From 16 best selling authors comes seven never-before-released dark and forbidden co-written short stories with HEAs and sneak peeks of upcoming releases.
Tales of Darkness and Sin is only available for a limited time so get your copy now! Special Pre-Order price: $2.99!
Bestselling authors include:
Aleatha Romig, A. Zavarelli, Ashley Jade, Cora Reilly, Giana Darling, Isabella Starling, Jade West, K. Webster, Lucia Franco, Lylah James, Natasha Knight, Parker S. Huntington, Pepper Winters, Sam Mariano, Sierra Simone, Skye Warren.
All royalties from this anthology will benefit the National Women’s Law Center which represents a variety of issues from women’s rights to LGBTQIA issues. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.
• MY REVIEW •
Most (if not all) of these short stories were originally posted in the Queens of Darkness and Sin FB page, then this is the time to grab this baby! I had read a couple of these stories prior to this collection, so it was cool to be able to read the rest and be introduced to a few more new-to-me authors as well! 😊
Each one is hot romance story, definitely intended for 18+ readers only. Some have more sensitive subject matter than others that may be triggering for some readers.
Here are the short stories and introductions to new and upcoming books included in the anthology:
Sold to the Highest Bidder by Aleatha Romig and Skye Warren
Genre: Erotica/ Dark Romance
An auction backdrop with the highest bidder romancing the woman he won. Some Dom/ Sub content included. Not my cup of tea but if you’re a fan of BDSM in your romance reads, this might be up your alley. Bratva (Russian Mafia) also features in the story.
Stalker by A. Jade and A. Zavarelli
Genre: Stalker/ Revenge Romance
From a couple of my favourite romance authors. An absolutely excellent collaboration in this dark, stalker romance. Loved it! It was deviously evil and oh-so freaking good! I love a good comeuppance when it comes to someone who truly deserves pain.. (it’s why I love the movie Taken) Hehe. 😈
Great backstory to help create the world-building between Zander and Violet. Short story but it was action-packed, raunchy, and there was a scene that surprisingly made me LOL in that evil-haha sort of way! Highly recommended read.
Poised Hearts by Giana Darling and Parker S. Huntington
Genre: Mafia Romance
Wow. New-to-me-authors that blew me away with their short, but vivid mafia romance! Such world-building, with a character driven storyline. They made the whole enemies-to-lovers/ forbidden romance trope refreshing by having characters who connect in such an organic way. It’s gripping and didn’t read as a short story at all with the amount of detail and development that occurred. Slower paced and told from dual points of view. There’s a constant blanket of intrigue and suspense from beginning to end that makes this an exceptional dark/ mafia romance. Another great read from this collection!
The Dirty Bargain by Lylah James and Cora Reilly
Genre: Mafia Romance
A crossover between Lylah James’ and Cora Reilly’s mafia worlds. Can be read as a standalone. Killer and Talia are complete opposites and from opposing sides. An enemies-to-lovers romance.
It may be a short story but it’s suspenseful, packs a punch, and full of zing! 🔥
This was such an adorably entertaining story between a boss and his intern. An age-gap romance that had me hooked. The contrast between the bright, optimistic young woman who lands a job with the successful, older man she’s had a crush on for years is a sight to see. If you enjoy age-gap/ taboo/ father’s best friend type romances then you’ll want to read this one. It’s upbeat, with light-hearted banter — a total guilty pleasure read.
Not a Dirty Little Secret by Giana Darling and Sierra Simone
Genre: MM/ Taboo Romance
A step-brothers, age-gap romance. The two started off on the wrong foot causing endless heated banter between quickly turns into secret sexual encounters. Set in a political backdrop yet raunchy. A relatable story for those who have or are struggling to come out with their sexuality. Younger step-brother Tobias is openly gay whilst Prime Minister, and much older step-brother James is reluctant, and unsure of going public… especially with what’s on the line for both Tobias and himself. It’s a story of love and acceptance.
Slower-paced and a little wordy for my liking though.
Her Christmas Present by Jade West and Lucia Franco
Genre: Taboo Romance
A contemporary student/ teacher, secret crush romance story that was entertaining to read. I found myself smirking at Lexi’s flirtatious ways towards her teacher. It’s not a trope I usually read a lot of but this one was fast-paced, anything but dull between Lexi and Mr. Vaughn, and it was during the Christmas holidays. Let the good times roll! This is a legit dirty, raunchy Christmas fling! 😜
Forbidden Flaws by Pepper Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A one-night stand between two strangers who happen to stay in the same hotel. The story didn’t have enough dimension, lacked any real development between the characters, and was a little too far-fetched for my liking. A straight-up sex romp. But I know romance readers who will enjoy quick romance stories with this trope. Nothing against it, it just didn’t hold my attention.
With This Ring by Natasha Knight
Genre: Mafia Romance
This is the first book and an introduction to Natasha Knight’s newest mafia romance duet To Have and To Hold. An arranged marriage/ captor-captive romance between an Italian Made Man and a Cartel Princess.
