arc · contemporary · review · romance

Hearts and Thorns by Ella Fields

Hearts and Thorns (Magnolia Cove #3)
by Ella Fields

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

Jackson Thorn was my best friend and worst enemy, but that didn’t stop me from wanting him.

From first words to high school halls, our childhood years braided a bond that wove in a direction neither of us could predict or outgrow.

Forbidden became a word we ignored.
It wasn’t that we didn’t care.
It was that we cared too much.


We had it all planned out.
We thought we could make it.
We thought we’d been careful.
But all we managed to do was prolong the inevitable.
Our destruction.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

When childhood innocence transforms into forbidden romance, Ella Fields delivers a bittersweet narrative that touches on more than falling in love with someone you shouldn’t—it’s about family, heartache and forgiveness. Hearts and Thorns, evocative in deliverance and angst-ridden in content, traverses the tumultuous waves of first loves and second chances that will leave your heart tattered and bruised, but the true authentic qualities and the overall deliverance ensures this heart-rending narrative will resonate with readers.

We weren’t an itch we could scratch. We were fire that would never extinguish, and we’d burn anything in our path to keep getting what we wanted.

Destruction was inevitable for Willa and Jackson. Pure, childhood innocence turned into a forbidden connection—an intoxication and exhilaration, albeit dishonest and secretive as they deceived family and friends. It didn’t diminish or minimise their romance though, it only made it more worthwhile because, despite the unavoidable heartache, true love overcomes adversities. Willa and Jackson’s chemistry rendered my emotions exhausted but soaring as they were allowed a second chance to rekindle a distinct bond difficult to dismantle.

“We’ll never be perfect, Jackson.” “I know,” he said. “I know, but there’s no one else I’d rather be imperfect with.”

Hearts and Thorns is raw, full of endless heartache, though full with beloved life experiences of falling unconditionally and irrevocably in love; of bittersweet first loves and second chances in romance; of traversing the treacherous waves unfairly hurled at us, but returning with renewed strength and feeling indestructible. Hearts and Thorns is wonderfully enthralling and without fail, it realistically demonstrates that love isn’t easy—sometimes it is bittersweet, complex beyond recognition, full of heart-aching emotions and frayed around the edges, but tender moments and irreplaceable memories await.

arc · contemporary · review · romance

The Fall of Legend by Meghan March

The Fall of Legend (Legend Trilogy #1)
by Meghan March

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

We come from two different worlds.
I’m from the streets. She might as well live in an ivory tower.
I made my living with my fists. I doubt she could even throw a punch.
Our paths never should have crossed.
We never should have met.
That doesn’t change the facts.
I would sell my soul to taste those red lips.
Fight the devil himself to hear her laugh.
Burn in hell to have a single night.
Scarlett Priest shouldn’t even know men like me exist, but sometimes temptation is stronger than will.
If this is how I go down, it’ll be worth every second of the fall.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Meghan March lures me in without fail! Every damn time. She’s a prolific author of fast paced and suspense filled romances that always feature a strong-willed heroine and the broodiest, protective hero. The Fall of Legend doesn’t deviate too much from this common form she’s established, but that doesn’t make this narrative, with all its new characters and situations any lesser.

He’s menacing, raw, and otherworldly. Every move he makes, from the way he leans on his desk to the way he offers his hand, is precise, efficient, and carries the impression of leashed power.

Unfathomable facets manifest themselves into forming Gabriel Legend, a rough ex-cage fighter with a hard, difficult past that was only revealed in tidbits. Strength emanates in immeasurable waves from this man, exuding an untouchable and toughed exterior, but beneath the tarnished surface is someone who possesses an affectionate, tender side. Gabriel’s the broodiest, most appealing of March’s heroes to date!

Why I’m fixated on him, I can’t explain. Maybe because he lives in the shadows, while I live in the limelight.

Scarlett Priest appears to be nothing more than a self-absorbed, shallow socialite, but don’t be misled by Scarlett’s surface appearance—she’s determined, self-assured and stubborn; unafraid to pursue her dreams even when they feel trivial and childish, or chase after an enigmatic man who incites her hidden pleasures. Despite these favourable qualities, Scarlett isn’t as fierce as March’s previous heroines and she didn’t have that same strong-willed attitude we admire.

