stranger.

Except my angel begs me to let her go.

“I have money. And my family, they’ll pay a ransom.”

I walk through the conversation as if it’s a forest, touching the leaves and searching for animals beneath the foliage. She’s a puzzle, this angel, but she’s mine. I won’t give her up to die alone.

Adam comes downstairs. You can last seven minutes.

That’s when I know this is no strange dream. There is a woman in the cell with me. Christ. “Don’t listen to him,” I tell her, my voice low. The words echo off the damp stone walls. “Don’t fucking listen to a word he says.”

“You don’t want water?” Adam asks, taunting.

It’s painful how badly I need that goddamn water bottle he’s flaunting. But I have no illusions about my injuries. I’m going to die in this old French prison, and the part that pisses me off the most, the only thing that I really regret, is not taking Adam down with me. “He’s fucking with you.”

“I’ll do it,” the woman says, her voice brave and wavering at the same damn time.

I try to sit up, to stop her, to save her, but pain lashes my side. It blinds me. Ludicrous, the idea that I could save anyone in this state. “Don’t trust him. God, don’t let him—”

Don’t let him touch you.

If he kidnapped this woman, he’s going to do more than touch her.

There’s a squeak as the old metal protests its use.

Shuffling. Movement. The sounds filter through my haze of pain and hunger and the never-ending knife of thirst. They filter through with a bolt of goddamn outrage.

How dare he touch her? She’s my angel of death. Mine.

I shake my head against the cold concrete. No, that’s the blood loss speaking. She’s a real woman. Flesh and blood. And she’s going to get hurt.

“Let’s bring you into the light,” Adam says with his flawless, fake French accent.

It’s pitch-fucking-black down here, but somehow he finds a tiny shaft of light. The door is open a crack. Hope surges through me. No matter how unlikely escape, the human spirit won’t give up.

The woman cries out as she stumbles over something. Her back hits the bars with a clang. And then I can actually see her face in more than monochrome shadows. The delicate bridge of her nose, the eyes wide with fear. Blue. They’re blue. Her lips are a full, flawless pout, and my hope rips to shreds.

She’s beautiful. Incandescent, even in this hellhole. How will she ever survive?

“There we are,” Adam says, sounding very pleased with himself. He’s crowding her, one arm holding the bars, the other cupping her jaw. His perfectly tailored suit was made for this moment. It could be the picture of any man flirting with his date after dinner, stealing a kiss outside the restaurant.

Except he didn’t date her. He kidnapped her.

It’s something deeper than affection. Darker than love. She’s mine.

So who’s the idiot that completely missed that this is a trilogy because she didn’t even bother to read the blurb before diving in on a new Skye book?
Yeah.
Suffice it to say, there was a lot of colorful language and feet stomping that happened at the end.
Le sigh.

But guuuuuurl. I haven’t been this invested in one of Skye Warren’s stories since The Pawn. And I loved me some of that trilogy. And I swear to you, this one is even more delicious. There’s a dark thriller element to this that I gobbled right up and was left with a mind f*ck to end all mind f*cks.

Holly grew up in the shadow of her sister’s beauty, if only by her own insecurities. But one time when she’s a young girl, her heart gets stolen by a mysterious boy, only for it to be shattered. The encounter, although brief, leaves an unforgettable imprint on her heart, and a jaded after taste.

Now Holly is no longer the naive young girl she used to be. But the one constant, is her constantly running to her sister’s rescue. And when her sister goes radio silent, Holly’s fear finds her on a plane, and landing straight into hell. Kidnapped. Imprisoned. She has no idea what to believe or who to trust. There’s a man beaten half to death in her cage that tells her she can trust him. And a man keeping her in the cage that says he’s a liar. What begins is a mind game Holly never saw coming and doesn’t know how to get out of.

Now, if you’ve read Sonata, you’ll see quite a few welcome cameos here. And if you haven’t, you MUST.

As for the story, I simply won’t give you more than that. The blurb is vague AF and there’s a reason for it. You want to go in completely blind to experience the mind f*ck to it’s fullest. Trust me here. I loved Holly’s fierceness and fight. And the hero? Sweet baby jesus! Here! Hold my ovaries! But seriously. The man is intense with a capitol I. My only quibble is I wanted a little more detail with the sex. What? Stop looking at me like that. It was the mother of all sexual tensions and I wanted more, ok? Call me a greedy pervert here, whatever. I am what I am. But I digress. Aside from that one very minor quibble, I was completely invested and addicted to this story. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the wait for book two, but NEED!