I absolutely loved this book and the few chapters in this anthology will suck you into the story so fast, you’ll be wanting to grab the full novel right after! I highly recommend this one for avid mafia romance lovers! Cristiano and Scarlett are hot together! 🔥
I am intrigued! This introduction to Isabella Starling’s upcoming release was my introduction to her and her writing. I liked it! 😄 It was dark, giving only snippets of the protagonists and what their deal was. The story was gripping right from the start when you’re first introduced to the scarred heroine, Dove.
From what I’ve read from these chapters, this book will be suspenseful and will keep you on your toes. I enjoy a dark read when the characters’ motives slowly reveals itself as the story develops, and this is one of those stories. Great world-building with a strong gloomy atmosphere present. Will need to check out the full novel!
An amazing anthology perfect for fans of darker romance who are looking to expand their reading collection. It certainly introduced me to some new authors and looking forward to reading more of their work. Each one is only a few chapters long — some executed in creating world-building, character growth, and a hearty storyline within that short amount of time more than others. There’s a couple of which I wished were a little longer. But all in all a great collection. For a limited time only and I would take the opportunity to grab it whilst it’s available (and all proceeds are going to a good cause)!
OVERALL RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the participating authors and Social Butterfly PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! ❤
A romance anthology with over THIRTY original, never-before-seen stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. Each piece was written for this anthology to benefit firefighters and wildlife in Australia. AUSTRALIA is only available for a limited time, so one-click your copy before it’s gone.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Penny Reid, Meredith Wild, Carly Phillips, Sierra Simone, Emma Scott, Susan Stoker, Kennedy Ryan, Willow Aster, Skye Warren, Kylie Scott, Aleatha Romig, Willow Winters, AL Jackson, Julia Kent, Rebecca Yarros, Nana Malone, Giana Darling, Emma Hart, Chelle Bliss, Noelle Adams, A. Zavarelli, Jenika Snow, Dylan Allen, Kayti McGee, Robin Covington, Mary Catherine Gebhard, Melanie Moreland, Parker S. Huntington, Nana Malone, Jewel E. Ann, Annabel Joseph, Celia Aaron, Michelle Heard, Brighton Walsh, Tamsen Parker, Pam Godwin, Kayti McGee
All royalties from this project will be donated to relief funds in Australia, with 50% going to a firefighter charity and 50% going to a wildlife charity. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.
• MY REVIEW •
This review is for The Date Arrangement by A. Zavarelli only!
First off, as an Aussie, I want to say how incredibly kind-hearted and thoughtful these amazing group of authors are for thinking of Australia during the bushfire crisis that occurred the past summer, and for generously donating the proceeds from this anthology to charities.
I may be a little late in reading this anthology (as it’s been sitting in my kindle since last year), I figured one year late and with Australia Day here, it’s no better time to crack it open.
This review is for one of my all time favourite romance authors: A. Zavarelli. Her story The Date Arrangement was the one I wanted to read the most out of the collection… hence this review now.
Let’s get down to the most important detail, shall we? Did I like it?
Yes. Yes I did! 😁
I’ve read a few of Zavarelli’s novellas and short stories in the past and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. She has a knack for getting you to feel and connect with her characters in such a short time frame.
This story was no different. It’s technically insta-love romance but Zavarelli effortlessly writes it in a way where you get some world-building, character backstory, and a budding relationship between our hero/ heroine before they hook up.
The Date Arrangement is about Daxon, an Aussie bloke who runs his family’s successful winery. Willow is hired to be Daxon’s date for an event at his estate celebrating his winery. She’s an American actress backpacking across Australia, and whilst this isn’t in her usual job description, she figures why not? She could use the money. It’s just one date. Nothing to it, right? Only, when she turns up to the event to meet Daxton, things are not exactly what they seem.
They’re both apprehensive at first but as they start conversing, they realize there’s a sense of comfort between them. I appreciate the fact that before they took a chance at anything romantic, they got to know each other a little first. It gives this novella some substance. It’s a big reason as to why I enjoy Zavarelli’s short stories as I do her full-length novels. It’s never fluff and you find yourself easily connecting with said characters and investing in their developing relationship.
They’re both instantly attracted to one another but there’s also a subtle but obvious click between the two when they’re talking. The chemistry only gets zingier from there. Both Dax and Willow give you an insight to their upbringing and their lives now. Their conversation felt very organic and realistic.. and if I may say so, had pretty good first date vibes!
It solely focuses on our lead characters, but there’s a few secondary characters that give this story some dimension. The addition of Dax’s grandfather displays his family upbringing, and his two best mates add the Aussie vibe into the mix.
“I’m Dave. This is Bazza. We’re Daxo’s mates.”
Zavarelli did a relatively good job at getting her Aussie slang down pat. I even snort-laughed at the nicknames of her characters. It couldn’t get more Australian with a name like Bazza! LOL.
It’s a cute character-driven romance. A little predictable in the end but who cares? Although, I would’ve loved another paragraph or two just so the ending didn’t feel as rushed as the rest of the story. But overall, it’s a great in-between read and I was left in a happy sigh!
