Strict Confidence by Skye Warren

booksofthemuggleborn_strictconfidence
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Forbidden. Commanding. Mysterious. Beau Rochester has an entire house full of secrets. And those secrets are putting Jane Mendoza in danger.

She fell in love with the one man she can’t have. She should leave Maine to protect her heart, but the thread refuses to be severed. The brooding Mr. Rochester and his grieving niece are more than her job. They’re her new family.

She races against time to find answers and protect the people she loves. The cliffside grows dark with the misdeeds of the past. Her heart and her sanity fight a battle, but they are both at risk.

Will Mr. Rochester learn to trust Jane? And will that trust destroy her?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

The suspense, the mystery, and the thrill have amped up in book two of The Rochester Trilogy! This is a continuous storyline — Private Property must be read first and with how that book concluded, I was keen to read the next installment in Beau’s and Jane’s highly-charged relationship.

TheOriginals_HayleyElijah_Stare

 As I mentioned in my review for the first book, this story is a modern retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. I had also mentioned that I hadn’t read that tale so I was going into Skye’s version relatively blind of the plot or how the characters relate to one another. I went into reading this story with an open mind, no issues with comparison to the original tale, and I think most importantly with no spoilers.

I love dark romances and this one had the element of suspense and thrill included. It’s more a romantic thriller than anything. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. The gloomy, depressing air that surrounded the first book effortlessly flowed through to this second one. The backdrop might have altered from the mansion they stayed in for the entirety of the first book to a new location but the sense of dread and danger lingered with Jane and the Rochesters nevertheless.

Just like the first book, it’s well-paced storytelling and still told from dual points of view. I felt the fear and anxiety coming off of these characters. It leapt off the pages and I couldn’t help but feel a little on edge right alongside them.

Little by little you get more and more out of these characters, and the more you can’t help but get invested in seeing where their story will head next. Especially with Jane, having to uproot her life for this job, only to somehow end up trapped in the same uncertainty she was hoping to get out of by taking this job in the first place. Everything is up in the air with so many segments of this story —

✔ Beau’s and Jane’s relationship.

✔ Jane’s employment.

✔ The Rochester mansion.

✔ Paige’s wellbeing.

✔ The town they reside in and the people who seem to know everything and nothing.

✔ Their past, present, and future.

✔ Their sanity. Their sanity. Their sanity.

Nothing is for certain which is one of the main reasons why I found myself so absorbed by Jane, Beau and the mystery surrounding their lives. I’m hooked and totally in it for the long haul! I can’t wait to read Best Kept Secret. Although I found some of the plot twists unsurprising, I am still itching to see how everything will go down…. especially with how this book concluded in quite a tingly cliffhanger just as the first book had.

Besides Beau Rochester’s hard, hot-and-cold demeanor and indecisiveness, especially where Janes is concerned, I still found him to be a likable character. Despite all his wealth and success, he still comes off human with relatable insecurities.

I tend to forget a lot of the time that Jane is only nineteen years old with her maturity level in handling a fragile little girl and all the drama surrounding Beau. She’s lived a tough mudda of a life and it shows in her character.

Easy flowing storytelling with an effortless transition from the ending of book one to the beginning of book two. Strict Confidence also introduces new secondary characters that are just as shady as the ones that were in Private Property that’ll leave your mind reeling with what ifs.

For a reader who has very little clue of how close of a retelling this is to the original tale, or if it’s only inspired by it, I can’t comment on whether or not Skye’s version is a refreshing take. But either way, I did find it engaging from start to finish. If you enjoy reading dark, twisted romance books, I recommend you give this story a go. An age gap, workplace romance story with a side of suspense.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Skye Warren and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Strict Confidence? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••


🗝 Read my review for The Rochester Trilogy!

booksofthemuggleborn_privateproperty
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One: Private Property by Skye Warren


•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

Blog_Sign_Off

The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by Amelia Wilde

booksofthemuggleborn_TDATDBS
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

A modern-day pirate.

An heiress lost at sea.

And the treasure of a lifetime.

He’s beautiful. Calculating. Cruel. And he’s taken me hostage.

When pirates board my boyfriend’s yacht, I jump overboard to save myself. Drifting asea. Until one man rescues me from the endless ocean.

