Sweet Devil by Becker Gray

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

People like to say the devil made them do it. And they would be right. I can bend anyone to my will. After all, I am the devil of Pembroke Prep. Only one person dares defy me. The one person I’ve ever wanted to be an angel for. But she despises me almost as much as I crave her. Serafina van Doren is the one temptation I can’t indulge, not with the secrets that I keep. But with the clock running out maybe it’s time to tempt her to the dark side.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Oh sweet baby devil, this was one hell of a smoking hot, yet torturous love story! When it came to Serafina and Rhys I didn’t know whether to fan my face from all the blush-inducing scenes, or cry frustrated tears from all their taunting moments. 🙈 Either way I thoroughly enjoyed every little bit of their story!


“I smiled a little at the opportunity to have Sera all to myself. No friends, no underlings. Just us. The devil and the queen.”


Their romance was a long time coming since they were first introduced in Wicked Idol. Their intriguing dynamic only build-up suspense as more books in the series followed and it quickly became evident that they had quite an interesting history.

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Like all the books prior, this had a zingy atmosphere that crackled whenever its protagonists were in near vicinity of one another. The banter was exhilarating and the constant one-upmanship between Sera and Rhys was as entertaining as it was jaw-dropping to see. 😈🤭

What I hadn’t expected from this story was the emotional rollercoaster ride that Rhys would take us on with his backstory and how much of his past is influencing his present day life. Have tissues nearby, because I have no doubt you will be as emotionally invested in Rhys and his story as much as I was.

The story progression was well-paced, perhaps a little brisk at times. But there’s never a dull moment as it continuously went from one development to the next, gradually turning Sera’s and Rhys’ fiery teasing into something more in-depth and heartfelt.


“Falling in love is not for the weak or the faint-hearted, because you cannot command your heart to do what you need it to do.”


They’re both outstanding individuals, and what I like about each of them is although this is ultimately a romance story, there’s complexity to these characters and they navigate through very real, very relatable life issues. I connected with Serafina’s struggles as a POC no matter her family’s high social standing. I found Rhys’ past and the impact it has had on his mentality understandable but nevertheless hard to swallow.

It was a relatively short read but it was punchy, multi-layered, and by the end left me feeling a sense of all is right with their world— as it should be. Told from dual POV, not only do we see character growth with these protagonists as they come to grips with their emotions, but it also provided insight to each of their lives outside of Pembroke Prep and into their contrasting family dynamics.

The suspense doesn’t disappoint. The band of supporting characters— the rest of the Hellfire boys and the girls who’ve all stolen their hearts have added extra oomph with their strong friendships and at times light-hearted and witty commentary. I ate up the unpredictability that came with Serafina and Rhys.

Overall, I thought it was a truly beautiful, bittersweet ending to the Hellfire Club. The much-anticipated wait for Serafina’s and Rhys’ story was well worth it. It ended up being the book from the series that evoked the deepest emotional outburst *cough* ugly cry *cough* out of me. I loved it and just like the previous books, this is one I will read again and again whenever I miss these charming Hellfire boys!


“Some things are worth the heartbreak.”


It really is the only set of books that had the right amount of pull in bringing me back to reading high school/ NA fiction again. I would absolutely recommend not just this book but the entire series to friends who love reading romance. With Rhys as the devil in disguise and Serafina as his goddess, their story had strong “love conquers all” vibes that was the perfect closer to the series.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Becker Gray and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Sweet Devil? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

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🔥 Read reviews for the Hellfire Club!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn
Book One: Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray
Book Three: Brutal Blueblood by Becker Gray
Book Four: Ruined Sinner by Becker Gray

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

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A Vow Of Lust & Fury by L.P. Lovell

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

My uncle is the boss of the Chicago Outfit, but there’s one man even he fears, Giovanni Guerra. And he just sold me to him —as his wife. For an alliance. For power.

The boss of the New York family is beautiful, and deadly, and he stokes a fire in me that might just destroy us both. Giovanni was sold a submissive little mafia princess, but he’s about to find out that I am no one’s pawn.

The only vow I make is one of lust and fury.

A Vow of Lust and Fury is part of the Underworld Kings Universe. A multi-author series of standalone books filled with mafia families waging war, danger and violence, arranged and forced marriages, angst, love, and everything in-between.

Light or dark, twisted or sweet, the Underworld Kings has something for every reader.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Eeep. This is a perfect example as to why I am obsessed with dark mafia romance reads containing broody, excessively intimidating alpha heroes! AVOLAF had all the elements I love from this genre.

The premise was what initially had me wanting to read this story. From the first chapter, the protagonists had me intrigued. As it progressed, the storyline kept me engaged. There’s constant build-up and suspense, a torturous slow-burn between Gio and Emilia, and on top of that, their enemies are practically at their doorstep. Ugh. It’s one savagely edgy dark romance! 😍😍


“A better man would look away. A better man would let her go, but she’d made a fatal error; she’d drawn my attention.”


The Kiss of Death duet was the story that introduced me to Lovell, and the dark, all-out gritty mafia world she had created. This book not only lives up to the high standard that that duet had set, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the characters from said duet crossover into Gio’s and Emilia’s story. It’s honest-to-goodness like going back and visiting one of my favourite bookish worlds and seeing the gang together again. 🙌

If you haven’t read the Kiss Of Death duet, I think AVOLAF is a great introduction to their world, and the tight-knit circle of friends within. Not only will you be invested in Gio’s and Emilia’s developing relationship, but the supporting cast included will have you wanting to know their story too! The strong familial bonds amongst Gio and his friends are just as equal a highlight as the addictive push-and-pull romance.

Despite the slow burn, the storytelling is relatively fast-paced and action-packed. Lovell has created an atmosphere of uneasiness and danger surrounding Emilia and you can’t help but feel the dread right along with her. The desperation Emilia exudes has you sympathising her and the situation she’s inevitably been forced into by the lack of options she’s been presented with.

Please note: This book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as graphic violence, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. Explicit mature content intended for readers 18+ only.

I always yearn for a strong, gutsy heroine in my reads as I find the majority never live up to the “fierce, independent heroine” tag they’re supposedly described to be. But Lovell doesn’t disappoint in providing one in Emilia. In a male dominated world, she may not be as physically powerful in comparison, but she’s not one to back down and take brutality either. It’s what makes her a likable character that earns both awe and respect. Her vulnerability is what makes her relatable and genuine, and quite a contrast to the confident, and overprotective men in her life.

