arc · contemporary · review · romance

Half Truths by Claire Contreras

Half Truths
by Claire Contreras

Rating: ★★★★★
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You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.
They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.


I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.
I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgment or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.
It’s a game I’m willing to play.


I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

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

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Half Truths is this perfect narrative constructed by some of my favourite tropes—secret societies, enemies to lovers and college sports—beautifully weaved together and set within an eerie, sinister environment that clutched every fibre of my being without remorse. Carefully crafted, Claire Contreras delivered a suspense-filled romance that left me on edge, wondering what questions will be answered and secrets unveiled as each page flew by in the most riveting blur ever.

He had a mysterious aura about him that matched his namesake.

I’m in absolute love with Logan Fitzgerald, a perpetually brooding hero surrounded by an aura of alluring mystery and captivating intrigue. Mean and detached though somehow charming, Fitz’s disinterested attitude is overshadowed by an unforeseen softer, sweeter side hidden beneath the complex multi-facets he possesses. Receiving glimpses of this unattainable hero left me an unashamed wanton mess, desperate to have more of this conceited character because there’s nothing better than having a mean yet romantic hero.

He left a lot to the imagination. Maybe that was it. He gave just enough to pique interest, but not enough to satisfy.

Amelia Bastón’s characterisation truthfully astounded me. She’s more than just a ‘rich girl’ surrounded by materialism and superficiality. Mae’s determination to become more, to achieve her dreams beyond her family’s desires is an admirable and relatable quality that will resonate with readers. Furthermore, her irrevocable love for her brother is an endearment. Combined with an unfettered resolve to uncover some hidden truths unveils a character that’s fierce and intelligent and ambitious; a woman who loves wholly and unconditionally.

“I want you forever, Amelia,” he said against my hair. “And forevermore after that.”

Started as enemies, but turned into lovers, Fitz and Mae’s connection transitioned with such a delicious slow burn, my heart ached to have more once the torture finished. Despite the constant bickering and bantering, the sexual tension and chemistry between them kindled and crackled into something undeniable as it flared across the pages. Even though the romance doesn’t dominate the narrative, Fitz and Mae’s bond progresses naturally and beautifully.

Countless secrets and creative foreshadowing increase the tension and suspense tenfold flowing through this intricate narrative. I’m in absolute love with enemies to lovers and the feature of secret societies and college sports made me more enamoured than I anticipated with Half Truths. It’s as if my heart waited for something this brilliant, a faultless blend of romance and thriller, to be written for years.

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

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 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 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.