I’ll Be Your Wolf by Darcy Rose

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

As a lone wolf, I’ve been out on my own for a long time.
I keep my distance from humans and stay hidden in the woods, making sure I never get too close.

Until the day I find her lying on the forest floor, beaten, broken, alone.
I never expected my mate to be a human, or so beautiful. Everything about her makes me want to mark her and claim her as mine. But I can’t, I won’t. Not yet.

Things get worse when she tries to escape, and the wolf in me breaks free, revealing the beast beneath. My mate can run, but she can never hide.

This is a short and steamy novella including dark elements. Story ends in a HEA.

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• MY REVIEW •

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As the blurb mentions, this was a short dark romance story. What it doesn’t mention is it contains serious subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as kidnapping, sexual abuse (including non-consensual sex), and violence.

I have not read anything by Darcy Rose before. It was the blurb (along with the pretty cover) that had me intrigued with wanting to read this story. But I’m not going to lie, after having read it, there were a lot things I hadn’t expected from the storyline that ultimately made me rate this book the way I did.

Both the main characters; Emma and Cole were likable on some level but a lot of their mindset and reasoning behind their actions didn’t quite make sense or was just off-putting for my taste. I get that this is a fated mates romance but Cole’s human mentality wavered on several occasions throughout that had me cringing. Same went for Emma. There were moments when I thought her feelings were relatable and authentic for the ordeal she’s been forced into but then out of nowhere her actions would contradict it and she’d be okay with what was happening. 🤔

I’ve read plenty of romance novellas but despite their short length still managed to create world-building, set a gripping atmosphere, a flowing storyline, and gradual character growth. Unfortunately I’ll Be Your Wolf fell a little short in my opinion in all those elements. It had a good start, getting you a little curious about Emma and her life— even Emma’s and Cole’s first encounter was interesting… but it quickly headed in a direction I just wasn’t feeling.

I don’t mind captor/ captive romance storylines. I can believe the heroine when she starts developing feelings for her captor without it seeming like a case of Stockholm Syndrome. I think it has a lot to do with how well the author has developed her characters and their journey. In this case, it was difficult to believe any in-depth feelings between Emma and Cole because there wasn’t enough development in their relationship. It didn’t come off genuine despite them being mates.

The overall storytelling was choppy that I had a hard time really sinking into the story and connecting with it all. I do still like the overall premise of it— the push and pull of being in a situation where you’re stuck with a stranger that you never would’ve guessed to be your destined mate. It’s told from dual POVs so I at least was able to get an insight to both Emma’s and Cole’s (along with his wolf’s) thoughts about the situation they both found themselves in with one another.

Emma’s personal story is shared relatively early but I thought Cole’s was delved into a little late, so by the end it all seemed to wrap-up a little too abruptly. Putting the storyline aside there is a lot of lust and steamy scenes, and plenty of chasing. If you’re not too fussed with story development and enjoy an occasional bit of smut/ erotica, then this dark little shifter novella might be right up your alley.

You get a good chunk of the wolf shifter elements in this novella, there’s no lacking in Cole shifting from human to wolf and back again, even seeing how Cole and his wolf co-exist. There were a couple of attention-grabbing moments between Emma and Cole that kept me reading to see where their twisted affair would lead to.

Overall, I thought it was an okay read. Some pros and cons. I do enjoy shifter/ fated-mates type romance stories, but I just wasn’t fond of how this particular story played out (especially with all the non-consensual acts included). Not a bad read, it just didn’t end up being my cup of tea. And it hasn’t put me off from possibly reading any more of Darcy Rose’s work in the future! 🙂

A story you can definitely read in one sitting. If you’re a fan of dark shifter romances and have no issues with triggering content, you might like this one.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank to Darcy Rose and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading I’ll Be You Wolf? Grab your copy here: Amazon


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

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Unholy Union by Natasha Knight

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

Circumstance put Cristina on my path.

Fate bound her to me.

Cristina and I share a common past. A single night that changed the course of our lives.

She asked me if I was a monster the night I met her.

I am.

She’s about to learn I’m her monster.

Because the countdown that began eight years ago has ended. Her time is up.

On the stroke of midnight, she’s mine.

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— MY REVIEW —

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Unholy Union is without a doubt… *singsong voice* AAAMAZING!!! 🙌🙌

It picks up straight from the ending of the prologue (Unholy: The Beginning), which by the way if you haven’t read yet, then I certainly urge you to. It’s free on Amazon (links down below). Unholy Union is set in the present day, eight years since Damian and Cristina first encountered each other. Eight years since a tragedy that changed both their lives forever… and the reason why they’re meeting again.

I could not get enough of this story. I loved the prologue, it completely captured my attention, that I knew without a doubt that I would love Unholy Union just as much. There was so much mystery and questions surrounding them that I couldn’t read this book fast enough. If you adore possessive, murderous alphas who tend to have a soft spot for their prey, then friend, this is the book for you! 🤭

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The story flowed effortlessly. Not a single bit of it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat. From the dangers that lurked at every corner, to the secondary characters that seem to have their own agenda, to the electrifying connection our protagonists have every time they’re in close vicinity. Suspense. Suspense. Suspense.