Gio is your typical anti-hero who does some questionable things but within reason. It’s hard to turn your back on him — he’s merciless, calculating, danger personified, yet within their society’s Underbelly there’s also an ulterior motive to his power and reputation. I love grey characters and he’s one of a few within this world that I was instantly hooked on. He’s arrogant with a little bit of a cheeky side to him that’ll have you suppressing a giggle or two, not wanting to admit that his charm has gotten to you. 🙈🤭

A mafia romance with an arranged marriage/ forced proximity trope. It’s dramatic, angsty, and keeps you on your toes the entire time. It’s very character-driven and emotion-based. Told from dual POVs, Emilia and Gio are both fighting the sizzling chemistry between them, and as their relationship builds, the intensity only deepens. For lack of a better word, it’s hot! 🔥🔥🔥

As the plot thickens, you see a gradual shift in their relationship. It might seem small in the grand scheme of things but the scenes where they get snippets of each other’s characters when their defences are down only added more dimension and complements the dark and gritty side of their story.


“He was the key to my shackles, and it occurred to me that while I’d been trying to escape him to find freedom, perhaps he was that freedom.”


True to its genre, it has equal parts mafia to romance elements. The antagonists here are legit villains. Lovell has created a diverse range of characters, all of which evoke strong emotions out of you. The writing is high quality, with such vivid world-building that I couldn’t get enough of.

Read the books from the Underworld Kings, they say.

They’re all standalone dark, mafia romance books, they say.

Um well… 🤔😅

At the rate I was devouring this book, I was completely blindsided by this, and I know plenty who considers it to be a deal breaker, especially if there’s no warning in advance, so I have to mention that this book is NOT a standalone. It ends on a massive cliffhanger that had me 😩😭😭 and needing the sequel baaaadly!

But despite the savage ending that leaves you desperately hanging, I still absolutely, without a doubt recommend this book. Lovell has quickly risen to auto-buy author status and AVOLAF has fast become one of my favourite dark romances. I will read this one over and over again. It’s a must read!   

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you L.P. Lovell, the Underworld Kings team, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading A Vow of Lust & Fury? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings!

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli


•••

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

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Green by Nicole James

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Can a face from my past change my future?

When an invitation shows up out of the blue, I’m reminded of a promise I made to a girl twenty years ago and suddenly my heart is pounding.

Do I dare keep it?

She’s the one girl that ever meant a damn to me, and the one girl that got away. She walked out of my life once and it devastated me. Now life is giving me another shot, but if she walks out on me a second time I don’t think I’ll survive it.

Second chances don’t come around very often. Not for a one-percent biker like me. There are no do-overs in the MC life. Not when you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. Not when you’re deciding whether to pull the trigger.

But love? Maybe for once the luck of the Irish will shine down on me and give me a second chance with the one girl I let slip through my fingers.

Living with regret is a hard pill to swallow.

Living with the same regret twice? Impossible.

Sometimes facing your past can be the scariest thing you’ll ever do.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

📎 Note: I originally read Green’s story in the Twisted Steel Anthology and this was my review. After the recent release of Green’s book (with the new content included), I reread it and have revised my review. 😊

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I’m a huge fan of James’ Evil Dead MC series and this story was a much anticipated one from a very much loved character: Green!

And lemme tell you… it doesn’t disappoint in regards to making me swoon more-so over Green! His story was short and sweet, and shows a completely different side to him that I hadn’t expected (in a good way)! For those who aren’t familiar with this Evil Dead MC brother, Green is considered the guy who doesn’t really take himself or anything too seriously. He’s warm fuzzies and funny to boot but was never into wanting to settle down. Until of course… his story! 😉

He’s older now, most of his fellow MC brothers have settled down and started families of their own, and it’s made him really think about his future. Opportunities to get his life in order come through in the way of moving back into his childhood home, and receiving an invitation to his high school reunion. The possibility of seeing Sara, his old high school girlfriend in this reunion has him reminiscing their time together and how their relationship ended all those years ago. It’s given him the mindset that seeing her in this reunion and catching-up could be their second chance to reconnect romantically.

When I initially read Green’s story in the anthology, I was instantly hooked but felt it was too short and hoped that when the time came for James to release his own book that she would extend his story further. Well… wish granted! 🙏 James included extra scenes with Green and his fellow club brothers, making this MC-lite romance story just a smidge more balanced out with MC elements and romance. The scenes that take place also sets up future stories that I am giddy and raring to read!

It’s addictive and I couldn’t read it fast enough, but I also think there were certain developments between Green and Sara that could’ve been more in-depth. But knowing James’ characters tend to make appearances and crossovers throughout her books, I’m not too phased as there’s a high probability we’ll get to see more of Green and Sara in the future.

I’m not always a fan of flashbacks to the past in storylines as it can get a bit tedious and slow the pacing down but in this case the flashbacks provided in Green’s story elevated the moments and gave his relationship with Sara some complexity. Despite the length of the story being on the shorter side, James managed to get me effortlessly invested in Green’s and Sara’s relationship. I was already a big fan of Green but Sara’s a completely new character. In a short span, I already found myself liking her personality and overall presence.

I do adore the fact that they had history. It makes their relationship believable, especially with how quickly things progressed in the story. Although it’s been twenty years, I love that they were so in-sync with one another like no time had passed.

– MC Romance
– High School Sweethearts
– Second Chance Romance

This was more MC-lite in comparison to the previous books from James’ Evil Dead MC series. I didn’t necessarily mind it because it certainly sets it apart from the other brothers’ stories where theirs had more darker plotlines. Green’s and Sara’s definitely centred more on the romantic side of this MC romance story. I love the reconnecting/ second-chance aspect and that it was Green who ended up having this trope — it provided him with more dimension from his usual light-hearted, jokey side that I constantly saw throughout in the series. He was always the comic relief amongst the brothers in the MC and whenever he made an appearance in any of the books his scenes were instant LOL moments, so his story was much anticipated. Overall, I’m happy to say it lived up to what I hoped it would be. It’s swoon-worthy. We get to learn more about Green outside of the club, and we get to meet the chick who snagged Green’s heart. It held my complete attention from beginning to end! #TeamGreen #TeamIrish 🍀

A sweet and relatively short MC-lite romance story you can easily read in one sitting, and will have you happy sighing by the end. The world James has created and expanded never ceases to amaze me, and this story is a fab addition to her series! It’s a must-read for her fans, and more specifically avid fans of her Evil Dead MC series. It can technically be read as a standalone but your experience with Green and his club would be so much more heighted if you read the series from the beginning.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••


💀 More reviews for the Evil Dead MC!

