Kiss To Belong Teaser

Are you ready for the next book in the Blairwood University series?

Get your first peek at #KissToBelong 👶

KissToBelong_TeaserCover

•••

— BLURB —

  • Best Friends-to-Lovers
  • College Romance
  • Surprised Pregnancy
  • Virgin, Nerdy Hero
  • Party Girl Heroine
  • Forced Proximity
  • Roommates
  • Slow-Burn

Maddox has been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember, but to Alyssa he’s always been just that, a friend. Now that they’re forced to live together, will she finally see what’s been there all along?

Full blurb coming soon.

•••

— TEASER —

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•••


— Kiss To Belong by Anna B. Doe —

Blairwood University (Book Five)

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Release Date: March 18, 2022
Genre: College Romance/ Friends-to-Lovers
📚 Add to your TBR: Goodreads
📘 Pre-order your copy now! Universal Link

•••

📣 Join the promotions!

Cover Reveal: February 25, 2022Release Blitz: March 18, 2022Blog Tour: March 19 – 25, 2022
Sign-up here ➡ Blogger & Bookstagrammer Sign Up

(By signing up you automatically enter to win one of TWO signed paperbacks of Kiss To Belong – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. The winners will be chosen randomly at the end of the book tour and e-mailed for shipping info).

•••


— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —


Anna B. Doe

Anna B. Doe is a young adult and new adult contemporary romance author. She writes real-life romance that is equal parts sweet and sexy. She’s a coffee and chocolate addict. Like her characters, she loves those two things dark, sweet and with little extra spice.
When she’s not working for a living or writing her newest book you can find her reading books or binge-watching TV shows. Originally from Croatia, she is always planning her next trip because wanderlust is in her blood.
She is currently working on various projects. Some more secret than others.

Follow Anna B. Doe on social media!

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Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Rapture, desire, need – the yearning for our passions is the reason we strive, the reason we breathe. I’ve devoted my entire existence to the pursuit of my passion for dance. Ballet is my escape from the dark underworld I was born in to. As a Carpella and the daughter of a made man, I’ve accepted certain traditions. Yet, having just been promoted to principal within a prestigious dance company, I’m so close to being free…

Until a devil with blood on his hands and an Irish curse inked into his skin tears into my world, now passion holds a whole new, sinister meaning. With ruination in his steel-blue eyes and me in his crosshairs, Lucian Cross traps me in his gilded cage and uses me to deliver his retribution.

Forced to sign a marriage contract to unite two warring families, my father traded my life to save his own. Now I’m bound to Lucian, owned by a monster who swore an oath of pain and suffering to the Carpellas.

Lucian’s passion is revenge.

And because my family destroyed what he loved, he’s vowed to destroy what I love. Every night he forces me to dance until my breaking point. He wants to condition me to loathe the very thing that once gave me hope.

I can’t let him break me, but the closer we get to the wedding date, the more entangled I become in his dangerous, tempting world, and I’m losing myself in this man.

His vow is my pain.

My vow is not to fall for the enemy.

But how can I dance with the devil himself and not be singled by his fire?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I have never read a romance story with a slow-burn romance that tortured me as badly with how sluggish it developed than this book right here! My gosh, it was like a gradual teasing build-up that led to more teasing and a whole lot of sexual frustration and torture for both protagonists… and *cough cough* me. 🤦‍♀️😅 If you enjoy angsty, SLOOOOW slow-burn mafia romance reads, this story might just be for you!

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Trisha Wolfe is a new-to-me author and this was my introduction to her writing. Marriage & Malice sets a gritty almost squirm-inducing atmosphere right from the opening scene. I was instantly immersed, needing to know what’s to become of Violet and Lucian in this all-out mafia war and enemies-to-lovers story.

Italian mafia vs the Irish syndicate, and caught in the crossfire is Violet who spent most of her life outside of it, training as a ballerina. The premise of the two worlds merging was what initially had me interested in reading this story and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of seeing a nice balance of both elements. There’s an obvious dynamic between Violet and Lucian the minute they meet and it only intensifies the longer they’re in forced proximity.

I did enjoy the build-up to their relationship and the suspense surrounding them. I only wish it didn’t take as long to admit their feelings for one another, and because of that I felt like by the time they were in it for more than the initial arranged marriage and Lucian’s vengeance, the emotions they were feeling wasn’t as in-depth or believable as I was hoping for.

For the most part it was steady-paced storytelling, only occasionally slowing down in certain parts. It’s told from dual POVs and gives you excellent insight into both Violet’s and Lucian’s pasts. Their romance is undoubtedly steamy and their growing attraction for one another is one of the most tantalizing things you can expect to see.