Except he has plans of his own. I’m worth too much money for ransom. He’ll keep me on his ship and in his bed. The real danger lies in his dark-depth eyes. He wants more from me than money. Than passion. He wants everything.

He rescued me, but I’m far from safe.

There’s an entire sea of danger threatening to drag me under.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by USA Today bestselling author Amelia Wilde is a dangerously sexy contemporary romance that will blow you out of the water.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

My first book from Amelia Wilde, a new-to-me author. Whilst the blurb was short and sweet, it was enough to get me eager to reading this book.

PirateFlag

Now that I’ve read it? 🤔 The prominent thought the comes to mind is that it wasn’t completely what I had expected. Not only with the storyline but with the characters themselves.

But before I get into detail with my thoughts on the book, I have to mention first (as I hadn’t realized this until after I had read it) that this book is actually part of a series, and it does end on a cliffhanger. Keep that in mind if you’re considering reading it.

Okay! 👏 Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

Honestly rating this book was more difficult than I thought it would be, and I feel like my rating doesn’t qualify how much I enjoyed reading it overall. But I feel like I have to justify why I couldn’t rate it a solid four stars (as much I wanted to). This story, whilst I truly found the premise intriguing, in my opinion it just fell a little flat on execution.

There’s so much mystery surrounding the protagonist and anti-hero, Poseidon. It took a little while to figure out what exactly he does for a living. The way he’s work is described is relatively vague, and that’s not even the half of it. You get introduced to his brothers (both named after Gods too), which makes you wonder if this story is more than just “a modern-day pirate” story. I found myself wondering if this is also a retelling of sorts of the Greek Mythologies — Which I would actually have loved because I’m a fan of mythologies, but unfortunately his brothers and his relationship with them didn’t go into enough detail for me to get any sort of connection to that part of the story. It’s evident there’s history amongst the brothers but it’s skimmed across and you’re left feeling like you walked into a meeting where everyone is already in mid-conversation and you’re trying to catch yourself up.

Now, I don’t know if Wilde has plans to write the brothers’ stories in the future but if not, I’m at least hoping we’ll get to learn more about them in the next book. I like the idea that these brothers could be a lot more than meets the eye.

This story also starts out with a relatively present day atmosphere with Ashley being introduced as a your typical rich, carefree young woman, holidaying on a yacht, and glued to her phone. But as the story progresses, the backdrop gradually changes into a dark, fantastical world of pirates where any sort of laws or rules are thrown out the window. It’s almost as if it’s in its own little bubble within reality, and Ashley has the unfortunate luck of being thrust into it.

Syrena_Worried

It’s all very intriguing reading through this story as it slowly unravels. I found myself just as captivated by Poseidon as Ashley was. He rarely gives anything away, and you’re left feeling both frustration and anxiety for him to reveal anything about himself or his feelings. I want to say there’s some character development there but I can’t help but assume that this book is only an introduction to this mysterious modern day pirate that is Poseidon, and that we’ll see real growth in the next book. Nevertheless, it’s enough for you to realize that there’s a lot more to him. If you love grey characters as much as I do, who are just a little bit of a complicated puzzle, then I think you’ll like Poseidon. 😄

To be real with you, I didn’t agree with all his actions and his reasoning behind them, but I strongly believe that his character has the potential for growth and improvement.

KillianJones_SteeringShip

And Ashley, bless her… She needs some street smarts in her, stat! She comes off as naïve and sheltered, and as much as I really wanted to snap some sense into her on more than a couple of occasions, there’s no denying that she no way deserved the things she goes through in this story. Good thing there’s a few goodhearted people on her side.

There’s nice beginnings of world-building present with a couple of memorable secondary characters in play. It’s not overly in depth or layered but as I mentioned earlier with the character development, I’m hoping we get the “hearty meat” of these elements in the next book.

A good amount of chemistry and zingy scenes between Ashley and Poseidon kept me engaged throughout. I never knew where the story was heading so that was another factor that had me needing to know what happened next and not wanting to put the book down.