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Review & Excerpt: Mating Theory by Skye Warren

MATING THEORY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: March 17

A Trust Fund Standalone Novel by New York Times bestselling author, Skye Warren

Billionaire Sutton Mayfair has nothing left to lose…

My best friend is getting married to the woman I love. They say the nice guy finishes last. So what’s the point of being a goddamn gentleman?

Maybe I should take what I want.

Even that sexy little thing on the street corner.

She needs a hot meal and a place to sleep. Instead I’m taking her home to soothe the savage beast inside me. I was born a bastard, and for the first time in my life I act like one.

Except the more I use her, the more I need her.

I didn’t know I had someone left to lose.

But for a single heartbeat, I had her.

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“Which one broke your heart?”I couldn’t describe the sledgehammer I’d taken to the brain when I met Christopher in a dimly lit private club. Too dark to be called lust or even love. Competitive and all-consuming. I couldn’t describe the desire that slammed through me when I met his stepsister.

There was no way I could choose between them, but it had not been a choice. They wanted each other. Electricity crackled in the air whenever they were in the same room.

Well, I could be happy for them.

That’s what a good man would do. A gentleman, and I’ve worked so fucking hard to pretend that’s what I am. Until the liquor stripped my skin away. Until this girl sat beside me, asking which one broke my heart. She watches me with clear eyes, her gaze impossibly wise. What does she see?

“Both of them.”

A sympathetic sound that feels like a stroke to my cock.

She doesn’t look shocked that I fell for a man, even though it shocked the hell out of me. I questioned my sexuality, fought with it—lost myself to it. Wanting Harper did not diminish wanting Christopher.

There’s something worldly in that dark gaze. Any other day I would find out what.

Tonight, I don’t care. She isn’t a person with wants and dreams and needs of her own. I’m going to use her body the same way they used mine. I’m going to take what they took from me.

“Your name,” I say, though it doesn’t really matter.

“Ashleigh.” She sounds uncertain for the first time tonight, her name drawn out into two parts. Ash, like the soot in a fireplace. And leigh, leigh, leigh. She’s beautiful, and I’m wasted.

“Come here, Ashleigh.” Except I don’t give her a chance to come here. She might use it to leave, to disappear down that metal staircase where I can’t follow.

My hand wraps behind her neck, pulling her close. My lips are harsh against hers, hungry and hard. I want to punish her for the emptiness inside me, except when she makes a little sound of fright, it fills me up with something else. Pleasure like black velvet, the kind of darkness I want to stroke my fingers over, back and forth, to feel the fibers pull against me.

Her shuddery breaths are like water, and I drink and drink. My tongue slides against hers. It’s a graphic act, this kiss. More obscene than actual sex could be. More invasive as I push her head back and explore her mouth, not waiting for permission, not leaving any place untouched.

I must taste like whiskey, but she doesn’t pull away.

I’m the one who breaks the kiss, panting hard. Liquid dark eyes stare up at me.

Surprise. More than that. There’s outright shock in her expression. Is she younger than I thought? More innocent than anyone I ever met? I should ask her about sex, but those aren’t the words that come out of my mouth. “Have you ever been in love, Ashleigh?”

A slow shake of her head. “No,” she whispers.

“Good. That’s good.”

“I can pretend.”

“What?”

“For a hundred dollars.”

There’s a drum in my head, pounding, pounding, telling me I’ve got something wrong. Really wrong. “A hundred dollars,” I repeat, wishing my veins weren’t running hot with liquor.

“For an hour. I know how much that suit costs. You can afford it.”

I pull back, moving careful so I don’t tip over. “What are you talking about?”

A cool breeze skates over us, and she shivers. I want to comfort her, but that’s not what this is about. A fast fuck on an abandoned rooftop while the sounds of a massive block party bounce off the buildings around us. And a hundred dollars, apparently. Jesus. I was about to fuck a prostitute.

What’s worse is that I still want to do it. More, because I know she’ll let me do anything.

For a price.

I want to fall in love. That’s what’s wrong with me, my fatal flaw. The insistent desire to enmesh myself with another human being.

