This is not your fairy tale romance
A young girl is stolen from her home by three brothers seeking revenge on her father. They intend to use her against her father in order to get what they want. This doesn't sound like the plot of a romance novel - more like a byline in the local newspaper. Stolen, by Darcy Rose, the first in her Vow of Revenge trilogy, is labeled as a dark romance - and it is definitely that. It is a reverse harem story with reluctance and some taboo elements thrown in. Some might see Jessa as a victim, and the brothers who took her as villains - and they are that in the simplest sense. But the author does delve deeper into their feelings, their confusion, and their conflicted states so that the story really isn't all that simple at all.
The story has several triggers and readers shouldn't take the warning in the book blurb lightly. If you are easily offended - stay away. But if you, like me, sometimes like a little taboo and sometimes like a novel to be filled with erotic and steamy scenes (the dirtier the better), then pick up this little black book. It is short and you'll finish it quickly - I actually couldn't put it down. I was captivated by Jessa's plight, but also by the brothers - we do see it a bit from their perspectives which was smart of the author. It humanized them and made the reader unsure of their villainous roles. I for one can't wait until the second book comes out. I was left intrigued, and more than a little turned on - if I'm being honest. Sure I could be embarrassed that I liked this trope but in the end, life is too short for that. Embrace your kinks ladies. Make 2021 the year of Why The Hell Not.
Stolen releases today. Thank you to the author and to CandiKane PR for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
STOLEN (Vow of Revenge #1) by Darcy Rose
Release Date: January 8th
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Three brothers out for revenge, out to avenge one man’s wrongdoings.
He killed everyone we ever loved. He stole the world from us and nearly killed us in the process.
So we waited, we watched… and then we took his most treasured possession, his princess, his one and only daughter.
***This is a DARK reverse harem romance. It contains mature adult theme including sexual themes that may not be suitable for all readers. If you’re sensitive to these types of things then please do not read this book. Contains only M/F action. Story was previously published under the title Their Captive***
About the Author:
If you like your stories short, taboo and kinky, then a Darcy Rose book is perfect for you. She writes about shy and innocent heroines, to match them up with dark and intense heroes who have only eyes for one girl.
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A satisfying, drama-packed sports romance
Male athletes tend to be fun to read about, especially when they play for professional teams. They are often treated like gods by fans, and especially by girls. So when they finally meet their match, ie: their love interest, it makes for a good read. I was excited to pick up Sarah Stevens' newest book, Breakthrough, precisely for this reason. Breakthrough is book one in her Nashville Notes series - yes, ladies, there will be other hockey players we get to read about.
In Breakthrough we meet Mandy, a young single mom and sports trainer who is looking to return to Nashville after living in Boston for several years. Mandy is looking to start fresh. She is estranged from her daughter's father and she wants to be with her grandmother, who is the only family she has left. Mandy meets Parker, the sexy (and doesn't he just know it) playboy goalie of the Nashville Notes. Parker is used to women falling for him with the littlest effort - a butt wiggle here, a sexy smirk there. When Mandy doesn't seem to be affected by him at all, suddenly she's all he can think about. And isn't that always the way? But there are a lot of obstacles in their path. Mandy has had bad luck with men, and in particular, male athletes and she's not looking to start anything with Parker. He is awfully attractive though. Then, when Mandy's ex starts causing trouble, and an unknown threat starts targeting them, Mandy and Parker need to decide if they should fight to be together or if their feelings are better left buried.
This book was a good romance and it was fun to read. Although I did find it took me a bit to like Parker. He was just so overconfident and arrogant. I definitely took to Mandy right away and was really hoping that she would get her happy ending. I liked the added drama of the person threatening them - I thought it added to the plot and made what could have been a simple romance far more exciting. If you like sports romances with plenty of drama, I really think you'll like this book, which promises to be a good start to a new series. Thank you to Give Me Books PR and to the author for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
It's not just the cover that's nice - it's a good book too
There’s something so satisfying about two characters that absolutely hate each other, and seeing those feelings change over time. I will never get tired of the enemies to lovers trope. Or opposites attract. Or roommates. Throw in the college sports romance element and I am all in. This book took a lot of familiar themes and added sweetness and heart and fun, which made up for a great read.