Overall, it had suspense, some unpredictability, and the secondary characters helped create layers in the world-building. It’s a pretty grim and dark atmosphere throughout and putting aside the romance aspect of the story, it has subject matters that may be triggering for some readers. It contains attempted sexual assault, graphic violence, abuse/ torture.

Whilst both protagonists have some character growth, it’s Lucian, in my opinion who had the most development. The further you delve into the story the more you see the subtle changes in not only his demeanor but his mentality towards Violet as he struggles with keeping his revenge. It may be a love story (albeit a dark one), but Lucian is the central character here and the story revolves around his agenda.

As much as I like this book, I do however feel an epilogue is very much needed, whether or not Trisha decides to revisit this world in the future. The ending just didn’t feel complete for a story that’s supposedly a standalone and I was left wanting more for their HEA. 🤔

Nevertheless, I think it’s a great addition to the Underworld Kings. It certainly brings in the darkness, the world of Made Men, along with complexity, villainous characters, and ulterior motives one can hope for in a romantic suspense read. The scenes with Violet dancing were beautiful, and such a contrast to the death and violence that consumed a large portion of the storyline. Lucian is Irish and a real alpha-hole… but for good reason. Violet is thrust back into the world she was born into and discovers she has more grit in her than anyone (including herself) could’ve ever imagined.

If you enjoy reading hate-to-love romances with a dark mafia backdrop to them, give this one a read.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Trisha Wolfe and the entire Underworld Kings team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

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💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings! 👑

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

📖 Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

📖 Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard


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

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Worth The Pain by J.L. Leslie

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

Allie…

I let him break me. Shatter my heart into a million pieces. And I took the coward’s way out. Only the drugs didn’t help. Didn’t make me forget him. I still remember every thing about him. The way his piercing blue eyes looked right through me. The way his perfect lips danced over my skin.

The way he rejected me so cruelly.

And now I can’t escape him. Couldn’t pretend he doesn’t exist even if I tried. Because every single day I wake up to a beautiful reminder of the devastating pain he caused.

Hunter…

My club thinks I’m losing my mind. My sister prays the old me will return. And my best friend…well…I’ve cut ties with him.

I’m on a path of self-destruction and I have no intention of changing direction. Not until I find out the truth. Not until I find the missing girls.

I thought she was one of them. Thought she’d been taken. But she was simply hiding away from me.

I don’t blame her. I was cruel to her. Caused her undeniable pain.

But she’s hiding more than herself. She’s hiding a kid. A kid who has piercing blue eyes exactly like mine.

And after everything I’ve put her through, I need to prove that I’m worth the pain.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I know this is only the second book in Leslie’s RBMC series but it felt like I’d been waiting for Hunter’s story for—ever! He was the secondary character from Worth The Risk (book one) that I was most eager to read more about, and now that his story is here, I have to admit it’s not at all what I had expected. 🤔

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It’s a relatively quick story for a full-length novel and I was able to finish it in one sitting. The storytelling is fast-paced with constant developments coming one after the other. It’s emotion-based, told from dual points of view with both Hunter and Allie being of second mind for the majority of the story. With all the craziness and the push-and-pull within their complicated relationship, you’ll question whether or not they’re truly suited for one another.

The premise is what initially intrigued me but the flow felt a little choppy for my liking, and the development in their relationship didn’t feel as in-depth or come off as authentic as I was hoping to see. They had a one-night stand and prior to their reconnection had spent time apart so I was expecting plenty of character growth and maturity from both protagonists but it seemed like time hadn’t altered their mindset and they’re stuck in this repetitiveness with their feelings, never quite moving forward. I am relieved to say it eventually improves and they do finally get their act together but I’m contemplating if it happened just a smidge too late in the story.

Hunter is not at all how I remembered him from the first book. From that time to the present his character has clearly shifted because he’s become a hard man to love. The only redeemable quality I could see in him within this book is that he eventually saw the light and wanted something more out of life, and knowing Allie had to be a part of it started to make amends. (I would’ve loved to have seen some more groveling from him though).

Allie is a likable character but she doesn’t necessarily make the best choices. She’s the type of heroine that I think readers would either love or loath. Although some readers may find her and what she’s been through relatable. She’s indecisive and uncertain about a lot of things but she also knows what she wants for her future, and I think it’s easy to identify with that.

Similar to the first book I was left with some unanswered questions that I’m guessing will either be left unsettled or will hopefully be addressed later down the track in future books. There are quite a few different plots happening at once and if you haven’t read the first book, you may find it a little difficult to understand the history amongst these characters. Although you can technically read this one as a standalone, I highly recommend you read Worth The Risk first.