Zavarelli’s contemporary romances are just as gripping as her dark romances, and if you’re a fan, this one is not to be missed!
🔔 Interested in reading the Australia anthology? Grab the paperback here: Amazon
A safe and peaceful Australia Day to my fellow Aussies.
Happy reading to all, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo
F o r b i d d e n D e l i g h t s by Cora Reilly A Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles Short Story
Stella is a forbidden fruit Mauro isn’t allowed to taste.
Not only because she isn’t promised to him, but also because she’s his step-sister.
She used to be his annoying shadow, the little girl he needed to protect and babysit. Now she’s all grown-up and he can’t stop noticing. Being locked into a panic room with her might be the ultimate test for his self-control…
Mauro has always been Stella’s protector and ally, until she starts to see him as more. Afraid of his reaction, she hides her attraction. But can she keep doing so when they’re trapped in a small room all alone?
— MY REVIEW —
I love my mafia romances. And more specifically I love Cora Reilly’s mafia romances. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read her novella that was included in the Love in Lockdown romance anthology. 😊
But let me ask you this…
Have you ever felt a little creeped out or iffy about romances that centers around step or foster siblings — thinking it’s a little too close to incest despite the fact that they’re technically not blood related… but still, you know… weird?
Haha. No? Just me then? 😅 It’s why I usually steer clear of any romance reads with this trope. I’ve read some pretty disturbing ones in the past and it’s a big reason as to why it’ll never be one of the tropes I look for.
So, reading the blurb for Forbidden Delights, I had my doubts. But you know what? I really shouldn’t have doubted Cora or her writing talents because any concerns I had about a step-sibling romance went right out the window. What I saw between Mauro and Stella is yes, a familial affection from having grown up together but it also goes deeper than that. It also displayed blossoming young love between two people who truly care about one other. No weird factor present! Yay!
“The mafia world was built on rules. Rules never to be broken.”
“One of those rules was not to desire a girl that wasn’t promised to you…”
This a forbidden/ secret romance set in a dark mafia world, but their story is full of warmth and lightness. As much as I love a good, gritty mafia romance, having the mafia side of things be in the backdrop to their increasing closeness was refreshing. Sometimes you just need a love story with less drama. 😉 I enjoyed reading their points of view and seeing Stella and Mauro try and navigate through their feelings. It’s adorable seeing their thoughts mirror each other but in fear of their relationship changing for the worse or their feelings not being reciprocated, they keep it to themselves.
*whispers* The bed scenes are a highlight. I could not stop giggling! 🤭🤭
So little time to tell their story, yet it packed a punch full of chemistry, heart and hope! Being trapped alone certainly gave this story suspense.
How much are they willing to risk?
How far will they go?
Will they get caught? *dum dum duuuum!*
“You look as if you got a jail sentence. Is it really so bad to stay with me?”
I can’t say anything bad about either one of these characters because they’re both likable. Stella’s a teenager, and whilst she’s been shied away from the mafia side of their family, she has a maturity about her and knows the seriousness of the business. (Although seeing her crushing on Mauro is totally teen-like… and quite understandable). 😜 Mauro’s character screams thoughtful and protective from beginning to end. I swooned over the fact that he always considered Stella and her feelings first. Ladies, he’s a gentleman. *fans self*
This was a relatively short story (even for a novella) but Cora has managed to add in world-building — even if you’re not familiar with her Mafia world, it’s described in this novella well enough for you to get a gist of the importance of both Stella’s step-father and Mauro’s positions in the business and the dangers of being involved in it. You also get a good sense of her family dynamics and the type of relationship she has with her mother.
I like the idea of Mauro and Stella against the world (or in this case, against their family and “the rules”). Their bond is evident and relatable. They share lighthearted banter here and there, but mostly reminiscing over sweet memories of their childhood. They have a very close relationship, developing from brother and sister to something more… but thank fuck it didn’t come off as disturbing or nauseating. Lol.
Ugh. This was too good to pass up. But too short of a story! 😭 I only hope this isn’t the last time we hear of Mauro and Stella. And I hope that if we do see them in future books that they get the ultimate happily ever after! 🙏
Highly recommended for Cora Reilly fans that want more of her mafia world. Don’t sit on this one if you already have a copy of Love in Lockdown, but have yet to read any of it.
Side note: While Forbidden Delights is part of Cora Reilly’s mafia world, it doesn’t affect or directly connect to any of the storylines with her Born In Blood series. This can be read on it’s own.
L o v e I n L o c k d o w n — ( C h a r i t y A n t h o l o g y )
A state of isolation, close proximity, or confinement.
Join fourteen bestselling authors as they distract YOU from lockdown with this collection of all-new short and steamy stories.
There’s no escaping… love is catching.
Pre-order this upcoming charity anthology and help raise much needed funds for families struggling on hard times due to the coronavirus.
Each author has rustled up a new steamy story especially for this anthology to raise as much money as possible. All the profits will be split between two charities, one in US and one in UK, who are working hard to provide families with food during these challenging times.