It’s a relatively quick read. With an entertaining storyline coolly consisting of pirate wars, a treasure hunt, a damsel in distress, and a smidge of Greek mythology thrown into the mix. I haven’t come across a smexy-as-sin pirate since Killian Jones from Once Upon a Time. Add in Captain Jack Sparrow’s savviness and his quirky but good-natured crew, and you have yourself Poseidon and his men! 🏴‍☠️

KillianJones_Captain

If you enjoy dark contemporary romance books with a captor/captive trope, then I say add this one to your list! But be prepared for the cliffhanger! Hopefully the next book won’t be too far along! 🤞 Please be aware that there is some sensitive subject matter included that may trigger some readers.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Amelia Wilde and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Want to read it? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook


•••

Hope you enjoyed this review! Be sure to check out the book if you’re interested! Happy reading. Catch you in my next one! Xo

Blog_Sign_Off

Fragile Wings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

FragileWings_Cover

•••

• BLURB •

Broken Beginnings Prequel

I thought the world of him. Then he showed the dark monster lurking beneath.

He says he’ll protect me from anything. He doesn’t know the only thing I need protection from is him.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Lucca and Claire’s story was one that I was looking forward to reading ever since snippets of it were shared in Violent Beginnings. I would have happily waited for the release of Broken Beginnings but when J.L and Cassandra shared the news that a prequel to Lucca’s life when he just started working for Julian (Moretti Crime Family) and how he first met Claire was available (and free mind you), I knew I had to jump onto it first before the Broken Beginnings release.

There’s very little to go on about Lucca so far, but after reading this little story, you’ll definitely have a better understanding of the current situation he’s gotten himself into since we last heard of him in Violent Beginnings, his relationship with Claire, and why she’s so important to him.


“Hey, butterfly.”


TheOriginals_Hope_Smiles


“Claire… My name is Claire.”


Honestly, this was both a juicy and cruel teaser to what’s to come in their full-length novel, because there was once full of heart, understanding, and an innocence to their unique bond and friendship, that easily turned into one of heartbreak and shattered rose-coloured glasses.

This may be short but it already provides readers with both protagonists’ points of view. With Claire being a child, still dependent, and with Lucca just starting out his independency, the dynamic between their mindsets and different mentality are evident — especially during the event the changes everything for both of them.   

You feel for Claire. She’s young and fragile in this prequel, and I can only imagine how she’s turned out over the years since. With the drastic and life-altering events that occurred to her, I’m eager to see how she’s coping with life. Lucca’s new to the mob life, still relatively young himself, but he already had a aura of danger and power surrounding him, I can only imagine it growing ten-fold over the years too. But I’m most looking forward to reading Broken Beginnings to see how Lucca will rectify his relationship with Claire.

  • Age Gap    
  • Next Door Neighbours
  • Dark, Mafia Romance
  • Friends to Enemies to Lovers

Great chemistry created (despite their age gap), amazing world-building introduced, and a storyline I’m already blubbing over with anxiousness to continue in Broken Beginnings!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••


FragileWings_FreeTeaser

Read Fragile Wings FREE!

📙 Broken Beginnings Prequel

(Limited time only)

•••

Read my reviews for the previous books set in the Moretti Crime Family world!

Prequel: Stolen Bride by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Book One: Savage Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Book Two: Violent Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Christmas Novella: Savage Christmas by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

•••


Happy New Year! Happy reading and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

Blog_Sign_Off

2020 Favourite Reads

*pheeeeeew*

We’ve been saying “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over” constantly throughout the year and it’s fiiiiinally here! 🙌 In just a few short hours we can officially say adios to the crap-stick that is 2020 and ring in the New Year!

I’m sure plenty can relate that this year was a tough mudda (more so than usual) to get through. But I hope everyone at least found some goodness in between. Books and reading has always been some form of sanctuary and escapism for me. It’s partly why I can easily prefer reading books to spending time with company. 😅

HarleyQuinn_DrinkingCoffee

Weird thing is with having been at home for the majority of the year, you’d think it’d be easy to knock out book after book but nope! With work, general adulting, life slumps, and the occasional I’m-not-going-to-do-shit-today mood swings, I’ve not read as much as I would have wanted to. 

But in saying that… I did so happen to be fortunate enough to have read some unbelievably soul-shaking stories that completely had me in stitches, and/or ugly crying… which then resulted in either a hangover, rereading, thinking about day and night, and/or all of the above. 