That one kiss was better than anything I’ve felt in a hell of a long time. Innocent. Sweet. But with a promise of fire.

Gabriel and Scarlett have a delicious slow burn romance that kindles and crackles into an intense connection. It was a long and languid adventure reaching this inevitable outcome, because when they finally connected they became inflamed; bonded within the confines of wanton desires and ferocious need. No matter how enamoured Gabriel and Scarlett left me, I had an issue with this romance’s development.

I’m used to March creating lust-filled, untamed romances that sometimes border over the top, but the journeys and conclusions are always satisfying. I wanted to love and adore Gabriel and Scarlett, but there seems to be more separation than connection, making it difficult to appreciate this relationship. Regardless of my issues or thoughts, I’m excited to witness how Gabriel and Scarlett undergo romantic and character development, because this is something always guaranteed with the author.

arc · contemporary · review · romance

Gypsy King by Devney Perry

Gypsy King (Tin Gypsy #1)
by Devney Perry

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

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

In Gypsy King, Devney Perry introduces us to Clifton Forge, Montana—a town that is small, but thrives with secret histories and untold stories centered on its dismantled motorcycle club, Tin Gypsy. Intertwined with an undeniably thrilling mystery and intense, suspense-filled atmosphere, this author created a near flawless enemies to lovers romance that held my undivided attention.

We’d rid the world of evil men, even though we’d been devils in our own right.

Former MC President, Kingston “Dash” Slater is charming and protective—a dangerous, irresistible combination that will send your heart soaring and incite stomach-induced fluttering butterflies. Once unaffected by misconduct and lawlessness, Dash’s traded in criminal behaviour and now manages a humble, honest mechanic shop.

Passionate and resolute, Bryce Ryan is determined to create a headline that will enrapture her audience and escalate her career status. Bryce’s adamant attitude to succeed combined with a considerable strength and formidable stance creates a fierce, but stubborn contender. However, underneath her persistence lies a fast witted and loving woman with soft understanding.

We’d only shared a single kiss, but he was right. Given the sparks that crackled when we were in the same room, we’d be incredible together. The chemistry, mixed with our mutual dislike of one other, would ignite like fireworks. We’d probably set the sheets on fire.

Dash and Bryce have a connection constructed with indescribable, heated chemistry and fortified by an inevitable transition into reliance when they focus on unravelling a murder. I love the zeal; the fervent hate to love and slow burn romance they cultivated and allowed to flourish into something profound.

I have minor issues with this series’ introduction—the rushed romance; Dash’s unrealistic personality change; and the unresolved murder conclusion. Gypsy King isn’t that dark and the motorcycle feature is limited, but this author’s writing is flawless and her ability to weave a narrative deserves to be recognised.

arc · review · romance

Hush, Hush by Lucia Franco

Hush, Hush
by Lucia Franco

Rating: ★
Add on Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon

I knew the rules:

Never reveal my true identity.
Play the game, give the illusion.
Don’t get close to the clients.


The dark and glamorous lifestyle of the rich and shameless open my eyes to a lavish world of sin and wealth, and a man I can’t have.

A man I desperately want—James Riviera.

We’re treading a fine line as we live the ultimate double life until we make a startling discovery that tests both our loyalties.

I only had to follow the rules, but rules are meant to be broken.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

So, this review took me much longer than expected. Complete, utter disappointment isn’t accurate enough to describe my thoughts or feelings on this. Hush, Hush is horrendous to read. Sex workers are shamed and criticised; drugs are abused to cope with sexual situations that border sexual assault, with the acts glamourised to somehow excuse everyone’s behaviours; everyone’s emotions are belittled over and over; constant lies and secrets infiltrate every scenario because the characters are too childish to function somewhat normally for two seconds. It made me so uncomfortable to read this toxic representation of supposed romance.