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Books 1-10: Evil Dead MC Series by Nicole James

Book 11: Wicked by Nicole James

Book 12: Shane (Review Coming Soon!)


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

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Pop Goes The Biker by Bella Jewel

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I’m trouble with a capital P

I know what I want in life, and I go for it.

Nobody stands in my way, not even the big group of bikers who caught me red-handed stealing from them.

I’ll do as they ask.

I’ll be their good little slave.

I’ll make their money and pay off my debt.

I’ll also make them think twice.

Think twice about holding me.

Think twice about isolating me.

Think twice about the moment they decided keeping me was worth more than the trouble I bring.

And oh, do I bring some trouble.

Their little club won’t know what hit them.

My name is Poppy, and I’m a bad, bad girl.

Hell follows me, and the devil himself won’t mess with me.

They’ll wish they left me alone.

Oh, indeed…

Pop goes the biker.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Oh. Em. Geeeeee! 😍😍😍 With each new addition, this series just keeps getting better and better. Pop Goes The Biker was such a fun, entertaining-as-hell romance story! I read it in one sitting and it left such an impression on me that I kept going back hoping if I reread it enough times it’d eventually get out of my system. FYI: It took a little while. 

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Each book so far has some level of hate-to-love/ enemies-to-lovers storyline between its protagonists, but this one just had an extra level of zing! The banter between Poppy and Beckett were off-the-charts amusing! 😂

This series as a whole is easy on the MC aspect but from all the books, this one features it the most as a big part of the storyline centres around Beckett’s club. I thought it was an amazing contemporary rom-com with hot bikers and occasional “club business” present.

It’s another relatively quick read that I wish had a few more chapters just so it didn’t feel like it concluded abruptly in the end. But other than that, I was completely hooked and giggling my ass off the entire time! Poppy and Beckett were locked in a fiercely heated, yet entertaining battle of wits that only made their chemistry all the more authentic. It can get angsty at times and it was verging on a slow burn romance, but the build-up only served to increase the intensity between the two as the story progressed.

There are a couple of twists and turns, and the entire story is told solely from Poppy’s point of view. It’s a bit of shame we don’t get Beckett’s as well but honestly, once I settled into the story I got over the fact fairly quickly.

If you like sunshine x grumpy/ hate-to-love romance tropes, my gosh this book will satisfy that craving! The cast of characters are all so likable— Poppy is spunky, with a strong independent personality. Beckett is a bit of serious sourpuss but it’s adorable seeing him get all riled up (and it doesn’t hurt that he’s described looking fairly similar to Thor; the God of Thunder himself)! *waggles brows* 😍🤤

There’s already a sweet little world-building in place that expands with each book, so I recommend you read all the books in the series in publishing order to get the full Turf Wars experience. They can technically be standalone stories, but trust me when I say if you read them from the beginning, by the time you get onto this book, you’ll be itching to know Poppy’s and Beckett’s story!

You can expect to see solid comraderies in this world that added extra oomph and amusement to the storyline— one with the club members, and the other with the women who’ve formed their own girl gang of sorts. It’s total comfort read, with an overall easy-going storyline. It does contain adult themes and minor darkish content, but in my opinion, nothing triggering. However, if cheating and/or love triangles are a big no-no for you, then maybe give this one a miss.

There are certain plots within the story that can be a sensitive subject for some readers as it concerns making one’s own personal choices in life and the protagonists debate about it. There’s a good chance you won’t agree with a lot of their actions. They can be reckless and it shows. They go through emotional turmoil and life-altering situations, and in my opinion it could’ve been a little more in-depth, and at times major groveling was needed yet it was otherwise lacking. Sigh. But this particular topic, although constantly up for debate in our society, has also made this story relatable. It added a sense of realness in an otherwise fluff-adjacent romance story.

Overall, effortless to follow and most certainly a mood-boosting read. It’s another great addition to the series. I’ve read a handful of Jewel’s books, and so far I’ve found her writing style favourable, so I’d recommend giving this one a try. It’s a series where the fun, playful, and vibrant covers match the stories within.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••


🧁 Read my reviews for the Turf Wars!

Book One | Biker Schmiker by Bella Jewel

Book Two | Heart-On by Bella Jewel

Book Four | Tartlet by Bella Jewel


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

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Kiss To Remember by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Some moments define the trajectory of your life.

Grace Shelton has experienced her fair share of loss and trauma, but moving to Blairwood is her chance for a new beginning.

For Trent Remington, going to college is a chance to break free of his overprotective parents and finally play basketball.

Some moments will change it forever.

When Grace collides into Trent by accident, she sees the last person she ever expected to find – the boy that’s been haunting her dreams for the past three years. Trent might belong to another girl, but he can’t seem to get the redhead with the sad eyes out of his mind no matter how hard he tries.

Together, they might risk everything for a chance at love, but will a kiss be enough to make him remember?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

An utterly thought-provoking, emotional, and heart-clenching journey wrapped up in world-building perfection! I couldn’t get enough of it and never wanted it to end. Doe has time and time again written stories within the Blairwood University series that are so real, so worthwhile that they just stay with you long after you’ve finished reading them. Kiss To Remember is without a doubt an epic addition to the series! I’m still reeling! 😱

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book, but Kiss To Remember evoked the same feels in me as when I had read Kiss Me First. There’s just something extra special about these stories, these characters that won me over so easily.

The world-building is vividly exceptional and I think a big reason to that is because of the prologue Kiss Before Midnight. Not only does it introduce Grace and her personal story, but it gives you a sense of time spent with her. There’s a three year span between the prologue and the main story, and you get a deep view of what has happened within that timeframe. Once you start this book, you’re already invested in Grace and understandably sympathising with her frame of mind.

