arc · new release · review · romance

The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen

The Marriage Effect
by Karla Sorensen

Rating: ★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

Logan Ward doesn’t want any more women in his life.

Being a football player and legal guardian to his four younger sisters means his playbook is full. However, one of them just landed in the hospital, which gives his brother the shot he needs to challenge Logan for custody.

Legal counsel says there’s only one thing Logan can do—find himself a wife.

Paige McKinney doesn’t always think things through.

Like walking away from her modeling career without a thought of what might come next. She really doesn’t think it through when she proclaims herself Logan’s fiancé at the hospital, simply because the sexy—albeit grumpy—football player forgot his cell phone at a party and security won’t let her pass. It’s not her fault it was overheard by the worst possible person.

A bargain is struck, and a fake marriage is the perfect solution. But the simple solution creates a whole new problem: they’re not as different as they seem. The reluctant groom has fire inside him, and his impetuous bride is about to light the match.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

When Karla Sorensen releases a sports romance, I know a sure, beautifully written narrative full of belly-aching humour, delightfully sweet moments, heated chemistry and heartfelt emotions is guaranteed. The Marriage Effect doesn’t fail to ensure your mind is enamoured; your heart bursting with so much warmth and enchantment from this faultless marriage of convenience between two seeming opposites.

Paige and I were the same. Whatever fire burned inside her, I had it in me too. I’d just never met anyone who made me want to let the flames consume me. Who made me want to see how hot they could burn, what heights they could reach, what we could reach together.

Irresistible and enigmatic, Logan Ward is an obsession waiting to happen—a man who broods and quietens, but behind the facade harbours a secretive characteristic: a loving sweetheart with an unwavering affection for his sisters. Full of sass, ferocity and unrivalled feistiness, Paige McKinney can’t be ruffled by anyone or anything, but she’s unsettled and the unforeseen weakness in this woman creates a complex, realistic character.

Despite coming across as opposites, this couple is bound together by an irrefutable connection that manifests itself through their marriage of convenience. It is filled with a combination of passionate chemistry, sexual tension and affectionate endearment, you won’t even realise this is slow burn as every moment shared is an enchanting intoxication that’ll ensure you remain invested in this couple.

There was a time in my life when falling in love felt impossible and unattainable, and now I was in love with five people in different ways.

Packed with so much heat, tender moments and genuine emotions, this will become your newest sports romance obsession. But, no matter the sweetness, The Marriage Effect is also about bonds we share and sacrifices we make to protect our family that will fill your heart with many sensations.

arc · new adult · new release · review · romance

Cruel Fortune by K.A. Linde

Cruel Fortune
by K.A. Linde

Rating: ★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

I finally have everything I ever wanted—fame and fortune and literary success.

Only one problem: I lost my muse.

He was tall, dark, and handsome. Broody, enigmatic, alluring, and right for me in every way.

Until he wasn’t. Until I lost everything.

And I can’t lose it all again. I’ll do anything to keep it.

Even seeing him again…

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

In Cruel Fortune, New York’s Upper East Side returns with no shortage of malicious intentions, devious seduction and deceptive characters. Brimming with maddening pretences and frivolous schemes, the intensity rushing through this sequel will leave your mind stunned, heart racing and emotions unsettled as unexpected situations surface and the dramatic events continue to unfold.

They would lie, cheat, and steal for what they thought belonged to them.

Natalie Bishop goes back to Manhattan, the city of indescribable entitlements and inevitable exclusivity where her heart was shattered into minuscule pieces. Despite the deception, the devastating lie and destructive personalities that altered her perception of Manhattan, Natalie is finding herself returning to—staying—in this heartbreaking city, with charm and beauty that is both irresistible and indescribable, a twisting combination of bittersweet moments and wrenching experiences, to finally accomplish her long-lived dreams of becoming an author.

Abandon. That was what his lips tasted like.
Bliss. That was what his hands felt like.
Reverence. That was what his body sang to me.

Despite the immature scenarios and pettish actions, I’m kind of obsessed with this mess. Cruel Fortune is reminiscent of Gossip Girl and Dynasty, the trash-filled, drama-fuelled television shows that somehow capture my attention, leaving me riveted and invested in fictional characters’ inconsequential bullshit and trainwreck lives.

