arc · review · romance

The Play by Elle Kennedy

The Play
by Elle Kennedy

Rating: ★★★★
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What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I haven’t been in love with an entire series this much before. Not sure how, but Elle Kennedy always creates the perfect college romance and somehow we deserve the absolute delight of reading her brilliant stories! The Play delivered a delicious slow-burn, friends to lovers combined friends with benefits romance that left me emotionally gratified and romantically satisfied. Filled with humour, some favourite past faces (I fucking wept over Dean and Jake), the sassiest heroines and the greatest hockey players, I couldn’t want or need anything more.

This guy is funny. And he’s much cooler than I’d thought, definitely not the arrogant asshole I expected him to be. I’m not gonna lie—Hunter Davenport is growing on me.

Hunter Davenport captured my immediate attention in The Chase, it left me enamoured and desperate to have more during The Risk. He shares a similar womaniser characteristic to Dean Heyward Di-Laurentis and has the same cocksure attitude of Jake Connelly, my two favourite and greatest fictional boyfriends to ever be written, I found myself an absolute weark, utter mess unable to resist his charms. Discovering all the intricate, multi-facets beneath the humorous, sex on legs jock made Hunter even more irresistable and reminded me why this series is an absolute charmer.

I promised myself I wouldn’t hook up this year, and the temptation to break that vow for Demi is overwhelming.

We don’t just have a hero full of confidence—Demi Davis is just as self-assured with an equally bold personality; a heroine who possesses serious feistiness and the quickest, sharpest intelligence. Despite her experiences with a cheating long-term boyfriend, Demi doesn’t allow her issues totally diminish her dauntless character and her unabashed proposition to have a rebound with Hunter made me realise she’s an absolute compliment to this hero who’s deserving of so much.

The moment our mouths make contact, a hot shiver rolls through me and settles between my legs. My dick is thick, heavy against my thigh. Motherfucker. This kiss is everything.

Witnessing Demi and Hunter’s connection blossom from friendship into a titillating friends with benefits before naturally flourishing into a delicious slow-burn romance left me teeming with endless giddiness, my heart burst with infinite feel-good emotions. Sometimes it felt as if they wouldn’t traverse the friendship mountain, but when they did the heat intensified because of chemistry and sexual tension that brewed between them for such a long time. Mixed together is sweet moments and heated chemistry, tied together with some brilliant humour that left me chortling. Even when they’re bickering, the banter is absolute perfection!

The Play isn’t my favourite (as much as I’m in love with Hunter, no one can best Jake) as the ending felt contrived and somewhat unattached and disassociated with this overall narrative. However, I appreciated the tenderness this romance exuded because I have been officially ruined—shattered as well, because this series of college sports romance featuring some of my favourite fiercest heroines and the greatest hockey-playing heroes is at an end (for now, I hope). Briar U and Off-Campus have carved themselves a forever home in my heart and there is no indication that they will ever abandon me. I have every damn limb on my body crossed because I am desperate as hell to have a Weston romance featuring that bubble butt.

arc · review · romance

White Knight by Meghan March

White Knight
by Meghan March

Rating: ★★★★
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I never expected to be anyone’s white knight. That’s not a role I’ve ever played.
But when the Casso crime family shifts into uncharted territory, they’re looking for a new hero, and they’re looking for me—Cannon Freeman, the black sheep.
But my time in disgrace is at an end.
It’s my turn to rise up and save the people who matter most to me.
Even if my family has never given a damn about me, I will not let them fall.
More than anything, I will not let her fall.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I love an author that is able to astound me; to render me dumbfounded and riveted as unforeseen situations and secrets are unveiled. With White Knight, Meghan March intensified the already heated chemistry between Cannon and Memphis; amplified the suspense rushing through the chapters and magnified the thrilling outcomes to biting events as they unfurled. She’s delivered a conclusion with a heartfelt ending that will entice and enthrall you.

Memphis is mine. For better or for worse.

Cannon’s allure—his domineering and commanding nature—doesn’t wane, it only becomes more profound. Complex and multifaceted, we’ve seen this hero be ruthless and merciless, but we now have the absolute delight of witnessing an uncharacteristically tender hearted and understanding side make an appearance. Newfound tender moments emerge, leaving you sighing in total bliss and swooning in complete pleasure as they overwhelm your emotions, making it easier to love this hero.

I excelled at hiding who I was from the world. Even more, I excelled at hiding my fears and my demons from myself. So, how in the hell did Cannon Danger Freeman find my heart anyway?

Devoted to procuring the answers to long-lived questions, Memphis finds herself moving further into a much darker, dangerous environment to have that closure she’s desperately wanted and her resolute nature is an admirable characteristic that thankfully continues in this duet. Innumerous mysteries and countless secrets continue to surround Memphis, but the bound knots begin to unravel, unveiling a more complex, multifaceted identity than we realise.

“Don’t promise me heaven, then put me through hell. I want a lifetime with you.”