What constantly had me thinking throughout were the “what-ifs”. There’s a truckload of them, and it’s always lingering near the foreground of the story as it develops. I was constantly second-guessing EVERYTHING! 😲🙈

Other than what the prologue provides this is one of those stories where you need to go in blind to get the full reading experience and to ensure you make up your own opinions about the characters and the situations they find themselves in.

I loved the unpredictability of it all! 👏👏👏 It’s the main factor in why I was so immersed in Grace’s and Trent’s story from cover to cover. It also has a beautiful youthful romance— an air of innocence in their developing feelings which at times I found angsty but still charming nevertheless. It’s well-paced, with a gradual build-up, and told from dual POVs. I can’t fault the storytelling as I thought it was well-written and brilliantly executed. It’s a story that I can go back and read over and over again and never tire of.

The supporting cast added extra dimension and provided secondary storylines in the background. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, these characters will be familiar to you and it’s always nice to see what they’ve been up to since their own stories were told. Other than the romance, there are genuine solid friendships present. They provided crucial support systems for both Grace and Trent, and I thought their concerns and overprotectiveness were understandable considering what both these protagonists have and are going through in their lives.

Another thing I’ve come to find about Doe’s writing is she creates characters with a distinctiveness to them, whether it be through their appearance, upbringing, personality traits, and/or even interests. Doe is slowly but surely building up her cast of characters as more books are added into the world yet you can effortlessly distinguish them apart from one another. They all have different backgrounds and each one is as intriguing as the last. Full of contrasts and dynamics.

Grace has quite a history and her character is totally fleshed-out as she develops in this book. She’s a likable, authentic heroine who straight-up just seems like a good-natured human being.

At first Trent seems like an easy-going, athletic hero but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Whilst this book has an overall heartwarming atmosphere to it that’ll have you sighing in happy contentment, the characters are complex, so trust me when I say Trent will have you stumped (but in a good, addictive way)! 😉

I strongly recommend it to fellow romance readers. If you like new adult, college romance reads, this one is perfect to snuggle up under the blankets with. It’s the fourth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone novel. If you’re new to Blairwood University, all the books can be read as standalone novels and, in any order, too, although I recommend reading them in publishing order.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Anna B. Doe for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💚

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss To Remember? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


Prequel: Kiss Before Midnight

• BLURB •

From the very first moment, Grace Danielle Shelton laid her eyes on Mason LeBlanc, he stole her breath away, but what will happen now that he sees her too?

Kiss Before Midnight is a New York Knights/ Blairwood University crossover short story.

• MINI REVIEW •

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After having recently read Kiss To Forget with Yasmin and Nixon’s story, I was curious about Grace (an old friend of Yasmin’s) and what her deal was. When it was mentioned at the end of the book that there was a little novella about Grace included in the romance anthology Mistletoe Kisses, I knew I had to read it. And well…?

OMG I need more! 🤗 Adorable young love, first dates and sweet kisses. This little snippet was perfection but nowhere near enough. I hope we got a full novel for Grace and Mason soon! Because I need to know what happens to them next.

Edit: It showed the innocence of young love, possibilities, and just an all-around feel-good atmosphere. Unbeknownst to me, this novella was the introduction to what ultimately ended up being a mammoth journey of star-crossed lovers and second chances.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔔 Read Kiss Before Midnight for FREE! Grab your copy here: Universal Link


•••

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

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Swoon by Lauren Rowe

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Growing up, I knew my older brother’s best friend thought of me as “Logan’s kid sister.” For me, though, our next-door neighbor, Colin, felt like anything but a sibling. Whenever I spied on him through my bedroom window, as he banged away, shirtless, on his drum kit, I felt sensations inside me I’d never felt for my actual brother. But when we moved away and Colin’s band took off like a rocket, I knew my tweener fantasies would never become a reality.⁣

Fast-forward nine years to my brother’s wedding, when I saw Colin again and we shared a secret, drunken kiss that rocked my world. The next morning, Colin blamed the alcohol. Said we should pretend the kiss, and my unfortunate text afterward, never happened. ⁣

Now that I’m heading to LA to work for Colin and crash at his place, though, all bets are off. I’m determined to make Colin swoon for me, the same way I’ve always done for him. Because no matter what he insisted, Colin’s body during our kiss, and the shocking thing he whispered into my ear right afterward, made it clear he doesn’t really think of me as his little sister, any more than I do.

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“Will I ever find true love in this lifetime? Will someone ever swoon for me the way I swoon for them?”


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Excitement doesn’t even cover my feels when I started this story and immediately fell back into a world I was familiar with. It left me feeling lighthearted and all around happy contentment! 🤗 If you haven’t read any of Lauren Rowe’s books, then I think this is a sweet and giggle-inducing introduction to her writing and the vivid world she has created (and expanded). You’ll meet quite a cast of secondary characters as well, and for those who are familiar with Lauren’s work, then the crossover of these characters from her other books is a fabulous feature to see in the story. For the newbies, this story will surely have you curious about these characters’ stories and have you checking out the backlist of books Lauren has written about them. I know there’s a couple of characters that totally caught my attention in this book that I’m looking forward to reading more about. 😁

It’s well-paced storytelling with dual POVs. The history between Amy and Colin really amped up the dimension and dynamic of their relationship in the present day, and made their flirty romance all the more, as the title perfectly describes it… “swoon” worthy! I love seeing their relationship from each of their perspectives, because whilst they both have similar thoughts and feelings about some subject matters, they certainly have a difference of opinions on others. It was such a contrast, and at times the frustration that leaped off these characters easily transferred onto me, as the reader. It’s emotional, spontaneously unpredictable, with crazy, fun highs and lip-pouting lows, that it was easy to get invested in their story. (And don’t get me started on some of the secondhand embarrassment some of their interactions caused. Hehehe). 🙈

This is a contemporary romance story with a secret crush/ brother’s best friend trope, and what makes this story stand out from other books with similar romance tropes is that Lauren has included her own flair and musical creativity to it. Just like her other books set in the same world of musicians, tours, and stardom, you can look forward to hearing original songs incorporated into the storyline. It’s one of the highlights in my opinion, and totally elevates the atmosphere of those scenes and needless to say adds more realism to these fictional people.

