arc · new release · review · romance

Forever and Never by Ella Fields

Forever and Never (Magnolia Cove #2)
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★★
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Lars Bradby was supposed to be my forever.
That was before we found out he would become a father at the tender age of eighteen.

For years, he’d watched me.
For months, he’d wanted me.
For weeks, he’d chased me.


Relentless and infuriating, he turned my stubborn heart into something pliable and weak.
Sly and honest, he worked his way into my life as though he’d always planned to be the focal point of it.


In love and naive, even when our future seemed bleak, I believed in us.
Heartbroken and desperate, I tore my bleeding heart from my chest, wanting only the best for him.


In doing so, our forever wasn’t just interrupted. It was chased away with one irreversible decision after another.
And now, we could no longer see it beneath the heaping piles of debris we’d left in our wake.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

How do you find words accurate enough to describe the intense rush of emotions, or the relentless bombardment of thoughts that you feel finishing a read as evocative as Forever and Never? Heart-rending only scratches that surface. I’ve been shredded, left in tatters to wallow in my wrenched emotions of immense sadness that is as equally fierce as my devastating happiness. Raw and bruised, my heart is exhausted, but also enthralled in irrevocable ways by this bittersweet romance.

“I don’t want to be your boyfriend. I want to be your world.”

I’m in absolute love, truthfully and unconditionally, with Lars Bradby. Beneath his “bad boy”, carefree attitude is someone with numerous, fathomable facets waiting to be discovered—a kind heart and unwavering dedication disclosed through a secretive romantic side. Combined with an unfettered devotion to everyone he adores, Lars ensnared my full attention rendering me totally stunned and enamoured.

Guarded and stubborn from past experience, Daphne Morris doesn’t know what real love or genuine affection is. Complex and multi-faceted, her heart is fortified by long established, untrodden walls, but when these begin to crumble piece by piece, my whole being ached for the insecurity and weakness that came through her outward appearance of confidence.

You could meet your first love, possibly your soul mate, but there were always conditions for those who didn’t deserve them.

Forever turned into never; love transformed into hate, but that didn’t make me love this less, because love isn’t easy. Sometimes it is bittersweet and filled with unending heartache, but the genuine beauty of this romance is seeing real love endure treacherous waters of terrible decisions and unfortunate circumstances. Nothing is eased in, or written in vague detail—it is raw and brutally honest in every realistic depiction making your emotions soar; leaving your beating heart aching.

I say it all the time: Ella Field’s writing is delightfully poetic, a seamless flow of bittersweet, realistic moments soothed by enchanting sentences that ensnare your attention. It will leave your heart tattered and mismatched, but the true authenticity and deliverance makes this heartrending narrative resonate with readers. Difficult and angst-written, the journey is worthwhile because there’s nothing more charming and endearing than witnessing true love prevail.

arc · new release · review · romance

Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Ends (White Monarch #2)
by Jessica Hawkins

Rating: ★★★★★
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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

Enthralled by Giana Darling

Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet #1)
by Giana Darling

Rating: ★★★★★
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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: ★★★★★
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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 · 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 · 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 release · review · romance

Luck of the Devil by Meghan March

Luck of the Devil (Forge Trilogy #2)
by Meghan March

Rating: ★★★★★
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My poker face has always been my greatest asset, along with my grit and determination. I was beholden to no one. Asked permission for nothing.

Then Jericho Forge took my life by storm.

I traded my freedom for something infinitely more precious, but I didn’t realize Forge was holding an unbeatable hand.

Now, all I have to do is survive the high-stakes game my life has become—with my heart intact.

But not falling in love with Forge will take the luck of the devil.


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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’m high on adrenaline and rushing emotions after finishing Luck of the Devil! Meghan March surprised me in so many ways. She increased the intensity between India and Jericho—the thrilling relationship and growing affection doesn’t wane, it escalates into something profound and heartwarming. Using a perfect combination of suspense, eroticism and fiery passion, Luck of the Devil will grab your attention, leaving you guessing and gasping at every unexpected twist, and swooning over this couple’s wonderfully heated connection.

“I might not be a good guy, but I’m not the fucking devil you want me to be either.”

While reading Meghan March, I’m quickly learning it isn’t worth guessing what’ll happen, but always expect the unexpected. It’s satisfying having your theories proven right, but the rush of excitement that comes barrelling towards you when you are wrong is intoxicating. Exhilarating. And makes the reading experience significantly more enjoyable!

“You’re not a means to an end anymore. You’re inside me. In my head. In the blood running through my fucking veins. If you go, you take all that with you, along with my fucking sanity.”

I never thought it would be possible to fall more in love with Jericho Forge, the enigmatic, unapologetically ruthless businessman that leaves every other anti-hero a whimpering mess. He is complex and multi-faceted, a character that we’ve seen merciless and possessive, but now have the pleasure of seeing uncharacteristically sweet. Newfound tender moments and earnest desire emerges from this surprising man, leaving you swooning and overwhelmed as he borrows himself deeper into your heart.