For the most part a grey atmosphere but with this being the second book in the series, the world-building is gradually evolving. I do like that there’s a nice amount of both romance and MC elements. It has plenty of suspense and unpredictability. The violence is detailed but not overly graphic, and I thought there was enough lightheartedness brought on by the MC and the friendships to keep things from getting too gritty.

The storyline touches on drug abuse/addiction that some readers may find triggering. Including adult themes such as violence and strong sexual content, be advised this story is intended for readers 18+ only.

Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst I was already hooked from the opening scene and invested in seeing their story unfold, it did take a while to grow into liking Hunter’s and Allie’s relationship. But I can’t deny that it was the little moments they had throughout that ultimately kept me engaged. With the addition of the brothers from the MC and their comradery, I thought this was a pretty decent read.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you J.L. Leslie and the RBMC team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Worth The Pain? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 Read my review for Worth The Risk!

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Original post from my IG @booksoftheluggleborn

📒 Book One: Worth The Risk by J.L. Leslie


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

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The Saints Series by Michelle Heard

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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• 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

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• 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

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• 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: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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• 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

Seeking Shadows by K.E. Osborn

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

What if the woman I fell for was in love with someone else? The man who claimed her heart is my VP, the same man I need to respect and follow his orders. But now that I’m no longer a prospect, it’s difficult to find my place. What if I don’t want to play by the club rules anymore?

But then again, what if while I’m seeking shadows, I find something I wasn’t prepared for? And the darkness leaves me fighting for everything I thought I’d never have…

Seeking Shadows is a part of The Royal Bastards MC Author Collaboration and is book three in the Tampa, FL Series.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Well. This was one a hell of an introduction to Osborn’s RMBC, Tampa FL Chapter! 🔥😍 I’ve read a few books from another one of her MC romance series but Seeking Shadows was my introduction to this RBMC one. It’s the third book in the series but it was honest to goodness written with such detail that I didn’t feel like I was missing any vital information by not having read books 1 and 2 beforehand. You’re given the gist of the characters and/ or couples from the previous books so you’re relatively up to scratch with their relationships and overall group dynamic.

So, if any readers out there interested in reading this book but concerned that it’s already the third one… don’t be. I can without a doubt tell you, you can read Seeking Shadows without having read the first two.

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Now. Let’s get onto the man of the hour — Dash! *phew* Ok… when I first started this story and quickly realized Dash was pining for another MC brother’s ol’ lady… I was immediately questioning how this story would play out. I’ve read countless MC romances to know that club members don’t mess around with their brothers girlfriends, wives, or ol’ ladies. I seriously thought, “Geez! Please don’t tell me Dash ends up having an affair with this chick!” 😱🙈🙈

Needless to say… the story quickly turned a corner and not only was I breathing easier, but I couldn’t sit still from the unexpected turn of events. *waggles eyebrows*

This was steady-paced storytelling that I was all in for. I was loving the gradual build-up and story development. With dual points of view from both protagonists, it wasn’t difficult to get invested in both their personal stories. One thing that stood out to me about Dash in particular was that his story began with him as a prospect for the RBMC. Seeing him still at the stage of doing the club’s grunt work, steadily working his way up to be a full-fledged member— it showed plenty of character growth, that, along with a level of maturity. Right from the beginning he was already such a likable character (and with the awkward love triangle situation, you easily feel for him), but as the story progresses and he slowly realizes what he wants, you see the gradual change in him as he starts considering things in his life differently.

Besides the likable hero/heroine in this story, I was sucked into their slow-burn romance. I couldn’t get enough of their quirky, lighthearted friendship before anything romantic came about. The constant banter and comical ribbing added the necessary lightness to what was an overall dark, suspenseful romance. Their relationship organically developed and seemed so genuine to witness. They went through some relatable and realistic emotional hurdles that not only made their relationship stronger in the long run, but made me back them more as a couple!

Not going to lie, whilst most of the secondary characters in this book were likable enough, there were a couple of them that I just wasn’t a fan of at all, and never grew to like in the end either. They certainly played roles in providing another layer to this already action-packed story, but in my opinion, they were just as irritating (if not more) than the actual antagonists! Ugh. And to be honest, I was expecting better from them. I’m just glad Dash wasn’t having any of it! ✊😅

Halfway through the storyline took a surprising twist that I admit was a little out there. Whilst all the plot points interconnected in the end, I wasn’t completely sold on this particular part of the storyline, and in all honesty the book lost some of its appeal on me.