I’ve only read a few of Lauren’s books but they’ve all been well-written with detailed world-building, and Swoon is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Amy’s and Colin’s rollercoaster ride of emotions and see them develop as characters. By all means, their relationship is not perfect and these protagonists are flawed and complex but you can expect a reasonable amount of groveling and effort included that will have you rooting for these characters and satisfied with how roadblocks in their relationship are overcome.


“I’m gonna grand gesture the fuck outta her.”


With secondary plotlines developing simultaneously in the background, this was a multi-layered story. Never a dull moment, and although a lot of things are happening at the same time, it’s effortless to follow. It has an amazing balance of comic relief to the more pensive scenes, yet all are memorable moments. I always find romance stories where characters have entertaining inner dialogues all the more engaging and Swoon had them in spades. And if you fancy intimacy between the hero/ heroine to be descriptive and wordy, hehe yep, you won’t be disappointed with the detail that goes on during Amy’s and Colin’s bedroom romps either. 😜

There are strong friendships and family-oriented presence in this story that I loved seeing. As much as I adored Amy’s and Colin’s cute push-and-pull interactions, I equally found myself looking forward to seeing the dynamics and interactions they have with their friends and families— with an array of personalities and opinions, the relationships just seemed so genuine and relatable.

Overall, I found this to be a sweet, hearty story with gradual progression. The little moments down memory lane demonstrates how far and special Amy’s and Colin’s connection is. It has an entertaining cat and mouse type of romance that kept me engaged. All the characters are truly likable, and although this is predominately a romance story, both Amy and Colin also have their own personal hang-ups and insecurities that they come to realize and work through. It’s a standalone novel and undeniably concludes with a HEA!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Lauren Rowe and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗

🔔 Interested in reading Swoon? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


More reviews for Lauren Rowe books!

Bad Liar  |  Beautiful Liar  |  Beloved Liar

The Reed Rivers Trilogy by Lauren Rowe

The Hate-Love Duet

Book One: Falling Out Of Hate With You by Lauren Rowe

Book Two: Falling Into Love With You by Lauren Rowe


•••

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

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Dangerous Temptation by Giana Darling

booksofthemuggleborn_dangeroustemptation
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

He arrives all dressed in black. Diamond cufflinks. A watch on his tanned wrist that cost more than we would ever see in a lifetime of work. He carries a single red rose for my mother.

Months later, Tiernan Morelli lays red roses on my mother’s grave. That same day, he tells me that he is my new guardian.

I should have known from the very start that he had more in common with the thorns than the rose. Now I know the truth: I’m a pawn in his dangerous game of revenge. I was too young and naïve. Now it’s too late to save myself from his clutches.

I belong to him.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

When it comes to Bianca’s and Tiernan’s story, I am officially no longer on the fence! The prologue novella Bad Dream left me emotionally up in the air but after having read Dangerous Temptation, I can without a doubt say, “Okay, Giana, you’ve won me over!” 😄

This book had sex, suspense, intrigue, and corruption all weaved together. The further the story progresses, the more twisted it seems. As they toe the line between right and wrong, good and bad, it not only questions the protagonists’ morals but will have you questioning your own because as much as what is developing between them is all kinds of wrong, it’s also intensely gripping to see play out! 🔥😈

GG_NateSerena_Grabby

Dangerous Temptation was an intricately well-written storyline. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time constantly wondering where it was heading and how Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship would evolve from what was demonstrated in the prologue.

I was apprehensive at first with the distinct age gap— Bianca being seventeen (aka considered a minor), and a thirty year old Tiernan (who not only is Bianca’s love interest but is also the guardian of both her and her younger brother), but as we steadily get to know more about these protagonists, the lives they’ve lived, and once a particular dynamic settled between them, the issue with their ages gradually faded into the background. Yes, there are times that their ages/ mentality peeks out again and blares the obvious differences, but as this story had a handful of ongoing developments, with secondary storylines, diverse range of characters, and unique relationships you no longer focus on the matter of age gaps as much. Especially since Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship is far more complex than meets the eye.

If you love alpha-holes, add Tiernan to your “one to watch” list! *waggles eyebrows* Bianca can be passionate about certain things. Her youthful personality often exhibits a mixture of bratty teenager, rebelliousness, and naivety. But both protagonists will surprise you when you least expect it.

There are quite a few romance tropes at play in this story— billionaire romance, enemies-to-lovers, taboo romance… and a touch of erotica. But they all worked well together in creating quite a sexual build-up between Bianca and Tiernan.

This story provided lots of splendid little surprises throughout that honestly left me smiling, giggling, and/or talking to myself (or rather the book) asking, “Why, oh why!?”

You can easily guess the direction the story is heading, but concentrating on the moments (the here and now, if you will) I love the unpredictability of it all, and since Giana is a relatively new-to-me author, I think Dangerous Temptation is a nice introduction to her writing. The storytelling is vivid and well-paced, and transports you to these characters’ surroundings. I was invested in not only Bianca’s and Tiernan’s tumultuous relationship but those in Tiernan’s inner circle— his eclectic band of brothers won my heart over instantly! I’ve mentioned wanting to know more about Ezra after his introduction in Bad Dream, and I was ecstatic to find that my wish has been granted… and I think I may just love him even more now! ❤😍

I love the diversity of the secondary characters whether they are friend or foe, they elevated the atmosphere and overall world-building of the story. Besides the intense romantic relationship, the dynamic amongst the characters in Tiernan’s circle was my favourite feature in this story. I found it unexpectedly heartwarming and added lightheartedness in between the heated moments. There’s a genuine likability and relatability with these secondary characters, and I love the fact that they played such essential and momentous roles.

The underlying reasons behind the chain of events that occur in this storyline are based on old rivalries, vengeance, and pure hatred, but it also strongly centres around familial bonds and unusual upbringings.

The more I progressed through this book the more it grew on me and the characters lingered in my mind. In a short amount of time, you see quite a transformation in both Bianca’s and Tiernan’s characters that ultimately alters the initial plans. It ended on a nail-biting conclusion that will have you needing the next book immediately. With the introduction of Bianca Belcante and Tiernan Morelli, Dangerous Temptation is a fascinating expansion to the Morellis and Constantines, and an engaging addition to the overall world of the Midnight Dynasty.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Giana Darling and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading Dangerous Temptation? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Apple Books  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

•••


🌹 Read my review for the Dark Dream Prologue!

booksofthemuggleborn_baddream
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📒 Prologue Novella: Bad Dream by Giana Darling


•••

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

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Bewitching The Biker by Glenna Maynard

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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📷 Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I’m an outlaw.
A man who takes what he wants without asking, and what I want is her.
I’ve been bewitched by a vixen. The witch has me under her spell.
She hexed me.
Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I’ll prove it.
I’m not supposed to fear anything. I never have.
Until her.
They call me Sandman but Bianca is the one haunting my dreams.