However, no matter my love, Natalie’s bewildering decisions made my teeth hurt from how hard they ground together in frustration. Her revenge-esque attitude doesn’t concern me because, to be quite honest, I’m living for the kind of transformation that will make Natalie finally have some backbone against Katherine. I lost respect for Natalie, reaching a firm conclusion that she’s weak and feeble, controlled by hormones and indecision instead of having strength and perseverance. Her attitude towards everything—Lewis, Penn, the crew, her career is such a complete disappointment.

This world chewed me up and spit me out. And they just keep fucking winning. Even when they’re wrong, they always win.

With lies and secrets, the tense atmosphere and brilliantly constructed environment of toxic deception and venomous intentions, New York’s treacherous Upper East Side will have you consumed and captivated as these characters’ “perfect” lives unravel. Cruel Fortune wasn’t needed or necessary to be honest, just a convenient excuse to drag this series out and ensure there’s a plausible reason to separate Penn from Natalie. It bided time to amplify the series’ finale, make us desperate to have more Penn and see Natalie find herself falling into the Crew’s drama—again. With that said, I do like this author’s writing and will await the finale in Cruel Legacy.

arc · new adult · review · romance

Gluttony by K. Webster

Gluttony (The Elite Seven #6)
by K. Webster

Rating: ★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

My life has been served to me on a gold platter to be devoured by my silver spoon.

Money, money, and more money. It’s the backbone of the Goddard name. I’m the only son, so it’s all mine for the taking.

But sometimes money isn’t enough. I always want more, yet nothing seems to satisfy me.

My father has made sure I become a part of The Elite Seven. Where most candidates are chosen, I was given my place. Everything comes at a price, though. Luckily, I can afford any price—no one has more money than God.

The Elite Seven have their initiations. My assignment is personal and beneath me: steal a car and send a warning. It’ll hurt my best friend in the process, but we both made a pact going into this. There’s no line we won’t cross.

My task makes an ugly turn and I nearly take a life. Such a small, unimportant person—someone no one would even notice was gone. She’s a problem my money and power can easily sweep under the rug.

It’s what my father wants. It’s what my brothers want. But when she finally opens those big, innocent brown eyes, I realize I’ve found what I’ve been searching for my entire life. I don’t want my little problem to disappear…I want to keep her.

Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak—they’re for The Elite.

Money is my legacy, but I want something money can’t buy.
I am Baxter Samuel Goddard V.
I am Gluttony.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

K. Webster delivered an enthralling installment featuring a lead character who embodied his assigned sin and was more complex than expected, confronted unexpected matters within a secret society and established a relationship that flourished and bloomed. Gluttony maintained a perfect balance of romance and intrigue, furthering the story-line surrounding the Elite Seven without disrupting the momentum or disregarding the burgeoning relationship between God and Zemira.

“I hate how we got here, but I’m not hating that we’re here.”

I assumed nothing more than some entitled, self-absorbed and conceited asshole in Baxter Goddard, but his character captured my attention, leaving me riveted and captivated. Hidden complexity is waiting to be discovered beneath his superficial over-indulgent and materialistic personality, an undeniable pleasant surprise that made this story great. Brimming with self-hatred and intense insecurity, God expressed selfishness and selflessness in equal measure. But, Gluttony goes beyond this—it focuses on God’s growth as he traverses the ramifications of destroying someone’s life… almost.

Zemira is in my blood, in my veins, in my soul. Burning through me like lava—hot and explosive. Changing me. Evolving me. Hiding the ugly parts and molding me into something new.
I yearn to be new and whole and better.
I crave to transform into someone a girl like Zemira deserves.

Zemira Coleman is perhaps my favourite heroine in this series. Despite the hardships she has experienced, Zemira’s strength, outlook and philosophies are awe-inspiring. Her kindness and stability manage to balance God’s chaotic, perturbed life, the perfect counter and lesson that exhibits there’s more to life than money and power. She’s also, quite easily, the only developed character within this series. Unorthodox, though somewhat romantic—perhaps because it is the only developed romance in this series—God and Zemira have a connection that is unique and refreshing as they inspire and support each other through difficult situations.

Me, the girl with nothing, gave the man with everything something worth having: love.