How do you not fall head over heels for Sutton Mayfair? How, I ask you? The man is just so perfectly broken. Not only did he fall hard for the woman that his best friend wanted, but he fell for his best friend too. Now as their wedding day approaches, he’s nursing his broken heart through an alcohol fueled daze.

Ashleigh is barely keeping herself alive on the streets. A teen runaway, she’s turned to the only resort she has to make ends meet; selling her body. When she stumbles across a drunken Sutton on a rooftop, their story begins. Sutton is too broken hearted to look too deep into anything. He sees a beautiful woman that’s come on hard times and he’s not above giving her any cash she needs to find comfort in her body.

This may have been a short read, but it was filled with so much depth. Actually, I’m stunned at just how much depth Skye Warren fit into under 250 pages. It wasn’t a novella, but it read like one. Why? Because I devoured it in the time it would usually take me to read a novella. I couldn’t put it down.

There’s just something so incredibly endearing about Sutton. His unrequited love and coming to terms with moving on from a broken heart. Falling for a woman that’s selling her body to him no matter how much he fights it.

Ashleigh was one of the most endearing heroines as well. She’s damaged but not broken. She’s vulnerable but not weak. She’s this perfect balance of someone you want to shelter and protect while showing that she’s capable of fighting her own battles. I loved the two of them together and I loved this sexy and emotional story of two broken people finding shelter and love with each other.

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Review: Overture by Skye Warren

OVERTURE
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Forbidden
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: February 19, 2019

Forbidden fruit never tasted this sweet…

The world knows Samantha Brooks as the violin prodigy. She guards her secret truth—the desire she harbors for her guardian.

Liam North got custody of her six years ago. She’s all grown up now, but he still treats her like a child. No matter how much he wants her.

No matter how bad he aches for one taste.

Her sweet overtures break down the ex-soldier’s defenses, but there’s more at stake than her body. Every touch, every kiss, every night. The closer she gets, the more exposed his darkest secret.

She’s one step away from finding out what happened the night she lost her family. One step away from leaving him forever.

OVERTURE is the first novel in a brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren.

AMAZON

It’s an exquisite torture, wrong on every level, and I never want it to end.

An underage music prodigy, her fierce protector, taboo romance, and a sweet sizzle of a slow born that’s expertly crafted made Overture one delicious page turner!

I love the sweet torture of a good slow burn, and this book definitely delivered on that front. It sets the stage for what I could already tell is going to be one epic romance. The heroine is a musical prodigy on the cusp of her eighteenth birthday and desperately in love with her legal guardian. Samantha has never been what society would consider normal. Her violin has been her closest companion and all she knows. She lives and breathes for her music. I was almost a little afraid that I’d get frustrated by her because she’s so sheltered, but there’s something so fierce about her that I just loved. Yes, she’s young. Yes, she’s inexperienced. But she’s certainly not sheltered, no matter how much Liam tries. This is a girl that lived a hard life and never truly felt the warmth of a parent’s love. She knows abandonment and pain. She also knows what she wants, and that’s Liam.

I’m the one who made the overture. He’s the one who will retreat.

Liam is everything I love in Skye’s heroes; he’s fiercely protective, broody and broken. And while he’s not related to Sam by blood, their age difference alone is reason enough to keep his hands off of her. No matter how much he yearns otherwise. There’s such a deliciously torturous back and forth dance of seduction and retreat that these two go through and I couldn’t get enough of it. Liam fights his feelings for Sam with everything he’s got. He’s a soldier first and her protector. He can’t imagine a world where he can be her lover. He’s to broken to offer her his heart. And he doesn’t want to hold her back from her potential.

If you’re looking to dip your toes in the taboo genre without totaling immersing yourself in the waters, this is the perfect book! I love a good forbidden romance, but this one is like a three on a ten scale. I wanted that taste of forbidden and that slightly uncomfortable feeling of rooting for something oh so wrong. The romance here didn’t quite feel like that. Perhaps because it WAS such a slow burn that it allows the reader to truly understand both of these characters and get comfortable with their differences. I can’t help but wish it was a touch more taboo-ish, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Review: Escort by Skye Warren

ESCORT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: March 20, 2018

I’m an escort, which means this date is nothing more than a mutually enjoyable transaction. There shouldn’t be any surprises, not for one as jaded as me, but when I walk into the penthouse suite of L’Etoile, everything changes.