Bewitching the Biker is book 7 of the Royal Bastards, Charleston WV, Chapter but can be read as a stand alone.
Suggested reading order:
The Biker’s Kiss
Lady & The Biker
Tempting The Biker
Keeping The Biker
The Biker’s Lucky Charm
Taken By The Biker
Bewitching The Biker

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“Fuck me she’s a witchy dream come true. I’ve never wanted to fuck a wicked witch more in my life.”


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Eeep! Complete and total fun halloween-y addition to Glenna’s already amazing RBMC series! What a novella! 😍🙌

In just a short amount of time this story had me both swooning and laughing my ass off at the banter between Binx (aka Bianca) and Sandman! It’s a great little romance read perfect for the season of pumpkins, sweater weather, and all things eerie! Glenna has managed to shine a spotlight on a character that, to be honest until now I hadn’t really paid much attention to in the series’ previous books. Sandman is gruff, sexy, and all-out alpha, yet seeing him constantly get knocked down by a five foot tall minx of a heroine was a hoot to see! *Ka-pow!* 👊😂

Both protagonists are such lovable characters but I have to admit I immediately gravitated towards Bianca because I found her so relatable. If like me, you’re a huge fan of the cult film (and novel) Practical Magic, I guarantee you will enjoy this story too! It might technically be an MC romance but there’s definitely magic and suspense in the air.


“You can fight fate, deary, but she always wins in the end.”


A novella that had great world-building especially from Bianca’s witchy world, and a nice little build-up to their romance. I was so immersed in the development of their relationship that I honestly was bummed to see this story abruptly conclude. I would’ve loved one more chapter… or at least another few pages. But I’m giddy with excitement that Glenna does have more plans for this couple because they’ve seriously become a hot ticket item! ❤  

Here are the things I thoroughly loved about this book that you can look forward to:

  • Hate-to-Love (Banter! Banter! Banter!)
  • Opposites Attract
  • Zingy Banter
  • Tons of Brotherly Love
  • A sprinkle of Paranormal Activity
  • Laugh out loud one-liners! 😮🤭 

Great in-between read that’ll lift up your spirits 👻 (no pun intended). It can be read as a standalone book but this series and all the characters from Glenna’s RBMC world are addictive as fudge, and it’ll be a shame if you don’t read them all. 

Fast-paced storytelling but it’s hearty, multi-dimensional, and full of genuine characters. You’ll get a kick out of both Bianca’s and Sandman’s inner dialogues and opinions of one another as it’s told from dual points of views. The secondary characters from the comic reliefs to the adorable sidekicks added the extra oomph!   

Glenna’s writing style has always been effortless to follow and this one is no different. She has a way of sucking you in from the opening scene. There’s a sense of being watched, secrecy, and mystery throughout that gives the entire setting a buzzing thrill. Ironically, for a Halloween-themed story it’s actually one of Glenna’s less darker storylines but don’t worry, you can still expect enough MC elements within. Halloween, an unexpected romantic connection, and a motorcycle club… nuff said!  

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Glenna Maynard for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

🔔 Interested in reading Bewitching the Biker? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 More reviews for the RBMC Charleston, WV Chapter!

The Biker’s Kiss by Glenna Maynard
Lady & The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Tempting The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Keeping The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Taken By The Biker by Glenna Maynard

•••

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

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The Saints Series by Michelle Heard

booksofthemuggleborn_thesaintseries
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

Mafia & Bratva Romance. Set in the same world with connecting characters but these books are all STANDALONES and do not have to be read in order. All the books are told from dual POVS. 

•••

• Book One | Merciless Saints •

BLURB

Alliances are made. Loyalty is owned. Love is taken.

I’ll show everyone I’m a threat, and they will fear me.
For my family. I have to protect them.

The second I hear the name Damien Vetrov I know I’m in trouble.
He’s an arrogant Russian God.
Only, I have zero intention of bowing to him. Ever.
Attractive and lethal. He’s such an intoxicating mixture.

Every second we spend together, the pull between us becomes stronger, and my fear grows.
While my body wants him, my head knows better. He has the power to kill my family.

But when blood is shed, I’m forced to depend on Damien for my life.

Being at his mercy, whether he’ll kill me or protect me, is still up for debate.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Damien & Winter | An Irish and Russian marriage of convenience/ formed alliances romance.

Their story surprisingly have me bawling my eyes out! A heartbreaking storyline that just kept hitting the feels! I was emotionally drained after reading this book and a lot of it was due to the brutal tragedy that befalls Winter.

It’s action-packed and constantly moving forward. There’s just the right amount of build-up, suspense, and tons of shock value. I certainly wasn’t ready for how this story progressed, but despite the hardships these characters go through, I was instantly invested in not only Winter and Damien but all the secondary characters who were also introduced. The bond and brotherhood smacked me from the get-go. I was in awe of how little it took for me to believe the history, love, and loyalty these characters had with one another, and besides the romance aspect, was a big reason as to why I knew I would love the series! The family dynamics and strong ties will have you swooning just as much as the romance elements.

Winter and Damien had a sizzling push-and-pull chemistry. The writing felt effortless to follow and the emotions that both Winter and Damien displayed felt so genuine. It’s a relatively quick read that can be finished in one sitting. I enjoyed the pacing for the most part as the story came off hearty and full of dimension. I enjoyed the backstories, especially from Winter’s POV as it truly transports you to her life as if you’re experiencing her emotions in those events right along with her.

Right off the bat, the thought of an elite Academy who trains high-end assassins and has dealings with the underworld had me on the edge of my seat hooked! And seeing Winter and Damien start out as students of this Academy who eventually become two of the most dangerous, most powerful players in their Mafia world had me giddy with excitement at not just their budding romance, but the start of an intricate world-building. Although it’s a standalone story, it was amazing introduction to St. Monarch’s Academy and the entire cast of characters who’ll be reappearing in all the books to come.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••

• Book Two | Cruel Saints •

BLURB

Alliances are made. Loyalty is owned. Love is taken.