I’m disheartened by this hero and heroine’s characterisation, and some low rated reviews on this “romance” because they perpetuate an enormous societal issue: slut shaming. Everyone, it’s fucking 2019 (incase you forgot), though we continue to criticise sex workers and women’s sexuality, fiction or reality. Sex workers become “others” without morals, dignity or integrity and somehow that allows us “normals” to have authority to ridicule someone’s life choices? How do sex workers differ from us, when we both effectively sell our time and bodies for labour in exchange for money and goods? Our word choice carries connotations that affect others’ understanding of messages and approaches to subjects. Calling the heroine a slut, whore or prostitute (derogatorily) almost every chapter dehumanises her and distances us “normal women” by forcing us into bad girl versus good girl contests. Referring to female sex workers as prostitutes isn’t uncommon, but this gross trend enforces a solemn reminder how terrible our understanding of this industry is.

“It’s time to pregame,” she says dropping a pill into my hand. “We’re celebrating this birthday in true New York City fashion—with a few shots and some Molly.”

Substance abuse is an issue within most societies and the author’s casual, unaffected approach to opioid reliance and glamorisation of said usage without significant commentary is distressing. Furthermore, the reliance is encouraged because the heroine isn’t comfortable with fucking strangers—there’s no dubious consent here. She doesn’t want to fuck everyone, consumed by anxiety despite her actions, but she’s forced into sitautions that push her into washing down percoset with wine because she’s desperate to earn quick money. It is more worrisome that there’s limited discussion on soft or hard limits with clients—filling in some questionnaire isn’t enough when you don’t know your client, or even meet them beforehand. I can’t even begin to explain the dangers that surround this scenario, especially as violence against sex workers is at an increase.

“The universe is cruel for putting us together, but I don’t feel bad because what I feel when I’m with you is what I’ve been wanting all along, I just never knew it until I met you.”

Aubrey Abrams is dull and vain; too self-absorbed, floating within a conceited bubble to consider how her constant lies belittle everyone’s feelings, or how her selfish actions make an impact on their lives in irrevocable, significant ways. She’s a compulsive liar, an unapologetic cheater and slut-shamer extraordinaire—a shit human really with little, if any, regret. For example, when Aubrey’s asked to be exclusive with a specific client, in exchange for millions of dollars, she accepts but without any intention of honouring the conditions: to stop dating her boyfriend and escorting. However, when the truth is unveiled, she has the audacity to accuse this client of acting unreasonable and controlling. She’s unconcerned with hurting this client and rather than feel remorse for cheating on Daniel, her boyfriend (who admitted to having been cheated on before), she’s more concerned about Natalie’s reaction. Zero self-awareness, much?

I know I should look at the dissolution of our clandestine agreement as a blessing in disguise, but it’s also undeniably heartbreaking. We were hopeless from the start.

Rude doesn’t begin to cover the horrid nature of James Riviera, an abhorrent hero with a sexist attitude used so casually, it is outright sickening. James’ unfortunate loveless marriage doesn’t condone his continuous blatant cheating, an act fuelled by an unloving wife with a hate for kink; nor does it excuse his blasé usage of sexist slurs like slut or whore to belittle Aubrey, an escort who doesn’t adhere to his conditions. I find it ironic that James reiterates the values of family, but does a shit effort at following through with said announcements of significance by cheating on his wife (she isn’t innocent in this, however it doesn’t excuse his behaviour) and lying to his daughter.

Hush, Hush could’ve delivered a narrative that dismembered misinformed criticisms of escorting created and supported by sexism. Instead, it shames women’s life choices and sexuality; glamourises substance abuse; condones cheating (there’s a massive lack of self-reflection on this) within a myriad of various other issues that makes this a backwards narrative. Sex work becomes a convenient excuse to purport a forbidden age-gap romance and create a suitable enough reason to introduce drama. Hush, Hush also had the slowest introduction between the two leading characters and was filled with useless conversations that held no plot importance whatsoever—it was boring filler. I’m sorry.

arc · review · romance

Depraved by Trilina Pucci

Depraved (Sinful #3)
by Trilina Pucci

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

Savagery. Sin. Depravity—-these are my virtues.
My religion.


My name is Dante Sovrano, head of the Chicago Mob, and I run this city.
Everyone bows down to me.


Except her.

The moment I saw Sarah, I knew she’d be trouble.
She’s fiery and cutthroat, wrapped up in a lickable package.