1) For one thing, Bea is heartstoppingly gorgeous. Pale green eyes and endless freckles. Curves I want to spend all night exploring, as if her body was made for me.

2) Her innocence makes me want to use my entire inventory of bedroom tricks on her and then invent a few more.

3) Except that… she’s a virgin.

I can initiate her into the world of desire without letting her get attached, can’t I? A few hours of tutoring, and at the end of the night a small fortune will be deposited into my bank account.

But once I realize one night with her won’t be enough, I’m the one who’s screwed.

AMAZON

It’s been a few weeks since I read this book, and I still struggle with how to rate it. It’s turned out to be those middle of the road books for me that I simply don’t know how I feel about. Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. Did I like it? Almost, but not quite. So how do I even rate something like that? The struggle was definitely real here, y’all. But ultimately, with it being a middle of the road read, I’m going with a middle of the road rating. I didn’t love it, nor did I hate it. While it kept me engaged enough to finish, it will be one of those books that I’ll likely forget about.

I adore Skye’s writing and while this had her usual lyrical flow, it wasn’t quite what I expected being used to her spine tingly sort of dark romance. Hugo Bellmont may be a sexy hero, he’s also not the intense alpha male that I’ve come to expect from Skye. Perhaps it was my expectations that got the best of me here, but if you’re expecting a dark read with an intense alpha, this book isn’t quite that. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Hugo. He had this unassuming intensiveness to him that came from his caring and protective side, it just wasn’t enough for me to fall in love with him like I have with most of Skye’s other heroes.

I loved that it was loosely tied into Skye’s Engame Trilogy and Masterpiece Duet world. But it was nothing like those books. I struggled to really feel the connection between the two MCs. It didn’t feel forced, but it was a little too quick for me to truly buy into it. The story, while engaging, wasn’t one that kept me riveted to the pages. And just when I was finally started to get truly invested in things, it ended.

I will say that while this book didn’t quite do it for me, it certainly was a good hook if we’ll be getting more in this world. There were a few other secondary characters that were introduced that I’m definitely intrigued with. While I still love Skye Warren, you just can’t love every book, and this book unfortunately was that for me. I’m clearly the odd man out with my opinion, so read it and judge for yourself.

Review: Hostage by Skye Warren & Annika Martin

HOSTAGE
Series:
Criminals & Captives #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Authors: Skye Warren & Annika Martin
Release Date: 
January 30th, 2018

I never knew when he’d come to me. Only that he would.

I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately!

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It’s him or me. It’s stand here and let a man die, or do something—for once in my life, do something that’s not wearing a dress and smiling and getting it all wrong.

So I run out there. I watch myself do it, like a movie almost. “Stop it,” I yell.

The attacker just keeps on, a dark storm, all fists and fury. My presence means nothing to him. My words don’t touch him. It’s as if I’m yelling at thunder.

My heart beats out of my chest. I’ve risked everything, come out in the open, but it’s not enough. I stamp my foot to get his attention, crushing gravel beneath my mother’s Louboutins.

“The cops are coming,” I say.

The man stills and looks up. It’s a shock when it happens, even though I’ve been trying to get him to see me. His eyes seem to blaze into my chest, hot and bright.

Breathless, I back away.

He stands, leaving the man in a groaning, whimpering heap.

I retreat slowly, showing him my phone, as though that might protect me. “Cops are coming,” I say again. A lie. I couldn’t punch in the code.

He’s coming at me, expression unreadable. He’s a few years older than I am—late twenties, maybe.

My back hits something hard. The van.

He keeps coming. I try to spin and run, but he grabs my arm and slams me back into the van. “Where do you think you’re going, little girl?”

I stare up at him, panting.

His warm breath is a feather on my nose; the heat in his eyes invades me. He grabs my hair and tilts my head back, forcing me to stare into his face, as if he’s trying to read my eyes.

A moment later, he looks up at the night sky. He seems almost wolfish, and I’m conscious, suddenly, of my bare neck so close to his snarling mouth. I wonder if he’s staring at the moon. It’s like he’s going to howl or something.

Then I get it. He’s listening for sirens.

“You’re a little fucking liar.”