Despite his impressive nature and magnetism, Jericho doesn’t overshadow India. She’s just as sassy and fierce, but beneath the boldness is someone vulnerable. India is desperate to have independence, though her caring heart is warring with her head as it wants the devil. It only makes this heroine admirable. And very, very real.

“Where you go, I go. Even if it’s overboard.”

Luck of the Devil casts a different atmosphere, but that doesn’t make it less thrilling or exciting than Deal with the Devil. Meghan March exceeded my expectations by writing a sequel better than anticipated. It left me awed and desperate for the next installment. Prepare yourself—your wits and your emotions—because she doesn’t hold back!

arc · review · romance

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

The Kiss Thief
by L.J. Shen

Rating: ★★★★★
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They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

A story of a Nemesis and a Villain with no chance at a happy ending. Where the prince doesn’t save the princess. He tortures her. And the beauty doesn’t sleep. She’s stuck. In a nightmare.

What a fantastic beginning to reading in 2019!

I knew I’d fall in love with this, because it is L.J. Shen. One of, if not, my favourite author. Ever. She’s a proficient and excellent writer—her sentences are carefully and beautifully constructed into gripping scenes and concise prose—who continues to astound me with every release.

She’s mastered an ability to transform cold-hearted and callous asshole heroes, who undergo an inevitable transformation of redemption, into loveable characters we can’t hate. They’re always damaged, filled with cynicism and sarcasm and hatred towards the wrongdoer, yet loaded with vengeance and countless positive qualities that make them them.

God, she was sweet, and she was all mine. Not just her body but also her words and her courage.

I thought I loved Baron “Vicious” Spencer; adored Celian Laurent, but I’m unconditionally infatuated and unquestionably besotted with Wolfe Keaton—The Kiss Thief. On the surface, he appears to be nothing beyond ruthless; however, there’s an immense amount of depth, intrigue and enigma surrounding this mean anti-hero. Without doubt, he is complex and multi-faceted, someone who appears withdrawn and detached, yet beneath the tough exterior is someone able to love. And love hard. Fierce, without shame. Wild, without restraint.

We were entwined and entangled, connected with invisible strings, each of us trying to pull away, only to create more knots that made us closer.

Francesca Rossi is my newest fictional best friend. Tangent: I was almost named Francesca. Ergo, we’re best friends. I digress. Having been raised dreadfully sheltered inside a gilded cage, oftentimes Francesca appears to be docile, unsure of herself and awfully immature. Seeming complaisant, or sometimes quiet, however, doesn’t always mean being submissive or feeble-minded—she’s quick-witted and intelligent. Torn between an older life bound in tradition and a newer life promising freedom, Francesca transforms into someone more daring, challenging and outspoken.

He turned to me, his grays on my blues, two pools of beautiful lies.

Wolfe and Francesca are explosive. Passionate enemies who slowly and quietly transform into intimate lovers. Wrapped up in an unexpected fervid romance; embraced by an intense connection.

The Kiss Thief is an engrossing, riveting narrative of an arranged marriage set within a modern Chicago. Promises of revenge shadowed by danger is abundant—you will be turning the pages faster than expected. L.J. Shen continues to astound me with the ways she illustrates love. It is always an intense fierceness of earnest affection and vicious yearning that is wretched and heart-aching however real. To be in real love is to be free. To change. To transform into someone greater than you’ve imagined. And she’s portrayed this through Wolfe and Francesca.

arc · romance

Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

Hoops Holiday (Hoops #2.5)
by Kennedy Ryan

Rating: ★★★★★
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A jock, a journalist and a second chance . . .

MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.
They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck’s first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they’ve climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn’t changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . . except them.

That was then.
But what about now?


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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’m super chuffed Hoops Holiday is my first story by Kennedy Ryan—it is packed with depth, emotions, soaring love, heart-wrenching loss, undeniable passion and second chances, all wrapped up within this sweet short story. Reading this wonderfully written narrative makes me even more excited to eventually read Long Shot.

We both have pasts and we’ve both had pain, but what we’ve never had was each other.

Avery Hughes has flawless charactersation. She’s a bundle of everything admirable—an intelligent and motivated woman of colour, determined to make a name, a change, within a testosterone dominated industry. Her experiences with hurt and loss are showcased with such attentiveness. And her story is depicted with an abundance of detail, it allows readers to empathise with her emotions, understand her feelings and believe in her actions. She’s such a complex and rounded character with so many realistic and relatable qualities!

I shouldn’t toy with him, but it’s kind of fun watching a man so notoriously pursued by women making excuses to spend time with me, even though I’m not exactly sure what he wants.

Beyond the irresistible charm, handsome appearance and NBA legend identity, there’s so much behind Mack Decker. I’m stunned by his raw honesty, kind-heartedness and sensitivity beneath the easy-going nature he exudes—it is damn easy falling in love with precious Decker.

Decker and Avery’s connection is intense; the chemistry undeniable and ever-burning. Full Court Press is capable of becoming a narrative rich in substance, despite being a novella, because of this couple’s relationship that emerges and changes with such a profound amount passion.

In the end, other people can’t complete us, but can love us in our brokenness if we let them. There is a happiness you find with another when you’re first happy with yourself. 

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