Gluttony transcended my expectations, showcasing what this series should have achieved. K. Webster’s writing is fantastic, a combination of compelling and enthralling, as she balances the romance and darkness within a shorter format without wavering. Shame we needed to wait five sequels to have this moment.

arc · new adult · new release · review · romance

Ache by S.M. Soto

Ache
by S.M. Soto

Rating: ★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

What happens when you fall for the boy next door?

Bea Norwood had the market on normal. Drama free life? Check. A single-mother who doubled as her confidant and partner in crime? Check. A neighbor and best friend she trusted more than anyone? Check. But that was until the day her mother remarried. The day that changed everything.

When her best friend’s cousin, Liam Falcon, is sent to live with his aunt and uncle to clean up his act, Bea finds herself falling for the boy next door. With their hearts so infinitely entwined, Bea turns to Liam as her only escape from her new step-brother’s daily torment at home. Bea thought their love could conquer anything. But she was wrong. Love was for fools, and she was the biggest fool of them all. When Liam left Lakeport, he took her heart with him, shattering the organ to pieces.

Six years later, Liam takes a trip back to Lakeport to visit his family, and to see HER. His first love. The girl who holds his heart. The same girl who shattered it six years ago without looking back.

Liam is hell-bent on seeing Bea again after six years, but what he finds tears his heart in half. Bea Norwood is a shell of the girl he fell in love with. Underneath the baggy clothes, and pale skin, he knows she’s still in there somewhere, he just needs to find her. Liam will stop at nothing to win his girl back, but sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and Liam isn’t prepared for Bea’s truth.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Before heading into my review, I want to warn readers: approach this with utmost caution. Written in blunt and honest words, the depictions of harrowing real life circumstances will grip your heart without remorse and brutally tear your emotions into unrecognisable shreds, rendering you speechless and emotionally drained, as the heavy and heart-wrenching scenes aren’t eased in carefully or alluded to in vague detail.

Liam Falcon is the boy who captured my heart, and the man who saved my life.

I experienced a variation of emotions reading Ache, but the one that made a real stand is anger. Pure, intense vexation unrivalled by anything else. Bea’s mother is an irredeemable and irresponsible character wrapped up inside an impenetrable bubble of picture perfect husband and stepson, too blind to notice what occurred inside what is supposed to be a family home.

For six years. Fucking six no one noticed or interfered. And when Bea’s mother’s dream world shattered, life is hard and she abandons her daughter for the nearest hotel because her incompetent degenerate ass can’t cope. And Bea’s mother’s attitude made me realise something: Bea’s fear to admit her truth goes beyond being threatened. When your mother, someone meant to love and care for you, is too self absorbed and self centered to realise something is changing their child in irrevocable ways, then who will listen, or believe your truths?

Bea’s my sun, my moon, and all my stars – the entire universe combined.

Separated into past and present, both sections are interspersed with flashbacks that follow Bea and Liam’s romantic relationship as it undergoes an innocent beginning and traverses a heartbreaking separation, until it finally reaches the present day. I find flashbacks difficult to manage and introduce in romance as they disrupt the momentum and create a jarring effect. Bea and Liam’s connection could have easily been outlined in flashbacks without needing to separate it into two parts. I lost a connection to this couple’s relationship and discovered innumerous character and romance gaps by this timeframe division that make it difficult to consider this narrative second chance romance.

Our love was written in my scars, just as it was scattered across the stars.

S.M. Soto writes beautifully and brilliantly, but despite her writing ability, I wouldn’t recommend this. Readers might consider this difficult to read. I found the abuse pushed aside the second chance romance, dominating the scenes and actions of almost every character. Considering the abuse’s commanding presence, it disappointed me to never witness the heroine become a survivor—she remains a forever victim.

arc · new adult · review · romance

Boyfriend Bargain by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Boyfriend Bargain (Hawthorne University #1)
by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Rating: ★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

Wanted: one hot guy with rock-hard abs and a big stick.

Broke and desperate, Sugar Ryan has no use for arrogant, bad boy athletes . . . until she’s forced to bargain with the cockiest of them all.

If only he knew she was alive.

Her mission? Get on this hockey player’s radar any way possible.

Zack Morgan is the king of the ice and the bedroom—but nothing prepares him for the mystery girl who shows up everywhere he does—frat parties, his favorite bar, and finally his front door with an offer he can’t refuse. The only rule in her boyfriend bargain: no falling in love.