But in saying that, I thought both protagonists were brilliant characters, and I was completely gripped by their angsty relationship. I’m fist pumping air that the heroine is no pushover and that she’s a firecracker of a character! I liked that Dash is a flawed character with insecurities, but he’s also one full of heart and understanding. I respect his willingness to not only make adjustments, but once he sets his mind to something, he’s committed.

There were a lot of things happening in this story but it wasn’t overwhelming in the slightest. I liked the fact that there were a variety of settings within the story which only made the world-building all the more appealing.

Seeing the different group dynamics within, especially where Dash, his heroine, and their families were concerned was some of my favourite scenes to read (besides all the banter between the protagonists). 😜😄

As I mentioned earlier, this is a dark, suspenseful MC romance. It contains certain subject matters that may be triggering for some readers. Not only does it contain mature sexual content, it has strong, graphic violence, domestic abuse, kidnapping, and it also broaches the topic of suicide. Audiences 18+ only.

From my experiences with Osborn’s other books, I’ve always found her writing style to be consistently effortless to follow, with stories and characters I can easily get into— Seeking Shadows is no different. This book was unputdownable and an addictive MC romance that I would recommend to fellow dark romance readers. There’s a nice balance of romance and MC elements throughout. The character growth, the romance, and seeing the family dynamics were the absolute highlights in my opinion. You’ll find unpredictability and some gripping, hold-your-breath type scenes in this book that I always hoped to see in my MC romance books.

Although this is part of a series, the ending concluded in way where you’re not left with unanswered questions (at least not where Dash and his heroine are concerned). I know I was left feeling quite content with the way things ended in this book. It’s a swoony, taking-chances romance story weaved through a twisted, gritty underworld.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you K.E. Osborn and the RBMC team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙


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

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Explosive by K.E. Osborn

I feel like my next book review was a long time coming. But it’s here! This book legit got me out of a reading funk that I was in!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

I couldn’t walk away.
It’s not who I am.
The moment I saw Rayne broken and bloodied, I knew I wasn’t leaving without her.

As the president of the Houston Defiance MC, my job is to protect. And there’s no taming the rage building inside my body, screaming at me to shield her from the husband who’s beating her day in and day out.

Taking her was never in my plans, but plans change.
I don’t care if she’s married.
Or that her husband’s a cop.

Our connection is explosive, it’s dangerous, it’s intoxicating.
And I’m fast being swept up in her storm.
It’s something I can’t ignore.

I thought the enemy was clear, and I was ready to fight.
But maybe there’s a threat we didn’t see coming?
Maybe there’s someone closer to us than we ever could have imagined.
Someone who could be the destruction of us both.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

ChrisHemsworth_Smile

Eeep! Just found myself a brand spankin’ new-to-me MC author! 🙌🙌

I’m not gonna lie and I’m not ashamed to admit this… but I initially grab this book solely because of the cover! I mean, c’mon… Kevin Creekman *phoaaar* 🔥

Then, yeah ok, I read the blurb and it wowed me even more! Didn’t even need to think twice, I 1-clicked it right after that! #noregrets 😁

This book is a great example of why I love and am addicted to reading MC romances. Amazing world-building with a solid foundation of the MC, history told about the club and its members. Then you have the alpha male hero that oozes sex appeal, manliness, grit and just the right amount of charm that if his looks weren’t up to par (which I highly doubt anyways), then his personality would keep you engaged. Add in the hot ass bikes, some ink, some strong brotherhood, and boom — you got yourself a half of a worthy MC romance already.


Prepare to meet Zero. Prepare to meet your end.

“Three… two… one… zero.”


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Zero just had an immediate appeal on me. His love of his family and the club is evident right from the beginning. He knows what he wants and where he belongs. His strong, confident demeanor makes him stand out in the crowd, yet he’s not afraid to share his emotions to those who mean the world to him. I love that when he makes mistakes, he makes sure that it never repeats itself.

And you can’t forget the heroine. In this case Rayne comes from a completely different world. She’s married to an abuser, and just when she’s at the brink of giving up, she’s saved by Zero’s sister Prinie, who in turn gets her brother involved too.

I’ve read numerous amounts of MC romances, some grittier and darker than others. Majority of them contain sensitive subject matter that may trigger some readers. I’m definitely giving you guys warning with Explosive. It contains severe domestic abuse. It’s detailed, so keep in mind when considering about picking this one up. It also contains horrific violence and drug content.

I’ll admit, as much as I was already enamored with Zero’s story from the get go, there was a scene that completely had me gasping in shock. I sensed it coming but I didn’t realize that the author would describe it so vividly. 🙈

But that scene (shocking as it was), also cemented not only this book but the author herself as one I would definitely enjoy reading from. I knew before I even reached halfway through that I would continue on with this series.

