arc · new release · review · romance

Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Delights (White Monarch #1)
by Jessica Hawkins

Rating: ★★★★★
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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: ★★★★★
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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: ★★★
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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!

arc · review · romance

Heart of the Devil by Meghan March

Heart of the Devil (Forge Trilogy #3)
by Meghan March

Rating: ★★★★
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It started as a game. She was nothing but my pawn.

But I was quick to see the error in my ways, and now she is everything I never knew I needed.

The value of a woman like India Baptiste is beyond measure.

But the problem with being a man like me? I’ve already screwed this up, and there’s no guarantee India will take me on for one last bet.

I’ll do whatever I have to do. Drop to my knees and offer her the only thing I have left. The one thing that’s only ever been hers—the heart of the devil.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’ve been obsessed with India and Jericho’s unconventional relationship since Deal with the Devil. From rushing emotions, thrilling intrigue and captivating romance, Meghan March wrapped up this outstanding trilogy beautifully and wonderfully. Of course it isn’t without heart-stopping, fist-clenching and jaw-dropping turns, or heartache that will shatter your resolve and heartwarming feelings that will leave butterflies in your stomach.

Jericho Forge doesn’t have a single clue what it’s like to be the center of someone’s world. He’s about to find out.

Jericho continues to be an irresistible character, making readers fall deeper and harder in love with this complex anti-hero. We’ve seen this character ruthless, dangerous and merciless; received glimpses when he is uncharacteristically sweet, but now witness the unexpected vulnerability that he only exposes to India. It is so satisfying seeing this seeming detached, larger than life anti-hero lay out his feelings for the woman he is obsessed with. Nothing can beat the Kraken!

Thrown into an apparent impossible situation, India doesn’t crumble under pressure. With an unwavering fierceness, undeniable profound loyalty and immeasurable affection, this admirable heroine is prepared to sacrifice everything to rescue her husband. And she does this with tireless strength and unhesitant resilience, the perfect attributes for the bold and charismatic woman whose strong-willed attitude matches Jericho’s.

She’s a siren, and I’m the sailor she’s trying to lure in. I’ve never wrecked a ship, but she could tempt me to do anything.

Unexpected surprises and unforeseen enemies made this a fast-paced, but exciting and riveting ending. I was desperate for Jericho and India to have more time together, but the limited moments they shared only made those scenes more precious and memorable. Full of teeth-gritting suspense, Heart of the Devil is sure to keep your interest piqued, heart aching and emotions soaring. I know with so much certainty I won’t be quitting Meghan March’s stories anytime soon!

arc · contemporary · review · romance

Covet by Ella James

Covet (Sinful Secrets #3)
by Ella James

Rating: ★★★★
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Homer Carnegie. Admit it—you know my name. Your kid’s got my e-trading card. Your husband sits up straighter when I stroll onto the TV screen. He knows I’m going to crack the bat and save the day. Even your grandma’s jonesing for my autograph. But women my age? They’re the worst. Or would that be the best?

It’s not my fault they line up at the door. They catch my balls all right, two at a time sometimes. Believe me, everybody wins.

At least they did—until the video. I heard TMZ paid a million for a bird’s eye view of Homer on his A-game. The only folks who didn’t watch with eager eyes? Red Sox management. They want me benched, or worse, shipped off to rehab.

It’s a long story, what happens next. How I end up on a boat, bound for the world’s most remote island: Tristan da Cunha. Just a speck of dust in the Atlantic.

Except my heart is there.
I don’t know that when I step onto the boat.
I don’t know a lot of things.
What I’ll covet…
What I’ll lose…

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Covet went beyond my expectations. I assumed a passionate though romantic enemies to lovers, but this was so much more. Darker than anticipated, this emotionally raw and harrowing narrative will leave your heart bruised and aching for Declan and Finley as they navigate a relationship where addiction is inescapable. Depicted realistically and unapologetically, the repercussions of substance dependence is broadcasted in distressing matters, but the poise this author approaches the subject with is astounding.