In Heart Stopper, by Michelle Hercules, we meet Troy and Charlie. Their first impressions of each other are awful. When they are forced to live together after Charlie’s house suffers a small fire and she has nowhere else to go, they start to realize that maybe there is more to each of them than meets the eye. Maybe a jock and a nerd can find common ground. It might take awhile, and there will be pranks and revenge plots along the way, but we can still hope that they will get there in the end. It was certainly fun to see them bump heads, and the banter was great.
I really liked getting to know these characters. They each had so much more to them, especially Troy. I loved learning about him and I fell for him right along with Charlie. I also enjoyed the side characters in the book, like Charlie’s brother and Troy’s sister. I look forward to reading more about them in future books. Heart Stopper seemed like it was going to be a familiar Jock vs Nerd story, but it was a lot deeper and I very much enjoyed it. It’s out now, so pick up your copy today - and enjoy that sexy cover - I certainly did.
Thank you to the author and to Give Me Books Promotions for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Get ready for an emotional ride
If you’re looking for an emotional ride, where your heart feels so much within the span of a few pages, then this is the book for you. Control the Burn is the start of a new series by A.K. Evans, called Hearts and Horsepower. It does have some characters that some readers may be familiar with from her other work (she is a new author to me so I wasn’t) but you can still totally read this book as a standalone. I was instantly drawn into Evans’ emotional world and felt deeply for her characters right off the bat.
In Control the Burn, Kendall meets Logan at his birthday celebration and the sparks between them are intense. She goes home with him - something completely out of character for her - and they share an incredible, passionate night. She gives him her phone number and he promises to call, and she believes that what they shared was special to both of them. Only, Logan doesn’t call. And we feel everything that Kendall is feeling so powerfully. Evans captures the feelings of hurt, and loss of self worth and the sting of rejection so perfectly. It takes a few weeks, but finally, Kendall feels she has to move on. Only, that’s when Logan comes back into the picture. There were circumstances that stopped him from calling and now he wants a second chance. Can Kendall put herself out there again or is she too afraid to get hurt? And if she does give Logan another chance, will the spark between them ignite to the point where she can no longer control the burn? Is she destined to get hurt again, or is Logan worth the risk?
I felt so much with this book, and I loved that. I was rooting for both characters at the same time - so much so that sometimes I was at odds with myself. The only thing negative I can say is that all the car talk was a bit lost on me. But if you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll love it. It definitely leant a dose of realism to the book. I was definitely happy to have been introduced to A.K. Evans and I can’t wait to stalk her and find her other work. Not in a creepy way, mind you. In a Logan way ;) Control the Burn is out now. Thank you to the author and to Give Me Books Promotions for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
There's no mistaking...that this was really cute
For those of you who like those sweet Hallmark Christmas movies, this is the book for you. And that’s a good thing - because we can’t get enough of those cute holiday stories. In Mistletoe Mistake, the first in the Greetings from Avondale series, Amali Rose shows humour and heart. It’s a very quick read and it’s fun - this book will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.
Holly hates Christmas and has since she was a kid. Her birthday is on Christmas Day and she always felt that she got the short end of the stick. While housesitting for her brother close to the holidays, Holly finds an unexpected roommate in Nick, her brother’s best friend, and Holly’s longtime crush. Yes, Holly has always liked Nick but she’s always been too shy, and too afraid of her brother’s reaction, to tell him how she feels. Nick is really happy to be sharing a house with Holly, because - you guessed it - he has feelings for her too. It’s a delightful Christmas miracle. Nick decides that not only is he finally going to make his move with Holly, but he’s going to do his best to get her into the Christmas spirit.
Seeing two fun characters that have a shared past finally come together is really great. Rose leads us through their emotional journey with funny and cute scenes. She also introduces side characters that we will most likely see in later books - I always enjoy when an author works to set up further stories. I really enjoyed this Christmas story and I know you will too. Mistletoe Mistake releases December 3. Thank you to the author and to Give Me Books PR for giving me an advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review.