I loved the increased intensity and heated chemistry between Cannon and Memphis. As the connection brewed and strengthened, the hidden layers within Cannon and Memphis surfaced, showing us more realistic characters with fears and insecurities that eventually allowed them to flourish into stronger characters. With a forbidden note used to enhance the connection, the bond carried an added enticement that made this couple’s love extra fiery!

Quick, though still riveting, White Knight contains more secrets in this conclusion that make it that little more enthralling and thrilling. I balled my fists and clenched my teeth in dire anticipation of finally receiving needed answers to my unending questions that tied this duet up beautifully. Meghan March is very easily becoming my favourite author for fast-driven but wonderfully executed suspense-filled romances.

arc · review · romance

Depraved by Trilina Pucci

Depraved (Sinful #3)
by Trilina Pucci

Rating: ★★★★
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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

Black Sheep by Meghan March

Black Sheep (Dirty Mafia Duet #1)
by Meghan March

Rating: ★★★★
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Every family has a black sheep.
In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman.
Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born.
I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood.
I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes… until I met her.
Drew Carson turned my world upside when she walked into my club looking for a job.
Now, my honor and my life are on the line.
Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand.
She’s worth the fallout.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Queen of suspense-filled and angst-ridden cliffhanger endings, Meghan March didn’t disappoint with Black Sheep! She’s delivered an addictive and enthralling narrative—a forbidden romance between two complete opposites caught within a twisted situation that can’t be seamlessly unravelled. Full of grit and danger, the allure of this duet will render you riveted and invested in the sordid details of justice and retribution.

“You don’t know what you want from me because you’ve never had a man determined to set you on fire, just so I can fan the flames. I’m going to show you.”

By intertwining herself with a formidable man dripping in sheer confidence and utter dominance, Drew Carson is flirting with inevitable danger. Despite said danger emanating from a deeper, darker world, her unwavering determination is admirable though somewhat foolish as she endeavours to find closure. She’s a fascinating enigma—a combination of numerous identities and buried secrets that form into this interesting, multifaceted character.

“There are a million things that should stop me, but not a goddamned one will. I staked my claim. I meant it. You are mine.”

Cannon Freeman exudes uncontested dominance. Consuming and intense, there’s no refuting the irresistible allure that surrounds this enigmatic anti-hero, or the commanding aura shrouding his notable presence. Despite having criminal associates, there’s a certain amount of surprising goodness lurking inside this hero as he carefully treads the delicate line between corrupt and honest that eases the tension in this duet.

“Careful. You’re going to give me the impression you’re running from me… which will only make me want to chase you.”

Drawn together by an immediate connection and irrefutable chemistry—despite the forbidden nature of it—Drew and Cannon have an earnest and fervent relationship, a fiery storm of wanton passion, that is on edge waiting to be unleashed. When it does, it goes up in flames full of desire and hidden affection, you can feel the heat singe the pages!

Black Sheep is fast-paced, but the suspense remains intense and enthralling. Shrouded in secrets and revenge, the excitement of witnessing certain events unfurl will leave your mind reeling and emotions soaring because, as it is with Meghan March, the ending is always a nail-biting, teeth-clenching cliffhanger.

arc · new adult · review · romance

The Rebel of Raleigh High by Callie Hart

The Rebel of Raleigh High (Raleigh Rebels #1)
by Callie Hart

Rating: ★★★★
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Silver

Hit me.
Kick me.
Hurt me.
Hate me.


There’s nothing that the students of Raleigh High can do to Silver Parisi anymore. Over the past year, she’s had to endure more pain and suffering than most people are asked to bear in their lifetimes. She’s a pariah, an outcast, a ghost. She’s also never been one to take shit lying down, though…despite what half the football team might say.

With only one hundred and sixty-eight days left of the school year, it won’t be long until graduation, and Silver’s planning on skipping town and leaving Raleigh firmly in her rearview mirror…

Until he comes along…

Alex

Orphan.
Degenerate.
Reprobate.
Deviant.
Alex Moretti’s earned most of his labels, and he’s not ashamed of a single one of them. He’ll earn far worse before he’s finished with his new found ‘friends’ at Raleigh High. Having spent years being ground down under the boot heel of society, it’s time for a little payback. And if exacting revenge upon the heads of the Raleigh elite means he can also help the beautiful girl who hovers in the shadows, then that’s all for the better.

Oil and water. Fire and ice. The differences between Silver and Alex are broader than any chasm. To reach one another, they must take a leap of faith and fall into the divide.

And falling?

Nothing good ever came from falling.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Different from anything she’s ever written before, Callie Hart astounded me with this dark, young adult narrative. It ensnared my attention. Enthralled me. Shredded me to bits. I’m still in tatters—my heart exhausted and emotions wrenched from the hard subject matter weaved through the chapters. For the endless heartache that afflicts the characters. It is depicted in brutally honest terms, with grit and angst intense and unrestrained in deliverance your senses will be chaotic from overload.