I won’t be including old faves I’ve reread this year. This compilation is strictly all new books I discovered in 2020. And surprisingly (probably to me more than anybody else, really) they’re not all five star reads. But I can’t stress this enough… they are all loved, and ones I would happily recommend to friends (FYI that includes YOU!) 😊

In no particular order (mostly because I’m too lazy to chronologize the shit out of it lol). But I have at least sorted them into sub-genres because I know not all romance readers read all romance, amirite? 😉

So here we go! 

•••

• Contemporary Romance •

GG_NateSerena_PlayfulPunch

📖 Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe

(Hate to Love, New Adult Romance)

📖 Wicked Idol by Becker Gray

(New Adult, Bully Romance) 

📖 Pretty When She Cries by A. Zavarelli

(New Adult, Hate to Love, Bully Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 One Moment Please by Amy Daws

(One Night Stand, Hate to Love, Adult Romance)

•••

• MC Romance •

Bikers_Ride

📚 Blood Fury MC series by Jeanne St. James

(Dark MC) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Tempting the Biker by Glenna Maynard

(Dark MC, Age Gap Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📚 Devil Kings MC series by Nicole James

(Dark MC, Opposites Attract) *Trigger Warnings*

📚 The MC Sinners series/ MC Sinners Next Generation series by Bella Jewel

(Dark MC, Second-Chance Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Fury by Marie Jordan

(Second-Chance Romance) 

•••

• Mafia Romance •

TVD_EnzoSmile

📚 Unholy Union Duet by Natasha Knight

(Arranged Marriage, Hate to Love)

📖 Birdy by Dee Garcia

(Love Triangle, Dark Romance)

📚 Ties That Bind Duet by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

(Forbidden, Dark Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Sweet Temptation by Cora Reilly

(Arranged Marriage, Age Gap Romance)

•••

• Paranormal Romance •

TheOriginals_Hayley_GlowingEyes

📖 Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

(Shifter Romance, Fantasy, Hate to Love)

📖 Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

(Shifter Romance, Fantasy, Age Gap Romance, Enemies to Lovers)

•••

• Dark Romance •

TVD_DamonElena_Stare

📖 The Danger You Know by Lily White

(Stalker Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Guts & Glory: Brick by Jeanne St. James

(Fake Relationship, Military-Type Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli

(Modern Day Fairytale Retelling) *Trigger Warnings*

•••

Aaaaaaand there you have it! 😁 Not sure if this will become a yearly thing for me so this could very well be the one and only. Hehe.

If you want to see all my reads for the year, don’t forget to check out my Monthly Wrap Ups. My December one will be posted shortly so keep an eye out for it! Happy holidays! I sincerely wish everyone a safe but happy New Year’s Eve/ Day! 💙 

Thank you for the support you’ve all given me for my reviews and my book blog in general! I’m in awe of the amazing people I’ve met through this bookish community and the copious amounts of books I’ve discovered over time. I’m truly thankful for the friendships I’ve made. As well as the opportunities I’m fortunate enough to be a part of.

Happy reading, and as always catch you in my next one! Xo 

Blog_Sign_Off

Tempting The Biker by Glenna Maynard

booksofthemuggleborn_temptingthebiker
📷 @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

He’s married and twice my age, but I can’t walk away.

Murder—
We were never supposed to happen. Alexa’s my daughter’s best friend. I’m a married man. I’m too old for her, but stolen glances turn into more than either of us are prepared for. I’ve made promises I can’t keep. I’m the Prez of Royal Bastards MC. I’m not supposed to be tempted by her innocence. My head swears that I don’t love her, but my heart won’t let go.

Alexa—
Murder’s married. Off Limits. But I want him. He’s a powerful man. Untouchable and unbreakable. I’ll be his dirty little secret. No one has to know. We’re playing a dangerous game. A deadly one that will leave me with a broken heart or worse, but I’ll do anything to prove to him that what we share is a ride or die love. And for Murder, I’m willing to risk it all.

Tempting The Biker is part of the Royal Bastards MC world.
Recommended reading order for best enjoyment within the Charleston, WV Chapter:
The Biker’s Kiss
Lady & The Biker
Tempting The Biker 

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Warning: Minor teasers included. Read at own risk.

Oh. My. Goodness.

My fave book so far by Glenna Maynard! I haven’t read very many (yet) but yes, this book gave me a roller coaster of emotions that I always love to experience in my reads.