My bones turned to stone over a decade ago. My blood to dark sludge. I’m like the abandoned hotel we stand on top of. Some of the pieces are still here, but most of me is gone. I only have one purpose now, and that’s making sure all the guys get their revenge.

It’s been a few years since I read Prisoner, but I distinctly remember three things about that book.
1. I beyond loved it. Like 5+ star loved it
2. It had one of the most intense H/h first meetings ever
3. I became instantly intrigued by the gang’s leader, Stone.

So when I saw this book was coming out? I didn’t even bother to read beyond the fact that it’s Stone’s book before jumping at the chance to read it.

She’s this pure thing in my control, and I’m bloody and horny, and I want to devour her.

These two authors are a powerhouse together, and I can only hope that we’ll be getting more in this addicting series. Hostage was everything I had hoped it would be, and so much more. It was intense, emotional, brimming with dark undercurrents, and a romance that’s both sizzling hot and full of feels.

I’ll be honest, I was a tad bit concerned since the heroine was only 16 years old at the beginning. Not only because of the age difference, but I was afraid she’d be too naive and sheltered for my tastes. I shouldn’t have been concerned on either front, because the authors pulled it off flawlessly. One, the book spans over a few years, and two, the heroine was the furthest thing from naive. She was young, yes, but she knew exactly what she wanted and what she was getting into with Stone.

Stone was a character that my heart just bled for. He’s this eerie combination of deadly and determined with a hidden vulnerability that you couldn’t help but feel for.

No girlfriends, no families, no children, no white picket fences. We’re too far gone for that, too ruined, too twisted. We’re brothers to the end—out for vengeance.

If you haven’t read book 1 in this series, I highly recommend it. It will truly give you a more complex understanding of the boys and what they’ve been through. However, this book also gives you plenty of background so you never feel lost.

Stone has lived and breathed revenge for years. His life has become nothing but blood and memories in his never ending search to find those responsible for what he and his ‘brothers’ suffered and making them pay. One by one, he’s getting closer to finding the main players. But when an innocent girl stumbles into his warpath, the last thing he expects is for the connection that blooms between them.

He’s the man no boy can measure up to. He’s the moon lighting the vast, dark night of my life.

What first starts as a hostage situation ultimately grows into something more. But instead of dissipating over time, it grows into something much stronger and a lot more than either one of them were prepared for but can’t fight.

Take it all, I think. Whatever you want. All this time I was worried about ruining her. I never imagined she’d be the one ruining me.

I couldn’t get enough of these characters. Their connection was incredible and full of chemistry, but with plenty of suspense and twists to have readers glued to the pages. Definitely a strong follow up to the incendiary Prisoner, and I only hope with more to come!

Skye Warren:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

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Annika Martin:

Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

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Jennifer’s Review & Excerpt: The Queen by @skye_warren

THE QUEEN
Series: The Masterpiece Duet #2
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: September 19, 2017

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle of his long-lost sister. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city’s throne.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

“I’m looking for my dad. He works for you.”That earns me a small smile, his lids low. “He does more than work for me. Does he tell you about his day when he calls me? About threatening people for money? About following through?”

Acid burns my throat, because Daddy never mentions that. And I’m not naïve enough to think it hasn’t happened. When I’m in at one of the best colleges in the country, while I live in that dreamworld of numbers and Greek symbols, he’s doing dirty work for a dangerous criminal king.

“So where is he now?”

An indolent shrug of one shoulder. “I haven’t seen him. Though I did hear through the grapevine that he started gambling again.” He makes a tsk sound. “That’s never a good thing. Once debts start to pile up, how can I trust him to be loyal? I can’t.”

My blood runs cold. “Did you do something to him?”

“Let’s be clear, sweetheart. Whatever happened to him, he did it to himself.” The cold silver of his eyes tells me Damon’s conscious would not ache for even one second over my father’s death.

“You asshole,” I hiss, unable to hide my anger any longer.

A man steps forward, someone I’ve never seen before. He’s wearing a suit that’s been undone in most of the ways it can be, rumpled and pushed aside. I barely have time to register his aggression, his instinctive response to my insult. How does a man obtain that kind of blind loyalty?

The man reaches for me, his fingers brushing my wrist.

That’s how close he gets before everything shatters. Damon moves so fast he’s a blur. When he stills, he has the man pressed against the wall, arm twisted at a strange angle.