There’s also drama. Lots of DRAMA!

They go hand-in-hand with this story, and it’s one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed it. The world-building is phenomenal. Knight has created such a dark aura that cascaded in and around her characters, and it just kept building from there. They are twisted, damaged, and scarred in more ways than one.

Damian is a bit of an enigma. I couldn’t completely figure him out but the fact that he’s a complex character, makes his fascinating story just one of the reasons why this book was a worthy read. The haunted characters do seem to have the most interesting stories to share. I swooned over his possessiveness because it’s really more like over-protectiveness… layered with assholery to try and hide the obvious… that Cristina gets under his skin.

Cristina is definitely one I’m looking forward to seeing develop to her full potential in the next book. You get an idea of her personality, and after having met Damian again and finding out that she’s bound to him, you start seeing glimpses of the type of person she is. Regardless of her youth, she’s already quite a strong character. I’m not a fan of heroines who are doormats that can’t form a thought of their own. Thank the book gods that Cristina (despite the situation she’s been forced into), was written to have some sense, alert, and most importantly to be a fighter.

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It may be dark romance, but it has such a feel good quality about it. Pleasure read at its best. There’s consistent build-up all throughout, with something sinister always popping up that’ll keep your eyes glued to the pages. With a detailed fictional world such as this, it’s obvious that Knight has put time, effort and wicked imagination into it. It’s quality work. The backstory, the motive behind the characters’ decisions, the entire atmosphere set from start to finish. Add in secondary characters — all with their own schemes, and you’ve got a multifaceted world.

Not to mention the romance portion of this book. The sexual tension between Damian and Cristina is teasingly slow but thankfully not too painful. It’s just enough to keep you on tender hooks. I love the push and pull. I love their banter. I love that they can both come undone by the other but will never admit to it. I’m giddy just thinking about how perfectly matched they are.

You will absolutely LOVE Damian Di Santo. He may be an asshole 99% of the time but he knows how to charm his way into your good graces. Cristina definitely has a dilemma on her hands! 😈

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This is book one of a duet, so yes, it does end on a cliffhanger.. *whispers* a reaaaally gasp-filled cliffhanger! 🙊 I’m not gonna deny that I’m itching for book two, but I’m looking on the bright side, there’s not much of a big wait for Unholy Intent. So the wait is doable! 💪

It had so many of the elements I love seeing in my romance reads. A strong story line that actually leads to something. Relatively well paced. Hate to love romance trope. Consists of both character growth and a developing relationship. Some intrigue and unpredictability. And lastly, it left a cracker of a lasting impression! Overall, would I recommend this book? Yes. Yes, I absolutely would.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Thank you to Natasha Knight and to Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

Interested in Unholy Union? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books

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🎁 Read the prologue Unholy: The Beginning. Grab your FREE copy now!

Amazon US  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK |  Amazon AU

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Read my review for Unholy: The Beginning now!

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📖 Unholy: The Beginning by Natasha Knight


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Make sure to add this one to your TBR if you love a good dark romance! Catch you in my next one. Xo

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Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

Every royal has their dirty little secret. His was… me.

It should have been simple.

Go to the ball, meet the prince, and secure his patronage for my favorite charity.

But beneath the mask, the brooding beast of a man was not at all who I expected.

He was dark and intense and eerily quiet.

When I left, I could still feel the ghost of his touch branded into my skin.

He haunted my dreams, but I never expected to see him again.

Then he came for me.

And he took me.

And I learned that his darkness was a void I never could have conceived.

He’s the crown prince of Norway.

And, now, I’m his captive.

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— MY REVIEW —

I’m always up for a good fairy tale retelling (the darker the better) and this one did not disappoint! I love that Zavarelli used the Cinderella fairy tale to start her story off but you’ll come to find fairly early on that it turns into a completely new story on it’s own.

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I was getting a mixture of Ever After and Cinderella (live action), and Cenerentola (Italian version of Cinderella) vibes in this one, which I was loving BTW.

⚠ But before I go any further, I can’t stress enough that this is a full-blown adult adaptation of Cinderella. Definitely not for any reader under 18+ years of age. There’s some serious subjects matters included in the plot that may trigger some readers — violence, physical and sexual abuse, suicide and drugs. This book also contains minor BDSM.

I tend to steer clear of books that contain any sort of BDSM (just not my type of reads) but if you’re familiar with Zavarelli then you know she already has a couple of books with very minor amounts of it. So, in my case I already had a sense of what to expect when scenarios started going towards that direction. Zavarelli’s is minimal, it doesn’t cross the line to the heavy, bold, detailed BDSM like some other books.