There’s a good amount of character development. You see not only the lead characters, but the secondary ones as well have backstory that gives you insight into who they are and how they’ve come to be now in the present.

Another reason why I love reading MC romances, is you get to see stories form other characters develop that may eventually come back around in the sequels. This book is no different. There’s a few secondary characters I’m already vying to see more of in this series.

But Explosive lives up to its book title. Both Zero and Rayne have lived difficult lives. Both suffering and both broken. The way they come together, you can see how well they click and heal one another — their interactions are fiery and always leaves you wanting more!


“You saved me, Zero.”


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“You saved yourself, Rayne. I’m just here to help you along.”


Their attraction may have been there from the start, but I appreciated the fact that the author didn’t get them together right away. Creating Zero as a character who has morals despite being in an MC will be just one of the reasons why I think readers will love him.

A steady paced storytelling, and told from dual POVs. There’s a lot going on in Houston Defiance MC with drama, trouble and angst at every corner. It’s an action-packed story — one that sets up the introduction to this series in a strong way.

Besides the brotherhood between the members, I enjoyed seeing the friendships that developed between the women in this world. It’s also a nice contrast to an otherwise male-driven environment. I love that they are cared for, protected and respected by the MC but that these ladies can hold their own!

Whilst this is a work of fiction and a romance story at that, I haven’t forgotten that Zero and Rayne’s story centers around a realistic, relatable and very serious topic. There’s some lighthearted banter here and there to break the intensity, but what makes an MC romance a winner for me besides the hero/ heroine, is the substance of the story. Zero and Rayne grow and evolve, and there’s a purpose to their actions.

I really can’t say enough great things about this book. It keeps you on your toes with suspense. I think fellow MC and dark romance readers will get a kick out of it. It’s one that’ll have you reeling about for days on end.


“Cherry bomb, our journey is only just beginning.”


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RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

I feel like I’ve been in a reading slump for most of October, which is a shame considering I had thoughts what with Halloween and all that this would be the perfect time to be stuck indoors, snuggle in bed with a bunch of great reads for the month. But nope.

This book saved me from my reading slump lasting longer. If you’re a savage MC romance lover like yours truly, and haven’t discovered K.E. Osborn yet for yourself, this book is a good place to start! 😉 It’s actually gotten to check out her backlist and I’m already eyeing her Chicago Defiance MC series! *waggles eyebrows*


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Hope you enjoyed my review. Happy reading guys, and catch you in my next one! Xo

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In Safe Hands Series by S.M. Shade

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Each book in the In Safe Hands Series by S.M. Shade can be read as a standalone.

Side Note: Since I bundled up the entire series into one big blog post, I’m gonna try and keep each review as short as possible! *fingers crossed* Hope you enjoy! 😀

•••

Book One: Landon

Landon_Cover— SYNOPSIS —

Zoe
I’m not interested. I’m not interested in his blue-green ocean colored eyes, his lean muscular body, or that crooked smile that can be so infuriating. I have more important things to worry about, like how to keep myself in college and my sixteen year old brother fed and sheltered. We all know life is hard, some of us just learn that lesson younger than others, but that doesn’t mean I’ll give up. I intend to succeed and make sure my brother has the opportunities he deserves, and no privileged jerk is going to distract me.

Landon
I don’t date. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from celibate, but my condition makes carrying on any kind of normal relationship impossible. My life revolves around In Safe Hands or ISH, the underground hacker group I work with to track down and take care of predators and sex offenders who beat the system. I’m satisfied with my life until the day I meet the smart mouthed, compassionate, determined woman who opens my eyes to possibilities I never thought existed.

This is book one in a series of standalone novels.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

This started off really well but after I reached the halfway mark it fell a bit in my opinion. But the strong start left me invested to see it all the way through. It’s a good opener to this suspense/crime romance series. After being introduced to the rest of the guys in the series in this one, I’m looking forward to reading their stories and the ladies that steal their hearts! (Not gonna lie–some more than others).

I like the idea that these characters are not perfect. They have difficulties and struggles but live with it the best they can. I love that the romance is not your stereotypical damsel in distress where the knight in shining armor comes and saves her from her horrible life. There’s plot twists! Unexpected circumstances that seem to always wanna try and break them apart, and I found myself glued to see how they’ll get around it.

Although, I unexpected found some events in this book a little far-fetched, somewhat rash or downright confusing (IMHO) — but despite that, the ending still left me with a smile on my face and ready to get cracking onto book two!

Landon and Zoe start off on the wrong foot, which sets the two in constant disagreement, miscommunication and all around confusion about their feelings towards one another. They are both unique individuals and their relationship is definitely one of a kind.