Little did I know my love and freedom would be taken to form a new alliance.

Brutal, possessive, and dangerous, Lucian is feared by all. Including myself.
When his father is assassinated, Lucian takes his rightful place as head of the Cotroni family. They rule the Mafia with an iron fist, and he’s set his sights on my family.
Until now, we’ve been the only threat, but when a new one emerges, my father is forced to arrange a marriage between Lucian and myself.

He might be handsome but he’s not the kind of man who loves. He takes what he wants and right now, it’s my body.
I might belong to him in name, but the question remains – will our union be consummated in blood or love?

WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Lucian & Elena | A Italian Mafia arranged marriage/ formed alliances romance story

It had my arms flailing and my eyes glued to the pages! I absolutely devoured this book! I loved the opposites attract trope between Lucian and Elena. They were the epitome of a knight in shining armour and the damsel in distress (in a dark Mafia setting). This was a refreshing dark mafia story as Lucian’s family was surprisingly the sweet, loving dynamic that’s not usually the norm in mafia romances. I’ve read countless books from this genre but I don’t think I’ve encountered one where the hero’s family was the one oozing love and happiness, and a genuine bond between father and son.

This story was one of the more grittier storylines and it includes sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, and graphic violence.

Although I don’t have triggers, I’m not going to lie, some of the scenes in this book was tough to get through. Michelle has written these stories with such vividness, that you’re already emotionally invested in these characters and their world right from the beginning, and seeing one suffering is gut-wrenching. Learning their backstories added more dimension and an understanding of these characters’ mindset in the present day.

Perfect balance of light-heartedness and darkness throughout. There’s evident character growth from both protagonists as the story progresses and seeing their bond grow from strength to strength makes this a touching and empowering romance story.

It’s intense with lots of action and suspense. There’s a nice gradual build-up in their romance that makes their relationship go from a marriage of convenience to genuine love and loyalty.

The secondary characters in this book will also steal your heart.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

•••

• Book Three | Ruthless Saints •

BLURB

I move in the shadow of death. I’m the villain. The monster everyone fears.
I’ve been born into a life of depravity and ruthlessness. It’s kill or be killed.

Until her…
The moment she smiles at me, my world changes.
I keep coming back. Watching her brings me stolen moments of peace.

Until I can’t stay away…
She doesn’t know who I am, that she’s flirting with death.
Slowly we fall deeper until she loves the lies I’ve told her.

The danger that follows me, creeps closer and the façade I’ve built comes crashing down around us.

And lovers turn to enemies.
But there’s no going back for me.
I want her. I will have her.
She doesn’t have a choice.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Carson & Hailey | An opposites attract, mafia/outsider romance story

OMG! Might just be my favourite story (after Alexei’s and Isabella’s)! I was just as immediately intrigued by Hailey as Carson was when she first walked into the room. The opposites attract in this particular story popped with bubbly, happy-go-lucky Hailey and enigmatic, broody, lurks-in-the-shadows Carson. The curiousity gets the better of Carson and seeing him struggle with wanting to know more about Hailey and steering clear of her was a gripping development to see play out throughout.

The inner dialogues by both these protagonists had me giggling at times and gave such comic relief and lightheartedness when you least expect it.

Similar to the first two books, it’s another action-packed, suspenseful quick read. By this third one you get the gist that each of the books within the series contains the build-up in the first half of the story with a somewhat swift conclusion by the end, which I would normally be disappointed with but since these books present character growth, steady romantic development, and an overall detailed storyline, it doesn’t feel like it’s ending abruptly.

Hailey and Carson, in my opinion had one of the more complex and heart-wrenching storylines from all all the couples, and despite the heartbreaking scenes that were tough to see play out, I could not put it down until I finished it. It’s an angsty, dramatic rollercoaster ride that had me ugly-crying for a good chunk of the book.

With Carson being Alexei’s younger brother, they certainly have the talent to turn heads. *waggles eyebrows*

I’m also loving the entire innocent-outsider-enters-the-mafia-world. It’s thought-provoking seeing their dark and gritty world from an outsider’s perspective, and once again I adore the fact that the hero is another protective, caring sweetheart who’s just the right amount of dominating alpha.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

•••

• Book Four | Tears Of Betrayal •

BLURB

My father is the head of the Bratva, but being born out of wedlock, I’ve never been a part of that world.
Until a hit is taken out on me. I’m kidnapped in the dead of night and waking up, it’s to come face to face with Demitri Vetrov.

Dangerous and heartless, Demitri is the most feared man in the world. I’ve heard whispers of what he’s capable of.

I’m thrown into a nightmare where I don’t know who I can trust, and fear for my life is my only constant companion.
I’m forced to be at Demitri’s mercy, I’m just not sure he has any. It also doesn’t help that he’s disarmingly attractive.

Tall, dark, and deadly.

Knowing this, he uses it against me like a weapon, breaking down my walls faster than I can put them up.

There’s a war coming, and I’m right in the middle of it.
The only question is, will Demitri be the one to save me or kill me?

WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Demitri & Ariana | A captor/captive, forced proximity Bratva romance story.

Ooh okay… I feel like after reading Alexei’s story, there was a lot of anticipation in reading Demitri’s story— just for the fact that he was this quiet but deadly character who was strictly all business.

First thing that comes to mind after reading this book is how much I couldn’t get enough of their inner dialogue—especially Ariana’s as her mindset was so genuinely relatable… and so girly. Lol.

If you love sexual banter, you will enjoy the hell out of this one. The unsuspecting one-liners that come out of Demitri had me snort-laughing, and it’s these moments that break the tension and gloomy atmosphere that overall surrounds the situation that Ariana (and Demitri) find themselves in.

Another storyline with tear-jerking moments (honestly, I don’t think there was single book from this series where I didn’t cry at one point or another).

And after having reading all the books, I realized that each one had strong family presence. These may be a bunch of mafiosos and assassins but trust, loyalty, and family are paramount in their world.