But there are dark secrets hiding behind those gorgeous blue eyes.

And I plan to know them all because she’ll have to make a deal with the devil to solve her problems.

Too bad the devil always takes your soul.
And I’ll be keeping it—
Because Sarah London is mine.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Some of my greatest pleasures in life start with D: dark romance, dangerous anti-heroes, dick and now Depraved. Despite my decent collection of signed paperbacks from this author, I hadn’t delved into reading her writing and the experience of finally committing was joyous in numerous indescribable ways. With an enthralling combination of dark mafia setting and taboo themes, my attention was charmed and ensnared from page one; rendered riveted as dangerous events unfolded.

Dante has a presence; you can feel him in the room. Everyone can. He is a dangerous, powerful man, and that’s catnip for this pussy.

As Chicago’s ruthless and dangerous leader, innumerous enemies lurk within the shadows for Dante Sovrano. Dominant and controlling, this anti-hero is used to having command over everything until Sarah, though her reticent attitude and own enemies doesn’t dissuade this man’s attentive interest. Dante’s attitude—the intense dominance and flowing confidence—makes him steadfast and determined to capture this woman, despite her secrets, creating an irresistible, near perfect anti-hero.

A fighter until the end. Breaking her is going to be the highlight of my day.

Sarah London, full of fire and strength, is an enigma obscured by unending secrets and clouded by mysteries. Defiant and feisty, there’s a darkness that follows her existence, shrouding it in neverending danger, but this darkness only amplifies her resolute nature. No matter her predicament, Sarah’s capacity to love and the lengths she’d go to ensure everyone’s safety couldn’t be deterred or ruined, a true testament to this heroine’s ability to be selfless and fearless.

“We’re depraved, Dante. I recognized your darkness because it’s mine as well.”

Chemistry that kindles and bursts with an intense ferocity doesn’t attempt to describe the connection between Dante and Sarah. It is explosive. Full of titillating dominance and potent submission, a sweet combination weaved together to deliver a suspense romance with passion that is undeniable as it simmers and crackles through the chapters. With a push and pull dynamic, the hint of vulnerability coursing through this relationship serves to create an atmosphere full of tension that leaves me riveted and wanting more from this series of dangerous sinners.

arc · review · romance

What We Do in the Night by Stylo Fantome

What We Do in the Night (Day to Night #1)
by Stylo Fantome

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

Just five months ago, Valentine O’Dell started working at a very special kind of club – one where you can dance the night away, or live out your greatest fantasy. She’s learned to lose herself to her nights, forgetting all her day time woes as she charms every man she meets. It’s easy enough to do when she doesn’t let her feelings get involved.

Then Ari Sharapov walked in and changed everything.

Working for his father’s law firm has left Ari with very little control over his life, so when he meets Valentine for the first time, he sees a girl who is desperate for someone to take care of her. To take over her. So what he can’t get for himself in the day time, he’ll simply take for himself at night. But when power struggles lead to real feelings, who’s actually controlling whom?

Some relationships are better left in the dark.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Welcome to Caché, an exclusive club of debauched affairs and lascivious desires, where you can chase the darkest fantasies, binge on hedonistic experiences and satisfy untamed cravings of titillation. Two complete opposites—one rich, demanding utter domination; the other poorer, willing to submit—intertwined by insatiable lust and unrestrained affection; confined by an arrangement of convenience make this forbidden romance an irresistible intoxicant.

He was rough and aggressive and dominant. He probably tore his opponents apart in the courtroom, and he was no different in the bedroom.

I have a terrible obsession with foul-mouthed, asshole heroes—the meaner, the better in my opinion. Without doubt, Aaron “Ari” Sharapov is rude, conceited and cocksure of himself. Part of me wanted to despise this character’s self-centered and egotistical attitude, but the moment an unforeseen tender side is exposed in Ari, my heart melted and whatever he lacked romantically, he sure made up with an alluring, formidable sexuality.

She wondered if he had any idea that his idea of punishment was her idea of pleasure.