I didn’t know. I didn’t know that loving him would ruin both of our lives. But if I had, I would have done it anyway.

Finley Evans isn’t a stranger to traumatic experiences. However, she’s grown up to become a caring nurturer; a gentle, self-reliant woman with an abundance of love to give. And despite her endearing shy quietness, she doesn’t hesitate to stand up against Declan. She’s, without doubt, the epitome of a simple woman with a glowing disposition that manages to calm Declan’s inner turmoil.

Haunted by devastating memories, hunted by an unavoidable past and self-destructive through substance abuse, Declan Carnegie is damaged. But the suffering and hurting he experiences is soothed by Finley’s delightful and inquisitive presence. While he doesn’t love himself as he should, he can’t stop himself from gravitating towards the woman who soothes his shattering soul.

Love is reckless, and the heart gets out ahead of the soul. Mine feels like an anchor dragging me down through the floor.

Despite the dominating melancholia of this story, there are tender and heartwarming moments, even humorous situations, that eases the angst. Finley and Declan’s relationship is slow burn, but the journey is enticing and riveting. And when they are finally together, it is carnal and primal; heated and intense, an all-consuming and sensually erotic forbidden connection that sends the heart soaring.

I wasn’t certain what to expect with this—it wasn’t an emotionally captivating, heart-wrenching narrative featuring a couple traversing the difficulties of addiction; learning that love, in all its raw formations is both conflicting but wonderfully fulfilling, an experience that simultaneously heals and hurts. Newly found author to me, Ella James wowed me with this difficult, but beautifully written romance. It captivated me straight away, keeping me invested throughout as Declan and Finley traversed the seeming impossibilities of having a relationship.

I’m choosing bliss for all the moments we can find it. When the game is over, no regrets. Even though I know I’m going to lose.

If you want a romance that will leave your heart aching; your emotions soaring; your mind reeling; a story that will pique your interest straight away; a forbidden attraction and gruelling situations, I recommend Covet. Prepare yourself as this journey doesn’t hold anything back in emotions or in deliverance, as this author is an undeniably gifted wordsmith.

arc · review · romance · young adult

Kiss and Break Up by Ella Fields

Kiss and Break Up
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★★
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Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.
He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.
Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.
Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.
You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.
And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.
Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’m so intrigued by this newfound world of Magnolia Cove. Desperate to read more, too. Friends to lovers isn’t my favourite romance trope, but Ella Fields is an excellent wordsmith and brilliant writer—Dashiell Thane and Peggy Newland have carved themselves a home in my heart. Engraved themselves in my psyche. Kiss and Break Up is an all-consuming romance that will captivate your attention with its raw depiction of falling in love with your best friend, leaving your heart aching and your belly fluttering.

“Six ways from Sunday, you’ve fucked me, and I’ve yet to find anything satisfying about it.”

Bad boys and anti-heroes who are non-conforming, defying society’s every expectation, arrogant and conceited have my undying love. And they own every facet of my heart! Dash isn’t an exception, a sweet combination of infuriating and irresistable. Brutally honest and unapologetically passionate, Dash possesses an unwavering devotion to Pegs that made me sigh in frustration and swoon in bliss at his over-protectiveness.

Peggy couldn’t be anymore different to Dash. She’s kind and sweet, yet sassy and fierce; inexperienced with relationships and boyfriends; and full of life, unique eccentricity and realistic authenticity. Despite being Dash’s opposite in almost every way, the complex and multifaceted relationship they have—the connection they have formed—is so endearing!

I’d fallen for my best friend, and she was breaking my fucking heart.

Kiss and Break Up is wonderfully enthralling. When an innocent kiss turns this easy-going friendship into an intense, jealous infested, angst-ridden mess, your emotions will soar and your heart will shatter. Without fail, it realistically demonstrates that love isn’t easy—sometimes it is bittersweet, complicated beyond recognition, full of heart-aching emotions and frayed around the edges, but tender moments and irreplaceable memories await.