“No one touches her.” Damon’s voice is quiet but it carries through the crowded hall.

A rustle moves through the crowd, half awareness, half movement. The way they look at me has changes, the hostility faded away, replaced by something else. Maybe deference. Or fear.

I’m under Damon Scott’s protection now.


Penny.

…the limp in my step. The ache in my hands. The weakness in my body.

She is the only one who can take it. Damon is Penny’s hell on earth. He tortures her to no end. It’s more than just a push and pull. Damon unleashes the worst of the worst on Penny, to the point that no one would blame Penny for walking away forever. He lashes her with his words, hurting her over and over again. Why does she stay? It’s more than love. She doesn’t just love him. This story has an EPIC feel. These two are meant to be together. One of my favorite couples.
Damon. Lost. Not sane. He has gone through one of the worst childhoods in the history of ever, being abused physically and mentally in every way. I love that we learn all about Damon in this book. Why he is the way he is. He owns the city, and yet he owns nothing. He uses Penny with no remorse. Of all the men in the world, he really isn’t worthy of her, and that’s not an exaggeration.

The GROVEL!! Oh, the grovel. I didn’t understand why Skye named this book The Queen until the end of this book, and now I get it. That’s all I can say without spoiling. Zipping my lips.

Skye should win an award for her writing of the asshole. Not many authors can pull off a perfect asshole, and she does it flawlessly. Of course, once an asshole, always an asshole, and Skye stays true to that statement. Gabriel or Damon. Damon or Gabriel. I can’t choose!!! They are equally assholely, but the reasons for their actions are soooo different that it’s so hard to compare them. I can’t love one more or less than the other, so I will place them on the same level on my ultimate book boyfriend list.

Assholes aside (*giggles because I’m so mature), Skye is one of my favorite writers ever. I think I say this in every single one of my reviews, but I love her words. Her words evoke more than just feels. They evoke FEELS. Her words make me breathe and stop breathing at the same time.

I love this book so much that I would give my left tit (because that’s the one I don’t like) for an extended epilogue of Damon and Penny. Maybe 5 years later??? Pretty, please, Skye….with a Damon on top?

 

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

 

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Jenn’s Review: (Glamour) BEDTIME STORY by Skye Warren

GLAMOUR
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Authors: Anthology
Release Date: July 18, 2017

Once upon a time…

Remember the fairy tales your parents read to you when you were little?

These are NOT those fairy tales.

From modern day royalty to metaphorical dragons, contemporary castles to sexy heroes, these bestselling authors twist tales as old as time into something new.

GLAMOUR contains eight exclusive never-before-seen novellas that each have an HEA… because they all lived happily ever after.

Includes the following retellings…

KNOT by Lili St. Germain
A Rapunzel story

RED HOT PURSUIT by A.L. Jackson
A Little Red Riding Hood story

RIPPLES by Aleatha Romig
A Prince and the Pauper story

IN A STRANGER’S BED by Sophie Jordan
A Goldilocks story

BEDTIME STORY by Skye Warren
A Sleeping Beauty story

ROYAL MATTRESS by Nicola Rendell
A Princess and the Pea story

MUSIC BOX GIRL by Sierra Simone
A Twelve Dancing Princesses story

BROKEN HARP by Nora Flite
A Jack and the Beanstalk story

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 

Review of Bedtime Story by Skye Warren

Lost. Utterly and irrevocably lost in Skye’s words. Every. Damn. Time. It doesn’t matter how short the book is, or how long the book is, or if it never ends. It’s inevitable.

Jessica. We meet Jessica in The King. She is a single mom who has had shit handed to her, but she is just trying to make the most of it. She was sold as a young girl to the mafia and we can only guess what she went through. This short story begins when she is pulled over at the side of the road and she meets the sheriff. Jessica has the ability to look on the bright side despite what she has been through, but she still has trust issues.
à la Mode St. » fashion

This was the part where I should leave. Where I should tell this man, who’s clearly good down to his bones, that I’m bad news. Where I ignore everything but survival, because that’s the only way I’ve survived this long. Instead he asks me to stay, and I do. 