RATING: ♥♥♥½

•••

Book Two: Dare

Dare_Cover— SYNOPSIS —

Ayda
I hear him.
His deep voice and rumbling laugh. The bang of the headboard slamming the wall and fake screams from yet another woman. Derek is a pile of muscle and ink, a bad boy fantasy only a few layers of wood and plaster away. It’s all I expect or want him to be.
Until that irresistible voice begins talking to me.

Dare
I hear her.
The clicking of her fingers on a keyboard, her music or TV playing in the background. Her musical laugh and soft cries of pleasure, accompanied by a low, steady buzz. Ayda is a good girl who keeps to herself, and I have no business pursuing her, but I’m not a man known for doing the right thing.
I’m an ex-con. I’m a criminal.
And I want her.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I didn’t think I would love Dare (aka Derek) as much as I did after reading this book! I was already curious about him when he was first introduced in Landon, and I was probably most excited to read his story the most. All I can say is Dare takes top spot in the swoon department! How can one guy be so perfect?! Brains and brawn?! C’mon now! Not to mention he first came across as the guy who was probably the “toughest” ass from the bunch–considering he was built, inked and the only one from the guys who’d done time. And yeah he was those things… Buuuuuuuut he was also THE MOST sweetest guy too!

Dare and Ayda are neighbors talking through the wall getting to know each other.

Adya: Who’s self conscience about her looks (after a tragic accident) stays at home most days and keeps to herself. She’s always overhearing her next door neighbour “hooking up” with a multitude of women almost every night.

Dare: Who never does relationships (only one nighters), starts getting curious about his neighbour Ayda, after one day having seen her from a distance and hearing her roam around in her apartment.

They start talking through the wall.. until Dare finally wants to meet Ayda in person.

Ugh! I enjoyed every minute of this book and I am loving Ayda and Dare together so much! My favourite pairing hands down. Their meet cute was fucking adorable I couldn’t stop grinning. Ayda’s story is tragic but the way Dare lifts her up, changes her perspective on things, and gets her out of her shell is what makes their romance oh-so dreamy! Double swoonage!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

•••

Book Three: Justus

Justus_Cover— SYNOPSIS —

Justus
I’m not conceited.
Really, I’m not. It just so happens I have a body a Greek God would be jealous of, and a face that could make an angel weep. Other than that, I’m just your everyday normal guy who happens to take his clothes off for money. Sure, I’ve had to dispose of a few guys for In Safe Hands, the organization I work with that helps track predators and child molesters, but other than that, completely normal.
Women flock to me, screaming and paying for the right to touch me, so why is this woman so stubborn? Sadie Belmont’s curvy body and sharp tongue have haunted me since I met her a year ago. There’s something about her that gets stuck in my head like a bad song, and I’m determined to find out why I want her so badly, and why she can’t stomach the thought.

Sadie
I can’t believe I’m doing this. Of all the men in the world, I’m taking Justus Alexander to my childhood home in Oklahoma to meet my mother. A stripper who has a revolving door of women jumping in and out of his bed. Nine months ago when I lied to my mother and told her I had a steady boyfriend, I didn’t expect it to come to this. She doesn’t have long to live, and her only wish is to know I have a husband before she goes.
I can’t disappoint her, and male escorts cost way more than I can afford, so when Justus volunteered, I took him up on his offer. I know what he wants. After annoying me with constant pick up lines for a year, he sees an opportunity to get me in bed. It’s not going to happen. I just need to get through this week with my sanity intact.

•••

— MY REVIEW — 

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With humor like Justus’ I was surprised his book didn’t quite make it to 4 stars for me. He’s such a hilarious character.. and sweet.. when the moment calls for it (hehe). I couldn’t keep the smile off my face whenever he spoke. Lol. I tell ya.. you’ll never be bored with him around! 😀 😀 😀

Like its predecessors, this one pulls you in at the beginning. But this story just didn’t keep the oomph throughout the book. Don’t get wrong–there were moments were it was sizzlingly hot and I was on the edge of my seat. But there were also moments were it just fizzled.

I do like the pairing in this one as much as I did Dare’s. There’s a lot of banter and chemistry between Sadie and Justus – which I think is the winner here and a big reason as to why I almost rated it 4 stars. I love that they were complete opposites. Justus being an exotic dancer, and Sadie being a physical therapist. I thought their story was nicely paced for the majority of the time but nearing ¾ of the way it became abrupt, things fell into place a little too quickly and conveniently for my liking, and next thing you know it’s the Epilogue.