But after one (um, two) smoking-hot hookups, he’s done with pretending and vows to make their fake relationship real. Too bad she can’t trust a player with a reputation for breaking hearts.

Will this hockey star score his forever girl or will their Boyfriend Bargain end in heartbreak?

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I have an absolute, obsessive attachment to brilliant sports romances. Boyfriend Bargain isn’t an exception—an honest narrative with perfect amounts of all-consuming endearment, delightfully cute moments and heart-wrenching emotions that capture and ensnare every facet of your being. Featuring a sinfully cocksure hockey player and awe-inspiring determined heroine, Boyfriend Bargain won’t disappoint!

“There’s something going on between us that’s …I don’t know…interesting. I knew it the moment I saw you.”

Sugar Ryan didn’t grow up with luxuries, but that hasn’t diminished her resolution to succeed in life. Her shy, quiet albeit fiery nature and fierceness, together with an unrivaled determination to successfully become a lawyer by attending Vanderbilt, makes this young woman’s formidable intelligence an astonishing inspiration.

Quickly becoming one of the NHL’s greatest contenders, Zack Morgan is surrounded by adoring fans, a rain of love and shower of praise. He isn’t without his own troubles however—hidden demons difficult to push away lurk within the shadows, an incessant pressure, a quiet “shame” that becomes a hindrance in maintaining a seeming perfect life.

I told her not to be afraid to fall…because I’m falling for her…so hard.

Intense chemistry and noticeable sexual tension simmers between Z and Sugar. Despite establishing a relationship of pretense and convenience, the connection between them is fierce and fervent, an undeniable bond of sincerity, hope and encouragement. I loved the commanding and domineering presence that brewed within Z, especially within the bedroom, the assertive nature soothed by some intimacy.

Boyfriend Bargain is filled with witty banter, heartfelt emotions and two characters who have a deep, earnest connection. Ilsa Madden-Mills transforms this into a narrative with substance and profundity, making this more than “just another sports romance”. Beautifully written and wonderfully constructed, the Hawthorne University series doesn’t disappoint!

arc · new release · review · romance

Savior by Fiona Cole

Savior
by Fiona Cole

Rating: ★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

He bought me, but not to touch or taste. He bought me to save me, and to atone for past sins.

Handsome and mysterious, he swoops in to offer me a new life, but this is no knight in shining armor. He’s cold, hardened by his past. But there’s an inferno underneath the ice, I can feel the heat each time he looks at me—each time he gives in to the desire between us.

No matter how much I push to unleash the fire in his eyes, he shoves back harder each time. He’s merciless with his cruel words, telling me how naive I am, how little I know of the world.

But I’m stronger than he thinks.

When we face down our demons from the past, I’ll prove which one of us was in need of saving, and which one of us is the savior.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I love that this author intertwines her standalones into this single, larger world, reacquainting us with familiar personalities and introducing new-found characters. Savior contained a variation of romance’s best features—a white knight hero, a heroine with backbone, irresistible angst and mouth-watering tension tied together beautifully to deliver a decadent age gap romance between Alex and Erik.

She was a light that still managed to shine through whatever darkness she faced.

Alexandra Hughes is familiar with desperation, but she reaches new heights when selling her virginity becomes an unwavering decision and the only option to escape extreme hunger and financial instability. However, what awaits within the shadows isn’t as terrifying and gruesome as assumed; instead unexpected opportunities through an infuriating, mysterious hero presents itself. Despite Alex’s naive nature, it is difficult not finding this young woman—her perseverance and inner strength—awe-inspiring in some ways as she goes head to head with Erik.

A miracle wasn’t happening. It was just me. I had to be my own savior.

Consumed by haunting memories and unavoidable guilt, Erik Brandt is atoning for his past sins. Underneath his disinterested and seeming uncaring facade is someone hurting, being chased by grief as he protects himself from feeling the same loss he experienced before. Erik is both endearing and infuriating in equal measure—a combination of caring and callous. One moment he is charming beyond recognition, the next a grating asshole because he can’t cope with his emotions.