If you’re invested in pure innocence, teenage dramatics and first loves, Kiss and Break Up is whole-heartedly recommended, because beyond this friends to lovers narrative is rich story filled with a myriad of emotions and beautifully written characters. I wouldn’t turn away from a standalone featuring Daphne, Lars, Jackson and Willa. I’m very much unready to leave Magnolia Cove!

arc · new adult · review · romance

Pride by J.D. Hollyfield

Pride (The Elite Seven #2)
by J.D. Hollyfield

Rating: ★★★★
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The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

But who said the devil was a he?

In my world, she was out to cause havoc on all our lives.

She’ll use the one thing I care most about to control me—force me into her Elite world, filled with sin, deceit, and power. And under her spell, I’ll lead a sinister brotherhood of seven at one of the most prestigious universities in New Orleans.

Seven tasks set forth by the devil herself, promising nothing less than the forbidden fruit of power. What they don’t understand is it will all end in bloodshed and regret.

They call me the alpha. The one in charge. The one with pride bigger than any task I could be given. And my pride won’t let me be anywhere but at the top of the food chain until she gives me what I truly want.

My task is Meghan Thorne.

She’s too pure for me to touch, too good for me to ruin—and the only thing standing in my way to freedom.

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

As they say, pride comes before the fall.

I am Mason Blackwell.

I am Pride.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I can’t get over how twisted and deranged this novella is. J.D. Hollyfield pulled this series along, giving us deeper glimpses into The Elite Seven’s corrupt and devious world while skilfully keeping this intertwined with Lust. Sinfully delicious and compellingly manipulative, Pride will captivate your attention in its darker, more erotic entirety. I can’t seem to turn away from this enormous clusterfuck!

With the thirst for revenge and hate flowing inside me, there was no room for anything else. I could barely see passed the retribution I set to viciously achieve. But then she came along.

Having bounced from home to home, Mason Blackwell is used to monsters lurking within the shadows. When the Elite Seven approaches Mason—using his younger sister as incentive and collateral—to complete dishonest tasks and assume his position as Pride, he is pulled further into this darkened secret society of influence, manipulation and unfathomable benefits. Despite his assigned sin, Mason is selfless, swallowing his pride and egotism to protect Evie and his newfound family of brothers.

But the deeper I plummet into the abyss of our forbidden attraction, the heavier my emotions become, and I know it’s no longer just physical between us.

I didn’t know what to expect from Megan Thorne—it wasn’t a seeming innocent teacher hiding intense sultriness and unexplored kinkiness. She’s naive, loyal with fault and wholly inexperienced when dealing with romantic relationships. However, she’s an admirable sexually liberated and intelligent woman with so much goodness within this crazy world.

It is kind of difficult to consider this a romance; I wasn’t expecting it to be so though after reading Lust. Mason’s relationship with Megan is more defined and despite their initial encounter being unrealistically over the top, everything that happens afterwards between them will ignite your Kindle. It is intense, explosive and downright filthy.

Seeing some teasers for Wrath is making me excited to find out more about Samuel Gunner—Wrath, the next Elite Seven, in this strange albeit fascinating world.

arc · new adult · romance

The Risk by Elle Kennedy

The Risk (Briar U #2)
by Elle Kennedy

Rating: ★★★★
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Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

It’s official—I need more Jake Connelly and Brenna Jensen.

Elle Kennedy doesn’t disappoint whenever she writes amazing stories about these near-perfect and wonderfully captivating hockey players. I’m not sure how she does it, or why we even deserve these fictional boyfriends, but we’re indeed blessed, fellow college and sports romance loving friends. The Risk is such a good combination of sexy and sweet, with an emotionally satisfying and joyously humourous setting. It uses the enemies to lovers trope without fault, while adding forbidden romance and pretend dating to make this epic.

She’s bold and fierce, and those qualities combined with her beauty make her a force to be reckoned with.