There was one particular scene I wasn’t a fan of at all. I couldn’t really accept it (and not as quickly as Sadie did) but it’s fine. It didn’t deter me from Justus or them having a relationship. I totally glazed over that part and still found it an enjoyable read 🙂

The things that Justus randomly says is snort-inducing! And he’s definitely a contender for most charming. Dare better watch his back! Haha.

Sadie is a great heroine. It’s hard finding a female lead who wasn’t a whiny, nagging, dumb character once they start dating a man. She’s intelligent, caring and selfless. Both Justus and Sadie balance each other out. They’re personalities are realistic and relatable–which are pluses in my book!

RATING: ♥♥♥¾

•••

Book Four: Tucker

Tucker_Cover— SYNOPSIS —

Tucker
She’s beautiful.
She’s young.
She’s driving me out of my mind.
I’ve always done my best to avoid Leah Bolt. I have enough problems without having to deal with a young woman with a crush. My life has been a disaster since I was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the military. After spending a year living on the streets, I’m finally starting to pull things together.
Now, I’m stuck with her, living side by side in my house with my complete opposite. If spending every day with this peppy, optimistic, energetic woman doesn’t kill me, her brother will. Dare is a friend and a member of In Safe Hands, a group that tracks down sexual predators and brings them to justice. He has also done time and is the size of a mountain.
I’ve survived combat, but I may be taken down by a perky blond.

Leah
He’s gorgeous.
He’s older.
He’s a stubborn, broody jerk.
Tucker Long is every woman’s dream…until you talk to him. He may be sexy when he’s out sweating in the sun with sawdust clinging to him as he hammers and saws, but try to hold a conversation and all you get are grunts and nods.
He was the one who wanted a house sitter and just because his plans fell through doesn’t mean I’m changing mine. My future is up in the air while I try to decide who I want to be, and Tucker’s farm is the perfect place for me to do it. He calls me kid, but the way he looks at me doesn’t lie.
I may be ten years younger, but I can still handle him.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Tucker is probably a little more darker, a more depressing, heartbreaking story, but was well written. Up until now, we don’t really know much about Tucker. He was a newbie with the In Safe Hands group. He was first introduced in Dare’s book as a homeless ex-soldier until Dare and the rest of the guys gave him an opportunity to work with them to save innocents. Besides a few comments here and there, he kept to himself and his story was pretty much a secret.

In this book his past slowly unravels, and that’s partly because of Leah — Dare’s younger sister who temporarily moves into the farmhouse Tucker’s been living in. The plan was to house-sit for 6 months whilst Tucker leaves to deal with some personal issues. But his plans change and he no longer needs to leave.. but Leah, being stubborn and really needing a quiet place to stay puts her foot down and insists she stays the 6 months they originally agreed on. Tucker isn’t all that happy about it but relents nevertheless.

This is pretty much where their story starts to bloom. Tucker is a recluse. Complete opposite to the outgoing, bubbly and happy Leah. She slowly gets him out of his shell, gets him to start opening up about his past and in doing so starts to develop deeper feelings for him. But something big from Tucker’s old life stops him from pursuing a relationship with Leah, thinking she deserved better than him.

It’s a twisted and heartbreaking reveal. I should warn you guys, whilst all the books have triggers. I have to add that this one had a detailed recollection. It’s brutal and gut-wrenching. Just keep that in mind. But after having reading Tucker’s story, I have a soft spot for him now. I love that he has Leah. And that Leah has him. They deserve a happily ever after after what they’ve both been through in their lives.

A wonderful love story! Although I know I won’t read the depressing scenes in this book again, I will for sure reread all the scenes where Tucker and Leah danced around one another and their feelings. Hehehe.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

•••

Book Five (Final): Jeremy

Jeremy_Cover— SYNOPSIS —

Melissa
I escaped.
For the first time in almost four years, I’m free.
My freedom came at a steep cost, leaving me on my own with no family or friends. I have a lot of healing to do, and this beautiful lake house seems like a perfect setting to find myself again.
I can do this.
The only thing I have left is hope.

Jeremy
I ran.
For the first time in my life, I’m alone.
I failed to appreciate what I had until it was too late, and now I can’t bear the grief of my friends while suffering my own. That’s not the only reason I’ve relocated.
Twenty-two people were murdered, including the woman I love.
The only thing I have left is revenge.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Ohh. Another bummer moment for me that this book couldn’t reach 4 stars either. It was a slower paced story which led me to read less chapters at a time–however the interactions between Jeremy and Melissa kept me reading.

Jeremy’s story starts from the conclusion of Tucker’s book. A horrific event occured that’s so relatable to the world’s current affairs. And it’s one that had my shoulders slumping before I could even start this one. It’s a more serious, upsetting story in comparison to the others. I’m just glad the author still managed to add in lighthearted moments, a few laughs here and there, and banter between the guys to keep the spirits up.