I adored this initially and though that feeling hasn’t changed much, I pondered my review further and became increasingly annoyed with certain tiny details. Such as Erik—his inability to accept romantic affection bloomed between him and Alexandra became an irritant as, instead of acting mature, he ensured Alexandra witnessed him sexually entangled with other women. Outright asshole, to be honest. Alex and Erik’s physical connection is brimming with some sexual chemistry, heated encounters and intense hatred, but the emotional side is lackluster, making it difficult to appreciate their relationship.

arc · new release · review · romance

Enthralled by Giana Darling

Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet #1)
by Giana Darling

Rating: ★★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

It was the biggest day of my life.
I know most people say that about something joyous; a graduation, a wedding ceremony, the birth of their first child. My situation was a little different.
Sure, it was my eighteenth birthday, but it was also the day that I was sold.
Sold to a man with hair like a crown of gold and eyes blacker than the darkest pits of Hell.
He bought me to own me, to control me, and to use me as a means to an end.
I was his tool and his weapon.
And through it all, somehow, I also became his salvation.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Giana Darling’s poetic prose is my absolute favourite thing to consume—a seamless flow of enchanting sentences and enthralling moments weaved together to create an evocative narrative that will captivate your attention, entice your senses and summon an array of diverse emotions to surface. I’ve been charmed by every facet of this author’s writing since devouring the emotionally raw and passionate affair between Giselle and Sinclair.

But the true interest that truthfully attracted me lied with Alexander Davenport, the enigmatic and detached man who appeared beside Cosima Lombardi, screaming hushed tones of wicked deviance and unsolicited desire without needing to utter many words. Beautifully wretched, devilishly enticing and sinfully haunting, Enthralled will lure you into its darkened depths of servitude and dubious consent, unveiling the severe complex threads that bind, together in irrevocable ways, a slave and Master.

Five years might pass, the contract between us might dissolve into dust with time, but I would always be, elementally and crucially, Master Alexander’s woman.

I’ve been enamoured with Cosima, a delightfully aspiring woman with endearing vibrance, wise self-preservation and intense fierceness, its earnestness unrivalled by anyone else, since she was introduced in Giselle’s equally intense story. Cosima’s harboured secrets created an aura of mystery beyond her beloved daughter, loving sister and flourishing model persona, leaving me desperate to discover more of what lies beneath this fascinating woman’s carefully crafted facade. Reading Enthralled magnified my unsatiated curiosity, meanwhile satisfied my burning interest to understand this secretive woman better. Her poignant romanticist view on life is an endearing albeit heartrending quality that stands against the darkening atmosphere creeping and lingering throughout this narrative and contrasts beautifully with Alexander’s domineering character.

“Some monsters are made and some are born. You could say that I’m the worst of both worlds.”

Without doubt, Alexander is an enigma—comprised of an unfathomable series of hidden facets and untold secrets threaded together to manifest itself into a hardened and unreadable seeming gentleman. Promises of lascivious domination, debauched servitude and the bindings of an inescapable relationship demanding give and take without remorse burns bright within his shrewd irises, obvious in rare smiles he grants. I can’t stop myself from gravitating towards this commanding man’s intimidating yet alluring persona, despite his rough touches and all-consuming kisses that aren’t gentle or loving.

His controlling nature shouldn’t have been so intoxicating, but I knew myself well enough to admit, I was in his thrall.

Realistically, I shouldn’t be drawn towards the darkness of forced servitude or the exacting attitude of dominance, but there’s something powerfully seductive and fascinating about submission. Witnessing Cosima’s inevitable subservience, the way her body and mind, in its own unique method, commands Alexander is an act of reverent strength and dominance in itself. I adored her transformation from sheltered and sexually uncertain to blossoming into this liberated, wanton woman without hesitation.

Enthralled is sexually wicked and morally corrupt, however the darkness so blinding and compelling in deliverance, the juxtaposition between dominance and submissiveness written beautifully, it is hard to resist being drawn towards this narrative. I didn’t want to disclose much information regarding this duet because walking into this unaware with an open mind amplifies the sensations you experience, the emotions you undergo, the conundrum your thoughts will have to overcome.

arc · new release · review · romance

Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Delights (White Monarch #1)
by Jessica Hawkins

Rating: ★★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

In the de la Rosa family, old grudges run deeper than loyalty, and betrayal is a three-letter word: war. But this feud isn’t between enemies. It’s between brothers. And I’m the prize.