Great for fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series
With the upcoming Bridgerton series which will be airing on Netflix on December 25th, I was very much in the mood to read other Regency romances. This is one of Sarah MacLean's first books, published ten years ago, but is so worth going back to. I've read it once before several years ago, but this time I listened to the audiobook and just adored it. The reader's (Carolyn Morris) performance was fantastic. She delivered so much emotion for both leads, perhaps more than I could have done in my head alone. That's the beauty of an audiobook - if you find the right narrator, mixed with a great writer, you're in for a fantastic experience.
In Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (great title by the way), we fall hard for Callie, an Earl's spinster sister. Callie is a wallflower of the highest order, and well on the shelf at 28 years old. When her younger sister gets engaged, and to a Duke no less, Callie starts really examining her life and she finds it quite lacking. She's tired of being the staid, passive wallflower. She craves adventure. Callie writes up a list of things that she wants to do - quite scandalous things - like smoking, gambling...and kissing - heaven forbid. All of the things on her list are quite forbidden to a highborn lady in English society. For her first kiss and in an attempt to cross off the first item on her list, Callie finds herself clandestinely visiting the Marquess of Ralston in the middle of the night. Callie has loved Ralston from afar for a decade and if she is going to kiss anyone, she wants it to be him. Ralston is a rake of the highest order - he could have taken advantage of Callie and ruined her completely. However, he finds himself curious about his midnight visitor. He also knows that Callie is the perfect person to help introduce his sister into society. The two strike a bargain to help each other, neither realizing just how much their lives have changed in that moment.
Ralston is such a complex character. Seeing him change throughout the story is remarkable. Callie changes as well. She becomes braver, and she finds the person she was always meant to be. As in any good Regency romance, there are waltzes and hidden kisses in the alcoves of ballrooms. There are forbidden touches and heated glances. Beautiful dresses and perfectly styled cravats. But in Callie's search for adventure, we also find things that normal female characters would never do at this time. There is always the risk of being caught, and that makes the story that much more interesting. The love scenes are steamy, and the love story is beautiful.
If you are looking for a really good romance, with complex characters and a bit of rule breaking, then this is the book for you. I highly recommend it, and what a great way to get in the mood for the Bridgerton series.
Suspense and Romance and Feels - wrapped up in an attractive package
I was very excited to receive an ARC from NetGalley and Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I love Chantal Fernando. In fact, she’s the author that introduced me to the hot MC world with her Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club books. Let’s just say, since then, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the MC world.
In Fernando’s newest release, Custom Built, a spin off from her Knights of Fury MC series, we meet Bronte. Note, Custom Built can be read as a standalone. I haven’t yet read the Knights books and I didn’t feel lost. The book is from Bronte’s perspective, so when we are missing info, chances are, she is too. But, because there are so many characters from the Knights, I fully intend to go back and read those books next, just to expand my knowledge, and of course, to read about those hot MC boys she writes so well.
Bronte is having probably the worst year of her life. She’s having health problems, she just lost her job, and nothing seems to be going her way. She is lucky enough to get an admin job at a custom motorcycle shop. Sure, she knows nothing about motorcycles, but how hard can it be? The job itself is easy enough, but soon she finds herself at odds with Crow, her boss, and a member of the Knights of Fury MC. Crow, who is of course drop dead gorgeous, is also broody and standoffish - but only to Bronte it seems. She’s not sure what she did to get on his bad side, but it definitely rubs her the wrong way. Soon though, when Bronte finds herself in the centre of a murder conspiracy, much to her surprise, Crow is there for her, along with the rest of the Knights MC and the women who love them.
I really felt for Bronte and everything she goes through. She’s a strong and determined character. The romance between her and Crow was sweet and sexy. He’s such a great character - swoon-worthy for sure. If I was missing anything, I would say it was not seeing a bit from Crow’s perspective. I always like to get in the guy’s head. Unfortunately we only ever see things from Bronte’s point of view. In fact, she should have probably been on the book cover instead of Crow…but looking at it again, maybe I should stop complaining.
This book kept me interested and pulled me in quickly and I look forward to more in the Fury world. Fans of Veronica Mars will like it too since there is the mystery / PI aspect to it. Custom Built releases today - go download it now!