à la Mode St. » fashionFinn. He was a surprise to me. I loved how he had a good side with a bad past. He was no stranger to the mafia life but because of an incident in his life, he decided to take the road less traveled and became the sheriff of a small town. He is determined to stay on the straight and narrow, but he cannot resist the temptation that is Jessica. I loved how he immediately wanted to take care of Jessica and her son because he is the type of guy that just wants to do the right thing. These two were just perfect for each other.
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She makes me crazy, and once upon a time I sought that out, wanting to feel wild and on edge. Not for a long time, though. These past years had been about isolation. About driving down dark country roads alone. And all along, I was looking for her.
Without even knowing it, looking for her.

à la Mode St. » fashionWhat I loved the most about this short story is how much Skye made me love these characters so quickly. I loved the chemistry between these two, but it wasn’t insta-love. These two lonely souls find each other and have an instant connection (without the cheese). Of course, the short wasn’t long enough for me (duh!).

Jenn + Lana’s Review: The King by @skye_warren

THE KING
Series: The Masterpiece Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: June 27, 2017

The highest stakes…

My father gambles every night, falling deeper and deeper into debt. When he hits the bottom, he places a new bet: his daughter.

I’m his entry bet to the biggest underground poker game.

Every kind of danger circles the velvet-covered table, but only one man makes me tremble.

A trailer park princess.

The son of a criminal king.

We don’t belong together, but I’m caught in a twisted game.

His eyes meet mine with dark promise.

And when he puts down his cards, I know I’m going to lose more than my body. I’m going to lose everything.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO



LANA’S REVIEW

Damon Scott traded himself for me. He’s the only reason I’m safe. And I’m the reason he’s not.

Well…holy hell. I mean, damn, people. When Skye Warren first intrigued me with Damon and Penny back in The Castle, never in a million years did I imagine the depths of hell that these two truly go through. I don’t know how I’ll survive the wait until book two, because this book completely ruined me. It’s dark and gritty with barely any ray of hope to it. It builds the foundation to one incredibly powerful backstory and I couldn’t tear myself away until I read the entire book in one sitting.

Frustration flits beneath his calm surface. Even a hint of vulnerability. How many people can see it? I know that not everyone sees the kind side of him. He has weapons and suits and a million kinds of armor, all designed to shield his humanity.

Growing up in poverty to an drug addict mother and a gambling addict father, Penny barely had a chance for a normal life. Her genius mind and her gift for numbers her only hope to escape the meager life and hope for something more, until she catches the eye of one of the most dangerous men, a man that will eventually cost her everything.

The King takes you back years before the events in The Endgame trilogy; when Damon was just a young boy and Penny a seven year old girl. That fateful meeting sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change the course of Penny’s life.

Damon is the son to one of the most ruthless and evil underground criminals. A desperate attempt to escape his fate doesn’t go the way he hoped. To save a young girl from a fate worth than death, he makes the ultimate sacrifice. Now years later, when his father may be the King, he’s now the Prince of the underground crime. Dealing in drugs and women, his name is almost as feared as his father. When fate brings Penny crashing into his life again, nothing will ever be the same again.

There’s this heat coming off him, like he’s a fire and I’m thawing out. I know it’s not safe, being this close. He could burn me. But there’s also a small part of me that feels alive, only when he’s here. Only when he’s on top of me, his warm breath on my forehead.

Don’t expect much light with this book. It’s dark. Penny’s life is not an easy one and her ultimate fate is beyond devastating. The time transitions are smooth and flawless, eventually bringing us to parallel the time line in The Endgame. While you knew from the events in The Castle, that Penny suffered something horrendous, nothing prepares you for the true reality of it.

Admittedly, it was a tough pill to swallow, Penny being only 15 years old (eventually 16) in the present part of the book and Damon being 25. The age difference should be cringeworthy, and yet, it’s not. It’s hard to explain, and not wanting to give away parts of the book, I won’t even attempt. But if you’re worried about the age gap, don’t be. Penny lived a hard life and her 15 would be a sheltered girl’s 25. Skye Warren truly knows how to develop incredibly multi-layered characters full of depth. The King gives us only a hint, a small taste of the story between Damon and Penny. It gives us the backstory that I’ve been desperately craving, but now it leaves me even more desperate for the conclusion.

While this is a spin-off from The Endgame and could technically be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading The Endgame first to truly appreciate everything that is Damon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere until September.