This is the last book in the series annnnnnd.. it’s bittersweet. Although Jeremy finally gets his story (and his HEA), I REALLY did wish it was with Frannie.. and not Melissa. 😩

I have nothing against Mel. Let me reiterate that. She’s actually a very likeable character with quite a down to earth personality. But after having read the first four books and seeing the rollercoaster of a relationship Jer and Frannie had throughout.. I was hopeful when it finally came down to his book, they would finally get serious.

Sigh.

Sadly it wasn’t the case. And because of that, partly the depressing start, along with the overall slow pace – it ended up being more underwhelming for me more than anything else.. *shrugs*

Jeremy and Melissa hated each other for a good chunk of the first half of the book. They had the hate-to-love trope down pat. Landon and Zoe have nothing on these guys’ hot and coldness.

Jeremy moved away from the guys to hole himself up in his lakehouse, and drink himself into a stupor after the tragic death of Frannie.

Melissa, after having had her life controlled for years, finally set herself free, and to get a fresh start found herself buying the house next to Jeremy’s. Their first encounter was bad. Second, third and a handful of encounters later were no better. Jeremy’s grieving is making him a jerky asshole. Whilst Melissa just wanted to reach out and make a friend.

But after a mishap and a miscommunication later, it has Jeremy willing himself to get along with Melissa. Eventually, feelings towards one another start developing, but they’re both keeping secrets and hidden agendas–causing them to be hesitant.

The banter was enjoyable to read. The somewhat slow burn romance kept me reading. But what I wasn’t a fan of was the lack of spark between them once they did get together. It almost felt like their relationship was of convenience. They both wanted someone, and were tired of being lonely.

Another book where there was a good buildup in the plot to only be resolved like a press of a button. The ending wrapped up fairly quickly in a cute little package. It left me wanting more, and had me sighing at how fast everything was put into place between Jeremy and Mel.

The overall storyline was alright, and a nice concept. Whilst I enjoyed their story more than Landon and Zoe’s quirky one. I couldn’t feel the swoony love in this book like I had in the previous ones. It’s like they went from hating each other to officially being soulmates. There relationship felt choppy and it just wasn’t gradual enough to make me believe their love was legit within the given timeframe.

But I’ll say this.. If you ever find yourself in an emergency, Jeremy is a good choice for go-to guy! He’ll be there in a jiffy and take care of everything! He definitely has protective instincts and is willing to go above and beyond for family.

I’m glad they found each other after having gone through what they have. But it wasn’t the HEA I would’ve wanted to see. I’m betting others who’ve read his book were quite accepting of this pairing, but I was on board the Jeremy/Frannie train. I shipped them hard! It was tough to grasp that they wouldn’t end up together after all. Ugh.

Oh wells.

RATING: ♥♥♥¾

•••

This was my first dabble at romantic crime/ suspense books, so I have nothing to compare them to, but I thought they was a nice balance of romance, suspense, light and dark throughout each book. What I found worked for this series is the friendship and banter between the guys. Most of the books start out with a love-to-hate storyline–so the romantic development is what hooked me in. If you love them, like I do, then there’s a good chance you’ll find these enjoyable! 😉

Based on the secondary storyline in each book and what the guys do as jobs, all the books have triggers (e.g. sexual abuse, violence and pedophilia). So, please keep that in mind if you’re considering starting the series.

A couple of the books were a little underwhelming in my opinion, so felt like a bit of a rollercoaster ride. But each one left me wanting to continue and read the next story.

I did notice a pattern to the books where the first half really gets you hooked and by the time it hits halfway it slows down. It occasionally drags a little and then you get an ending that’s a little out of the box that you don’t know what to think. But each one had some very fun, enjoyable points. Some more than others *wink wink*

If it wasn’t obvious, Dare and Tucker’s stories were my faves (with Justus coming in third). And as mentioned earlier, each book can be read as standalones–so some things are mentioned in each book to help you grasp each guy’s stories without necessarily having to read their book.

But if you want to see the world-building and the bond the guys have in more depth, then read the entire series in order.

Clueless_Happy_Sigh

  • Quick crime romance reads (with a smidge of suspense).
  • Lots of diversity.
  • Adorable humor and banter amongst the group.
  • Some heartbreaking moments in each story, but all have a HEA!

Overall, I enjoyed the series as a whole. I would happily recommend to friends who enjoy a bit of crime and suspense with their romance! 😊

Overall Series Rating: ♥♥♥¾

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Happy reading, guys! For those on holiday mode, hope you’re enjoying yourselves. Catch you in my next one! Xo