I was born a princess among criminals. An untouchable among thieves. Heiress to a life others have killed for, and one I’m prepared to trade for my freedom. I vowed not to leave without Diego, my first love and best friend, but if his ruthless brother has his way, I won’t leave at all. Cristiano de la Rosa is a man as big and bold as his legend. Once upon a time, he was our cartel’s best soldier . . . until he became my family’s worst enemy.

A man like Cristiano will bend fate to his will to get what he wants. Even if it means dragging me to hell—and tearing me from his brother’s arms.

“She is mine.” Three words from two different men.
A life, future, and love I don’t get to choose.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

“This is a game, Natalia, and you have to play—or you’ll lose. Learn your lesson should someone care enough to teach you. And never doubt that you are a prize to hold tight.”

On a whim, I decided to sign up to read this because despite my savage hatred towards love triangles, I have an unhealthy obsession with dark cartel and mafia romances. Watching the intricacies weave together into an intriguing and captivating narrative leaves me undeniably ecstatic for all the sordid possibilities—my head is filled with multiple theories and assumptions! I have many thoughts running through my mind, with a myriad of questions accompanying them waiting to be answered.

“The truth is in you like a heart. Like blood in your veins. Like bones.”

I’m not quite certain what to mention, or where to begin really, other than this story is beautifully bitter and tragically sweet with an innocent Natalia caught within a feud between two disgruntled brothers, Diego and Cristiano, who couldn’t be anymore different. One’s kind, hiding behind a cleverly disguised facade; the other is darker, unapologetically ruthless and merciless with a cold, but brilliant persona. I knew where my heart would align itself before this even began.

Read this with an open mind as your allegiances will be challenged by certain enigmas and despite the disgusting albeit delightful love triangle moments, this is sinfully decadent and wonderfully enchanting. Violent Delights is quickly forming into a favourite delicious slow burn forbidden romance of mine, a perfect beginning to what will become an enthralling trilogy brimming with deceitful actions and manipulative words.

“With me, you always have a choice. You’re not beholden to my wishes, but I hope you’ll still carry them on your wings and deliver them for me.”

Without an ounce of doubt, I’m entranced by this suspense filled, all-consuming narrative that sends your heart beating tenfold and your emotions soaring as the cunning deception and shrewd scheming overflows across the pages. If you love cartel settings; two, competitive brothers irrevocably different, vying for the same woman’s attention and affection; a romance darker and gritter than standard, pick this up. Hold onto your wits and emotions—Jessica Hawkins doesn’t hold back!

arc · new release · review · romance

Cruel Sanctuary by Tara Leigh

Cruel Sanctuary (Wages of Sin #1)
by Tara Leigh

Rating: ★★★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

They say New York City is the Devil’s Playground.
They’re wrong.
This city belongs to me.
And so does Aislinn Granville.

She is a pampered politician’s daughter.
A decorative ornament, raised to smile and nod and do what she’s told.

Except… she doesn’t. Not with me. Ever.

In this city full of thugs and thieves, I’ve kept Aislinn safe.
From my enemies.
From me.

Until now.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Weeks after devouring Cruel Sanctuary, I’m still floating within the clouds, unable to step away from this enthralling introduction with a clear conscience. Beautiful darkness and enrapturing suspense creeping through this wonderfully written narrative ensnares your attention, pulling you towards its gravity of jaw-dropping revelations and heart-stopping unexpectations. Aislinn and Damon’s sinfully decadent chemistry renders you breathless, totally captivated and utterly wanton.

Damon King might reign over Manhattan, but I will never bow to him.

Damon King is my newest obsession, an irresistible dangerous enigma with an imposing and conceited attitude that infuriates you, but also leaves your insides a confused mess of fluttering desire. I’m unable to resist the complexity buried underneath a ruthless anti-hero, one who exudes sweet corruption and merciless intentions, but carefully unfurls an unexpected compassionate side. Witnessing this emotionally detached man quietly obsess over Aislinn’s safety sends the heart soaring and belly fluttering with so many good feelings. Despite walking the fine line between right and wrong in precarious ways, Damon possesses a personally instilled code of honour, a sliver of goodness that balances the darkness inside.

Damon King is a ruthless bastard. A dark warrior with the soul of a savior.