JENNIFER’S REVIEW


I couldn’t gush enough about Skye Warren. If you know me at all, you know I am a HUGE fan. This series is one of my favorites of hers, after the Stripped and Endgame series. Lol. Ok. I love all her books. Leave me alone!! Her writing is able to capture beauty in the darkness. And there is A LOT of darkness in her books. Just gimme all the darkness.

à la Mode St. » fashion

We have something in common now. We’re both monsters. Not the kind you can see on the outside. He wears a secret smile on his handsome face. Bruises faded back to pale skin on my naked body. It’s only inside that something can never be repaired. Only inside that I never really leave the water. Inside that I learn to need the dark.

à la Mode St. » fashionThere was a turning point in this book that I loved. I could literally FEEL the words turning to a dark place. There is a pivotal before and after to Penny’s story, and to be completely honest, I prefer the AFTER. Skye’s writing just hits me harder when it’s darker and gritty and honest.

Penny. She is young and very smart, like genius with numbers, rain man style. Penny’s father has a gambling addiction, and Penny gets caught in the crossfire of her father’s addiction, and it doesn’t end well. Her body and mind are dragged through the fire, and let me tell you, I am glad that Skye didn’t give us all the details on this because I don’t think I could have handled it. Penny is ruined in this book, and Damon is on the other side to throw his soul off a cliff for her.

Damon. He is a tortured soul….literally. His father tortured his body and his mind when he was young. I am aching for more of him. I really appreciate that Skye included The Prince as part of the prequel to this story because it gives us more little morsels into what makes Damon tick. But I really do need MORE of Damon!!

Damon & Gabriel. Gabriel & Damon. Just put me in the middle of that delicious sandwich, please. I loved the snippets of Gabriel in this book (BECAUSE HE’S MINE!!).
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Gabriel Miller is as bold as thunder, rumbling, unmistakable. Damon Scott is lightning, so bright he’ll blind you. They’re both forces of nature but only one will kill you just to touch him. Only one will burn you in a flash.

à la Mode St. » fashionMost of this book is a re-telling of the Endgame series, but from Penny’s pov. It definitely helped to fill in the blanks with Damon and Penny and how they get to where they are at the end of the Endgame series.

Yes, this ends in a cliffy. Do I care?

Not.

One.

Bit.

Skye could write cliffhangers all day long, and I wouldn’t stop reading them. It’s her words that matter and her words that I love.


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Jenn’s Review: The Prince by Skye Warren

THE PRINCE
Series: Masterpiece Duet (Prologue)
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: June 14, 2017

Penny doesn’t dream about a prince coming to save her from the trailer park.

She knows better than that.

And the boy she finds hiding in the woods out back is too wild and dangerous to trust.

But he may be her only chance at survival.

From New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren comes an emotional new spin-off series.

THE PRINCE is a 13,000-word prologue to the new Masterpiece duet.

I was ridiculously excited to get inside this book and eat my way threw it. Because, let’s face it, Skye Warren is my every indulgence. The book was very short, but even in a short prequel, Skye still makes me FEEL EVERYTHING with her words.

I long for the impossible.

à la Mode St. » fashion

Damon Scott traded himself for me. He’s the only reason I’m safe. And I’m the reason he’s not.

à la Mode St. » fashionYou’re probably like, “Wtf with the mermaid gif?” WELL, you should read the book to find out wtf :).

Damon. His black-lake eyes. When I first met Damon Scott, in the The Pawn, my brain and my body were begging for a Damon Scott book. He is just so evil and perfect. Damon is the not a good man, raised by his father, who is evil incarnate. But I was drawn to Damon right away, even though it wasn’t even his book. And Skye writes THE BEST anti-heroes.

Penny. I loved learning more about Penny in this book. We didn’t know much about her from The Castle, so I was glad to learn about her past and who she is. And I love her already! She is a “baby genius” in all things numbers, helping her father gamble and cheat. And I love a GIRL GENIUS! She meets Damon when they are young, but there is another story, Damon’s story, that we still don’t know. This prequel is written from Penny’s pov. And I am dying for Damon’s pov and to dive inside his evil brain!
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I want to know when we resigned ourselves to this. When we noticed the iron bars around our lives and decided not to rail against them.

à la Mode St. » fashion
The ending of this prequel was perfect, and I am so excited to start The King and learn more about Damon, Penny, and Damon & Penny!

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