I had trouble putting this book down. You already get a taste of Alexa and Murder’s relationship from the previous book in the series, so I couldn’t help but have that sense of anticipation to see where it all began.

It does not disappoint! Their story is told from dual POVs and spans over almost 20 years of their lives.    


“Would give you the world if I could.”


TVD_CarolineKlaus_AlmostKiss

And without a doubt, this book shone a light on Alexa that you would never have expected — especially based on how she was portrayed in Lady & The Biker (book two). I couldn’t get enough of seeing Alexa’s growth from adolesence to adulthood. In my opinion, she has one of the best character developments I’ve read in a long time. The horrific, tragic events she’s had throughout her life is unbelievably heartwrenching and at times hard to read about. What got me is how constant these events were for her. The girl just couldn’t catch a break, and you can’t help but sympathize and fully understand when she loses it and breaks down or even lashes out. 

(Please Note: This book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering to some readers. It contains kidnapping, sexual assault, physical abuse, violence, drug use, and adultery).

TVD_CarolineVent2

If I was going to base my opinion of Alexa only what I’ve read in Lady & The Biker, then I would’ve completely based it on the damaged, broken Alexa. This book not only reveals Alexa in her entirety but it shows how much she’s evolved from the young, carefree teenager that she was when she was first introduced. If I hadn’t read this book, I most likely would not have liked Alexa as a character as much as I do now. She goes through the ringer, yes, she makes a lot of stupid decisions — and you will definitely won’t agree with her every single time… but damn if she isn’t also a person of strength and willpower (in her own way).

Murder isn’t a bad guy… per se. He’s actually quite caring and protective. But I’m also not going to sugarcoat when I say that you’ll find yourself cussing his ass out one too many a times reading this. You’ll question what the hell Alexa sees in him? Why she won’t let go? And for the love of the book gods why she can’t just suckerpunch him in the nutsack!!? But you know what? Just like me, you’ll have to read it, let the story soak in for a few days or so, and realize that what’s meant to be, will be. 😜   

I know this book is technically both Alexa and Murder’s story but in my opinion, Alexa will hold your attention just a smidge more (and deservingly so). I appreciate and am thankful that Maynard decided to write their story because their journey is one unforgetable uphill battle of proportions that is so worth experiencing.

There’s a lot of push and pull and a constant merry-go-around to their relationship that’s honestly frustration galore! But no matter how many times they move one step forward only to be shoved five steps back, you will be clinging to hope that things would somehow miraculously work out between them.


“I don’t hate you. Sometimes I wish I could. I want you to find happiness. It’s just not going to be with me.”


TVD_CarolineKlaus_GlareOff

This was a slow and steady paced storytelling, switching back and forth from our hero and heroine’s POVs. As I mentioned earlier, their story spans almost 20 years of their lives but for the majority of the book, it’s told from the earlier years of their complicated relationship. 

I’ve said this countless of times in previous reviews — I love me some MC romances and I like to think I’m not overly picky as long as there’s great chemistry between the protagonists and some storyline. But when you come across one that has such world-building, such contrast between the characters and a constast flow of development and character growth, then it goes without saying, it stands out from the crowd. This book is one of those!

I thought it was amazingly written, the atmosphere envelops you in, making you feel like you’re going through their crazy journey with them. Throughout the highs and lows, the struggles, heartbreaks, and the fleeting happy moments they manage to share in between. 


“I don’t want the world. I only wanna live in yours.”


TVD_CarolineKlaus_Kiss

Ugh. A truly spellbinding storytelling of second chances and never taking things for granted. Their story will wreck you, leave you in a sobbing mess, but without a doubt also leave you with a sense of relief, contentment and most importantly… happiness. 😊 I don’t think I have to tell you folks that I would recommend this book. Whether you’re an avid MC romance fan or not, if you enjoy romance books, I’d hit this one up!

But make sure to read the previous books first as the characters and their backstory are interconnected with one another. 

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½



booksofthemuggleborn_RBMCCharleston
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Read my reviews for the other books in the series!

Book One: The Biker’s Kiss by Glenna Maynard

Book Two: Lady & The Biker by Glenna Maynard



•••

Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

Blog_Sign_Off