I adore a fierce and feisty heroine with an inner strength that conflicts and coincides with the hero’s equally intense personality. Aislinn Granville astounded me—she’s carefully constructed walls around her heart, fortifying them whenever possible, but when those constructs begin to crumble she learns to embrace the darkness surrounding Damon. Her ability to maintain an open mind and caring heart, as well as remaining undeterred and resolute, despite her deeply ingrained ethics being continuously challenged by an infuriating hero is an admirable feat of strength.

After a lifetime of being the dutiful daughter, the good girl, minding my manners, I am intrigued by the darkness Damon has exposed me to. Tonight, I want to dance with the devil.

Aislinn and Damon’s connection bursts with hatred filled lust; a type of chemistry with an intensity that crackles seamlessly into a passion filled relationship as they open up to each other. I love this author’s writing—the poetic, almost fairytale-esque nature of it with a hint of darkness to balance the scattered sweet moments throughout. And she writes a brooding asshole so damn effortlessly, you can’t help but love him, even when he is insufferable!

Darkness is where I thrive. Dark minds. Dark rooms. Dark hearts. Except that my heart doesn’t feel so dark anymore. Aislinn has brought light into my life.

arc · new adult · review · romance

Wrath by Claire C. Riley

Wrath (The Elite Seven #3)
by Claire C. Riley

Rating: ★★★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

I’m a motherless son to a father who hates me. Fury has lived and breathed in my black heart for so long, it’s a part of my soul now. The only thing that’s ever mattered to me is protecting my twin sister, Sabella, from my father’s temper.

So when the chance to join a secret society presents itself, there’s no question I’ll do whatever it takes to become a member and earn my place in the ranks of only the most Elite.

With a taste for the deviant, I’m drawn to the darkest of desires, and no one ever leaves my bed unscathed. My task: seduce Patience Noelle, St. Augustine’s sweetheart and the mayor’s beloved daughter—then break her heart.

Sinning is what I live for, and deviance is my passion. Failing has never been an option.

But what happens when my sin becomes my curse—when destroying the only woman I’ve ever wanted is my key to protecting my sister? Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak…they’re for The Elite.

This isn’t just my chance, it’s my legacy and reckoning.
I am Samuel Gunner.
I am WRATH

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

The Elite Seven continues as dark, deranged and dangerous as before. I’m learning to expect the unexpected; don’t assume we’ll receive answers and romance isn’t a priority in this series. I wanted to love Wrath—a man hellbent on enacting revenge on an unloving father with a penchant for sexual deviance used to conquer and destroy an innocent woman called to me. However, the execution was lackluster.

I don’t love like most. I love darkly, cruelly, and brutally, or not at all.

Driven by hatred and fuelled by vengeance inspired by harrowing childhood experiences, Samuel Gunner won’t stop until the Elite Seven notices his presence. But when they finally notice, in an unexpected turn, Samuel is torn between protecting Sabella, his twin sister and luring the mayor’s sweet daughter, Patience.

Patience Noelle is an endearing, innocent woman caught within this devious game. I admired the attitude she showed Samuel, creating an enemies to lovers vibe with an irresistible and delicious chemistry between two opposites. Intense and heated, the encounters between Samuel and Patience are sexually deviant, passionate and filthy. And the way Patience manages to keep Samuel grounded—the rare occurrences of sweetness to soothe the raging bitterness—makes my heart flutter tenfold!

I’m not the good guy, and I’ve never claimed to be. I’ve surrounded myself with rage and darkness, embracing the hateful side of myself for so long, it’s become a living thing inside me.

I loved these two characters together, but the moments we witness between them is awfully limited, making it difficult to fully appreciate their chemistry. Reading the beginning and ending of this novella made me lose interest—Samuel’s backstory was far too descriptive, a massive information dump essentially that could’ve been disclosed through flashbacks or passing remarks. And the crude sex scenes featuring other woman to highlight Samuel’s deviant nature wasn’t really necessary.

Wrath sets a different tone for this series. It is lengthier, written with gripping scenes and tantalising encounters that made this difficult to step away from; however, it is missing more moments between Samuel and Patience, as well as deeper insight into the Elite Seven. In saying that, if you are into mind-numbing and jaw-dropping dark romances; a dominant hero; an endearing heroine, I recommend picking up this series because while it does lack in certain areas, it is good for what it is!