“I’m not going to force you to fall for me, Silver. You’ve already been forced to do too much. But don’t blame me if I try and change your mind.”

The Rebel of Raleigh High isn’t an easy read—the raw, vicious nature and malicious intentions of some characters, though kind of cliche, is reminiscent of real life situations and runs deeper, more depraved than expected. Silver Parisi’s ferocious resilience and headstrong determination, despite her harrowing experiences with callous rumours and sexual assault followed by continuous mistreatment is an admirable testament to this heroine’s steadfast courage.

“I also happen to think that you’re the most beautiful fucking thing I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes. I am watching you just as much as you’re watching me… and I don’t trust myself to look away.”

But the genuine beauty of this romance is witnessing the transformation of Alex and Silver. Within a school full of innumerous assholes, the insensitivity becomes somewhat overwhelming. Somehow amongst the adversity, Alex and Silver bare their souls, forging an unwavering connection of truth, honest affection and fierce strength that can’t be rattled or dismantled. Rebellious and flawed, these authentic characters find solace together—a beautiful reminder that there’s brightness within darkness. Someone will eventually believe your truth when everyone else won’t.

If you want a read that features a heroine with unbelievable perseverance; a fierce, protective hero with a hidden caring side; romance that will shred your heart, succumb your emotions to erratic chaos and make you feel everything for the characters, I recommend The Rebel of Raleigh High. It is intense, though somewhat long in certain sections, is still beautifully written and all-consuming.

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: ★★★★
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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 adult · review · romance

The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

The Perfect First
by Maya Hughes

Rating: ★★★★
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“How long do you last in bed?” Those were her first words to me, swiftly followed up with, “And how big would you say you are?”

Persephone Alexander. Math genius. Lover of blazers. The only girl I know who can make Heidi braids look sexy as hell. And she’s on a mission. Lose her virginity by the end of the semester.

I walked in on her interview session for potential candidates (who even does that?) and saw straight through her brave front. She’s got a list of Firsts to accomplish like she’s only got months to live. I’ve decided to be her guide for all her firsts except one. Someone’s got to keep her out of trouble. I have one rule, no sex. We even shook on it.

I’ll help her find the right guy for the job. Someone like her doesn’t need someone like me and my massive…baggage for her first time.

Drinking at a bar. Check.

Partying all night. Double check.

Skinny dipping. Triple check.

She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met. The walls I’d put up around my heart are slowly crumbling with each touch that sets fire to my soul.

I’m the first to bend the rules. One electrifying kiss changes everything and suddenly I don’t want to be her first, I want to be her only. But her plan was written before I came onto the scene and now I’m determined to get her to re-write her future with me.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Maya Hughes has started an addictive series featuring irresistible footballers in Fulton U. Despite the countless sports romances floating around, the unique creativity and authentic quality of this narrative prevents it from becoming reused material. With innumerous sweet moments, intense chemistry and stomach-aching humour, The Perfect First ensures your attention is captured and thoughts consumed by this endearing romance of perfect firsts.

I was tired of being me, and the only way to change that was to stop being afraid of what I wanted.

Persephone Alexander’s innocence is charming and refreshing, though her chaste nature doesn’t mean she’s naive. Unashamed and unassuming in conversation, her lack of tact creates an amusing meet cute situation that left me guffawing in absolute delight! Quiet, fierce rebellion unveils itself, as Seph’s determination to experience certain moments before she’s suffocated by an authoritative father’s demands comes to fruition, making me invested in this heroine’s transformation from introverted to free-willed with confidence.

I’d give her the other firsts, as many as I could, because if I gave her too much, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from never wanting to stop.

I love a conceited football hero—the cockier, the better—however there’s no denying that hidden sweetness and kind-heartedness creates an irresistible character with dimension. Despite Reece Michaels odd but entertaining meet cute with Seph, he isn’t deterred by the unusual situation. By starting a friendship, Reece provides Seph more than firsts; he also brings friendships and connections, both encouraging and heart-warming gestures that allow this quirky heroine to flourish into a self-assured woman who understands her self-worth.

She’d gotten so fully and completely under my skin, I didn’t know how I’d existed before I met her.

“Sweet” isn’t an accurate definition to truthfully encapsulate the undeniable connection between Seph and Reece. Intense and unbreakable, the friendship they form transitions into an undeniable, romantic bond full of immense affection and charming chemistry that latches itself to your mind, ensnaring your full attention. It tugs on your heart-strings, dousing you in all the good feelings that come with reading a humorous, contemporary romance. Wherever Maya Hughes directs this series, I’m keen to have more of these footballers!

arc · new release · review · romance

The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen

The Marriage Effect
by Karla Sorensen

Rating: ★★★★
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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 · review · romance

Gluttony by K. Webster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

arc · new adult · review · romance

Boyfriend Bargain by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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

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

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

If only he knew she was alive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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