Relationships aren’t Brenna Jensen’s top priority. She’s content keeping hookups casual, shattering eager hearts and moving forward in life. But Jake Connelly is proving himself to be difficult to resist with an irresistible charm and delicious self-assuredness that draws her towards him. When Brenna finds herself caught within an impossible situation, she enlists Jake to be her pretend boyfriend, but for every fake date, he wants a real date.

I mean, my heart certainly knows what it wants. It wants Jake Connelly. But news flash—my heart is reckless and stupid.

Brenna is my newest favourite heroine in this series. She’s sassy, witty and confident, despite the survivor’s guilt she harbours and the awful things she experienced from her past. Beneath her fierceness there’s a guarded sense of vulnerability we receive glimpses of. And a wonderfully compassionate, somewhat unexpected loving heart that makes this woman real and easy to appreciate. I didn’t think it would be possible to love her more, but that happened. From her teenage struggles, strained relationship and questions of self-worth, watching Brenna overcome these hardships but still be one boss lady made me admire her tenacity.

Being Harvard’s hockey team captain, Jake is naturally cocky without being overbearing; a womaniser with a hidden sweet, romantic side. And despite having secured a position with Edmonton’s Oilers next season, Jake is determined to push his college team to victory. I adore a cocksure, assertive athlete without the douche attitude—it only makes this hero even more appealing and irresistible. Jake will have your undying attention and affection, stuttering and stammering and falling all over yourself because you’re smitten as hell. I, along with Brenna, couldn’t resist everything about him—his wit and charm, his charisma and confidence and passion for everything he dedicates himself to.

“I like having you like this,” I whisper. “On your back. Legs spread.”

Chemistry between these two has been brewing for such a long ass time and even when they’re bickering and disagreeing on something, the banter is absolute perfection. They have this perfect amount of push and pull, hard and soft, honesty and hesitancy with some of the hottest and sexiest scenes together that is brimming with so much passion it singes the pages. I almost spontaneously combusted reading that secretive bedroom romp!

I love that this author constantly raises the question and concern of misogyny inside the world of sports journalism. Sadly, Brenna experiences this dreadful behaviour firsthand while trying to enter the field. And even worse, real life women are subjected to unwarranted sexism everyday. We’ve all heard the “jokes”, the mumbled comments and unacceptable outbursts. Brenna and other women attempt to dismantle the toxic environment, something I’m grateful for and profoundly proud of.

I’m officially his groupie. But that’s okay, because he’s my groupie. We root for each other.

The Risk lived up to my expectations, but there’s little things that pulled my rating down. I was loving every moment until we started heading towards the epilogue. Jake annoyed me when he thought out of his arse instead of with what is an intelligent brain (sometimes), but I still forgave his choices (I’m weak for Connelly, don’t judge me). I felt the epilogue wrapped up quickly and focused more on personal achievements rather than relationship progression. Damn it, I want more Jake, okay?! Otherwise, this is such a perfect treat, as always, from Elle Kennedy. It reminded me so much of her other series, Off-Campus, as it emanated a similar vibe. I’m dying to have more Hunter and wouldn’t object to Brooks, so I can’t wait for The Play!

arc · review · romance

Roma Queen by Callie Hart

Roma Queen (Roma Royals Duet #2)
by Callie Hart

Rating: ★★★★★
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Son.
Lover.
Protector.

KING.

I’ve been many things to many people over the course of my life, but that title – King – has always been a tough pill to swallow. If I want to help Zara save her friend, then I must find a way to shoulder the pressure, though. I must unravel this complicated tangle of clues and hunt down a madman I thought I’d already killed three years ago in order to bring Sarah home in one piece.

My people are depending on me to protect them.
Zara is trusting me to keep her alive.
There isn’t a sacrifice I won’t make for her.
My Firefly.
My Queen.
I’ll raze this world to the ground to keep her safe…

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

He is the most beautiful, savage creature I have ever seen.

I’m always left floating within the clouds, charged with adrenaline and sighing in pure, utter bliss after finishing anything by Callie Hart. I wanted to devour this intricate duet wholly, yet pulled myself back to savour this riveting tale that concluded in both compelling and captivating ways. Roma Queen left me awed, my eyes wide from learning revelations and discovering totally unexpected connections.