Valentine O’Dell self-sacrifices to ensure home life is somewhat easy. During the day, she’s sweet and demure, a determined college student in design management, but the nighttime is reserved for seduction and inciting the headiest pleasures to surface. Full of fire and ferocity, her resolute perseverance is an admirable symbolism of inner strength and unfettered devotion to family.

“You’re really bad at this whole fantasy thing.”
“I think it’s more that you’re really bad at this whole reality thing.”

Ari and Val have an irrevocable heated chemistry, twisted together by an irrefutable and intense, forbidden connection. He wants to dominate. She’s willing to submit. Despite coming across as opposites, Ari and Val are complex contradictions who are each other’s perfect, sweetest counterparts. Fused together by an irresistible magnetic pull, this couple’s dramatic relationship, together with Ari’s unflinching obnoxious behaviour and Val’s fearless innocent make the beginning of an interesting duet!

“When the sun goes down, you become mine, Saint Valentine.”

arc · new release · review · romance

Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Ends (White Monarch #2)
by Jessica Hawkins

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

I had a life, love, and future to give. Until my enemy took a wife.

The devil has a name, and it’s Cristiano de la Rosa. On my wedding day, he was the last man I expected to see standing at the altar. He wants to make me his queen. His brother wants to rescue his princess.

Getting Cristiano to lose control becomes the name of the game, and the stakes are life and death. But as truth and lies blur, loyalty is tested, and our chemistry threatens to reach the melting point, the prize grows less clear. Either freedom no longer means what I think it does, or Cristiano is as devious as everyone says, and he’s mastered the art of playing my mind.

All I know for certain is that nothing is certain. And all you need to know? This is a love story.

But even love stories have to end.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

From a seamless flow of enchanting moments and enthralling intricacies, I’ve found myself totally charmed and unconditionally enamoured by this sinfully decadent series. Violent Ends is more sordid, full of wicked sexual tension, rife with inescapable angst and featuring the filthiest, dominant anti-hero—the outright debauched insinuations increased tenfold— all weaved together to create a devious, sexually heated and emotionally raw narrative.

Her fear both excited and calmed me. Her tears were mine to collect and soothe. Her pussy was mine to devastate and worship. And lick and explore and fuck.

I have been officially ruined by Cristiano de la Rosa. His unfathomable series of hidden facets and untold secrets, threaded together beautifully, manifests itself into an unreadable, ruthless man doused in confidence, lascivious domination and raw sexuality. Despite the inexorable intimidation in Cristiano, it is soothed by an unforeseen sweetness and fondness for Natalia, creating an attractive, irresistible allure to this merciless character. He will leave you wanton and compelled, ready to spontaneously combust and unashamed in your attraction to this dangerous, but caring man.

I stared at him, utterly perplexed at the puzzle before me. This was exactly what I’d feared. Not knowing whether to hate him or to feel something else entirely.

Natalia Cruz’s defiant attitude matures—she’s less naive, more fierce—with an unrivalled stubbornness and closed-mindedness to follow it. In some aspects, her inevitable confusion, mistrust and aversion is understandable, but the continuous complex warring between body and mind becomes frustrating. Once certain rumours are justified, secrets are unveiled and brutally honest truths are delivered, Natalia’s harsh judgments are challenged, steadily changing into acceptance that made is easy to love her once again.

For every door she slammed, I would open another. I’d pursue her. I’d break down that defiance until I found myself in her sweet core. She would cross over into the darkness. And I’d be waiting with open arms.

Powerfully seductive and beautifully devilish, Cristiano’s dominant attitude, brimming with undeniable wickedness and intense fervor, is an irresistible enticement. Full of animosity, but eased by desire and soothed by flourishing affection, Natalia’s inner submissive blossoms in slight measures in this slow burn romance, leaving me absolutely thrilled to discover what kind of connection this couple will have.

Walking that fine line between hate and admiration only seemed to kindle our sexual attraction.

Violent Ends is all-consuming and angst-ridden, rendering you entranced; your heart erratic, your mind chaotic and emotions racing tenfold. Compelling in deliverance, this romance won’t disappoint—Jessica Hawkins amplifies the sensations and heated connection budding between Natalia and Cristiano as it continues down a dark albeit wonderfully satisfying path.

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.