Demitri and Ariana had somewhat of an insta-love romance yet slow-burn at the same time. Best way I can describe their romance is there’s a ton sexual build-up and teasing before their relationship develops deeper.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••


• Book Five | Tears Of Salvation •

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Alexei & Isabella | An enemies-to-lovers, Cartel and Bratva romance story.

At the time I read this book it was also part of the Underworld Kings author-collaboration series. It was my introduction to Michelle Heard and the rest of The Saints. After having read Tears of Salvation I knew I had to go back and start from the beginning of the series. Best. Decision. Ever! ❤

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

📖 Read my full review here: Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

•••

I have myself another favourite romance series that I will surely read (oh who am I kidding, I already have) over and over again. I love how they are all relatively short reads so whenever I need an all-consuming, passionately hot romance read to perk my mood up or get me out of a reading slump, these will be my go-to books for sure!

One word to describe this series— the characters, the storylines, the romances, all the developments…

OVERALL SERIES RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½


•••

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

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

booksofthemuggleborn_tearsofsalvation
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

ISABELLA

I was the party crasher.
He was the Devil.

Three months ago, I suffered a moment of insanity and had a one-night stand without even knowing who the man was.
It was hot and unforgettable.
I tried to forget him, but there are moments I swear I can still smell his aftershave.

Little did I know he’s the head of the Bratva.
Alexei Koslov.
My family’s worst enemy.

There’s a thin line between love and hate,
and I’m straddling it.

ALEXEI

There’s an even thinner line between the truth and a lie.

As the head of the Bratva and the best assassin,
I’m the devil everyone fears.

I get more than I bargained for when I come face to face with Isabella Terrero.
Instead of the Princess of Terror, she might just be the embodiment of the goddess of mischief and chaos.

For her, I broke all my rules.
For her, I burned down the world.

STANDALONE: A complete standalone novel in the Underworld Kings series.
WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

They say good things come to those who wait…

I’ve been wanting to read books by Michelle Heard for some time now but timing was always off. But you know what? Not only was Tears of Salvation THE BEST introduction to new-to-me author Michelle Heard but this may just be THE BEST introduction to the world of the St. Monarch’s Academy! 😍😍❤

GirlWithGun_B&W

I love my dark mafia romances and this story had the perfect balance of action, suspense, and romance within such a well written and vivid storytelling. Michelle Heard, where have you been all my life?!

The cast of characters whether they played a major or minor role were unique and stood out in their own right that I had no issues differentiating them from one another. These characters are also one of the main reasons as to why I am eager to read the other books in the St. Monarch’s Academy (even though this one in particular is also part of the Underworld Kings author-collaboration series).

From the opening scene, Isabella’s and Alexei’s story had my full attention. The immediate sexual chemistry between them leaped of the pages setting the tone for the rest of the story. With all the intensity, it was easy to keep invested. The fast pacing, the constant build-up of suspense, and the dual points of view all added to making the entirety of this story exquisitely and deliciously addictive!

Whilst there’s some sensitive subject matter within, the overall atmosphere is not overly brutal or gritty. I thought it had the right amount of lightness and darkness throughout. There’s also some lighthearted banter amongst the brotherhood which was unexpectedly awe-inspiring and a display of friendships that seemed so genuine. Seeing the familial bonds and deep affection was just as gripping as the romantic aspects of the story.

An enemies-to-lovers with a twist that I did not see coming. I love that Michelle has written a story where anything and everything can happen that you feel like you have to constantly be on your toes so you don’t miss out on anything.

It’s a refreshing take on mafia romance. One feature being the fact that these characters despite their differences and alliances all trained in this exclusive, specialized school. I have never wanted to go to a fictional school more since I first read about Hogwarts in Harry Potter during my teen years. I can without a doubt say St. Monarch’s Academy is up there with the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If I was offered a place, I’d be there in a heartbeat! 😄

If you love any of the following, you have to add Tears of Salvation to your TBR, stat!

  • Dark Romance
  • Russian Mafia Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Enemies-to-Lovers
  • Assassins
  • Comradery
  • Kickass Heroines
  • Overprotective Alphas

The world-building in this book is exceptional, clearly showing both Isabella’s and Alexei’s worlds that eventually fuse together as they discover that they may have more in common than they initially realized.

Isabella is such a likable character with the perfect amount of heart and badassery in one. I’ve read plenty of dark romance books where a strong, independent heroine is present, but Isabella is in a class of her own. There’s a believability in her determination and strength, in her actions, and even in her presence when she’s around people that makes her favourable, not just as a heroine but as character in general.

Alexei is a total swoon-worthy alpha of a hero, not only does he walk the walk but what I ended up loving about him most is his fierce loyalty and protectiveness over his loved ones. He’s a feared and ruthless leader but those who follow and serve him know his greatness and his heart.

Overall, I really could not fault this book. Yes, I would’ve preferred some parts of the story to have played out a little longer than they had, but those are just minor hang-ups for me. I loved reading every page of it and wish it hadn’t ended. There was an effortless flow from beginning to end, with plenty of dimension as the story develops. You’ll get to see gradual character growth from both Isabella and Alexei as they navigate through their intricate relationship. They are an exceptional match. Equal pairing that I couldn’t get enough of!

I was never bored. I didn’t once feel the need to skim through pages. I enjoyed seeing the multi-layered storylines that all weaved together— from the romance, to their own personal vendettas, to all the secondary characters and their stories that added to the entire world-building.

Please note it does contain matters that may be triggering for some readers such as, human trafficking, child abuse, kidnapping, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Take into consideration before starting. Whilst this may ultimately be a dark, mafia romance, it’s no fluff read. The backstory covers real dark societal issues. As I delved further into the story I connected more and more with the characters, sympathising with the realism in what they’ve experienced and witnessed in their lives.

A highly recommend book that can easily be read in one sitting. It’s one that had me thinking about long after I finished reading it. From this book alone, I can already tell that Michelle’s writing style is one I’ll constantly enjoy reading.

If mafia romances are your go-to romance books, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this one. It had all the elements of a hearty story— memorable characters, substantial character growth, a fleshed-out storyline, complex world-building, and enough scenes with shock value. Tears of Salvation had all that and then some! *singsong voice* Loveeeed it! Now one of my all time favourite mafia romances read to date!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Michelle Heard, the entire Underworld Kings team, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

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💀 More on the Underworld Kings 👑

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Website: Underworld Kings


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

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