Our eyes meet, and so much passes between us: I’m proud of you. I’m amazed by you. I’m here for you. I will never fucking leave you.

Zara and Pasha are entwined, their relationship a unique connection bound together by certain, unforeseeable circumstances. When a past face resurfaces, testing this newfound couple’s strength, no matter the difficulties and adversities that appear, Zara and Pasha are unwavering—an unstoppable force prepared to do everything necessary to keep those they love safe.

“Touch me. Kiss me. Fuck me,” I whisper. “Make me lose myself in you. I want to forget where you end and I begin.”

I didn’t just adore every single moment—I absorbed every facet of this heart-stropping, jaw-dropping and toe-curling narrative. It is heated and passionate, with many turns and twists to keep your interest piqued. Questions are answered and shocking truths are unveiled. I wasn’t certain where this would head, only that Callie Hart’s signature anti-hero and brand of sassy, witty heroine would continue to capture my heart!

Everything about Roma Queen is emotionally satisfying. If you love dangerous anti-heroes, strong heroines and darkness in your romance, you need to read this duet, especially if Zeth Mayfair is your favourite Callie Hart hero. Watch out, Mr. Mayfair—Pasha Rivin might dethrone you.

arc · new adult · new release · review · romance

Lust by Ker Dukey

Lust (The Elite Seven #1)
by Ker Dukey

Rating: ★★★
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I was born with wealth, athletic ability, and looks that could melt the panties off a nun.
I had a clear path to success.
Until fate dealt me a cruel blow, leaving me empty and in need of purpose.
My only focus now is to become part of The Elite—a secret society in one of the most prestigious colleges in the world.
But everything comes at a price, and with The Elite, you have to earn your place.
Lucky for me, being sinful is in my DNA.
The only obstacle to full initiation is my task: seduce the un-seducible, the forbidden, and lure her with the sins of the flesh. Easy for a man like me…in theory.
She started as my task, but what happens when the lines between lust and love blur, and the need for power rages war with the need for her?
Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak—they’re for The Elite.
This is my life, my chance, my legacy.
I am Rhett Masters.
I am Lust.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

What a ride! And interesting introduction to what will become a captivating series centered around a secret society promising an unrivaled amount of wealth, prestige and benefits. I wasn’t really sure what to expect—maybe a dark, erotic romance of intrigue, debauchery and manipulation. However, this isn’t dark, or even erotic as the romance is pushed aside to create the foundation for the series.

I would still take lust over love every fucking time. Fuck love.

Chastity Griffin appears to be shy and timid, but there’s inextricable boldness and feistiness hidden beneath her appearance. She’s smart and sweet, with a touch of innocence about her demeanor, but there’s this admirable sensuality about her, too. It balances the dark wildness and teetering instability within Rhett.

Rhett Masters is desperate to escape from reality. Crushing guilt after losing someone and his father’s insufferable attitude have pushed him towards drowning in women, drugs and liquor. Conceited, arrogant and feeling an unhealthy amount of invincibility, nothing is forbidden or dangerous. Rhett embodies lust, however, more so through reputation than action.

My entire high school years were built on my reputation of panty peeler, pussy realtor, heart stealer.

It is one reason for pulling my rating down. I assumed this short story would be filthier, more forbidden and teeming with an intense amount of eroticism, finished with a dash of passion and romance to sweeten the connection. And that is my second reason for lowering my rating—the romance is minimal. When Rhett and Chastity are together, the pages explode with sexual tension and witty banter. You can sense unexplored chemistry between them that would have made an excellent forbidden romance.

Lust is a violent desire, destructive and uncontrollable.

I can say one thing for certain—I’m excited to continue delving deeper into this world of secret societies and sinfully devilish assignments. Ker Dukey’s writing is fantastic, the emotions will roll you over straight away, the pacing of this short story is decent and the concept of this series captivating.