So, if you’re a similar reader to me in regards to this type of content, then I’d like to assure you it doesn’t take anything away from the characters or the storyline. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s minor and it’s only one element of the story, not the centre of it 🙂

Now–regarding the storyline.. I thought it flowed really well. Zavarelli did a fantastic job of setting the scene and atmosphere of the book. I was already on the edge of my seat from the second Ella and Thorsen first set eyes on each other due to the fact the she’s already given us a good idea of what the leads’ personalities and attitudes are like from the start.

“There was something different about her, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. She smelled like sunshine and wildflowers. Freedom.”

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“When I looked into her eyes, I found myself getting lost there.”

There’s a case of mistaken identity and a smidge of hate to love romance in this one (which I always thought was one of the more juicier romance tropes) 😉 Cinderella is my favourite fairy tale ever since I was little. Now as an adult, fairy tales are still something I love to read (and watch), only difference is that the grittier versions are now my preference. This one ticked a lot of the boxes!

Ella and Thorsen are opposites who find common ground the further their relationship develops. Thorsen was already intrigued by her and despite his rude first impression towards Ella, she can’t deny her attraction to him either.

Stealing Cinderella is definitely one unique story. You still get the evil stepmother and sisters (oh boy, do you ever), the Prince (although you’ll never confuse this one with the Disney version), and that big, momentous ball scene! 👠

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But don’t get too comfortable because once midnight hits, this Cinderella takes on an unexpected turn you won’t see coming at all. There’s secrecy, betrayal, a lot of shocking moments and all-around heartbreak. I couldn’t stop the tears with this one. But then again should I even be surprised by that outcome when it comes to Zavarelli’s books? Uhhhhh no.

You’ll see some new secondary characters in this one that I think was a refreshing addition, taking this fairy tale to another level. The Prince here is not your typical charming royalty. You may even hate the jerk before you love him. He’s broken, and it shows! This rendition equally tells of the Prince’s story as much as Cinderella (or in this case, Ella’s) — with alternating POVs.

If I had to make a critique, I would’ve liked more details for certain things mentioned or discussed in the book. It didn’t delve deep enough, so any attempt at connecting with those scenes lacked a little for my liking. But overall, still a well-thoughtout story.

As warned at the beginning, this book delves into certain sensitive subjects that may trigger some readers. As the characters stories start unraveling bit by bit, you start to piece together their secrets.. not going to lie–it’s a difficult pill to swallow. But once you wrap you head around it, you cannot not know what happens next. It’s haunting, disturbing… and yes, sickening but it makes this story so much more than a simple fairy tale romance. The characters are well-developed, showing you how they’ve come to be the way they are now in this present time.

There’s a nice balance of light and dark within the storyline, which in my opinion is what makes Stealing Cinderella heart-breaking. There’s so much viciousness in it that when you get a little bit of goodness come through in some parts, you can’t help but release a breath you didn’t even realize you were holding onto.

“… You have to promise me that you’ll keep fighting. Even on your darkest days. Promise me…”           

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Putting the romance aside, this book also focuses a lot on family, the different dynamics, and the effects of how you treat others. The secondary characters really do play a big role in both Ella and Thorsen’s lives. You’ll see they hold a lot of power and influence. It shows how much a good support system can help one overcome a lot of hard and difficulties times.

Despite the darkness, Stealing Cinderella is also full of love, hope and healing.

And finally– set in modern day Europe, the backdrop will have you in wanderlust! 😍 I completely recommend this read! If enjoy dark romance, this is for you. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, this is for you. It’s a standalone and includes a HEA!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to A. Zavarelli, Candi Kane PR and Enticing Journey Book Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


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Hope you guys are all well. Happy reading! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

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— SYNOPSIS —

Once upon a time, a demon who desired earthly domination fathered an army of dark daughters to help him corrupt humanity . . .

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, perpetually falling leaves and hungry ivy, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four girls, half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

So, they have thirty-three days to discover who they truly are and what they can truly do, before they must fight to save themselves and those they love.

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— MY REVIEW —

The Sisters Grimm centers around four girls: Goldie, Bea, Liyana and Scarlet. They all have the ability to travel to Everwhere, and each have distinct powers that coincides with elements— e.g. earth, air, fire and  water. But over time they forget ever having possession of these gifts and by the time they’re all thirteen, not only have they lost their abilities, they can no longer remember how to travel to the magical world either.

Whilst all the girls are now seemingly living mundane lives, there are boys who have been trained as soldiers all their lives. And they’re coming out of the woodwork with the aim of hunting down and killing these girls by their 18th birthdays.. unless the girls accept evil fates.

Each girl in this book has their own quirks, traits and attitudes. But right off the bat, Goldie was the character I was instantly drawn to since the first page she was introduced in. And the further her story developed the more I realised the reason why I was drawn to her was because we are similar in a lot ways— (in personality, mannerisms, and at times the life situations).

These girls all have haunting stories. Some I found disturbing to a point. They were put in situations that they were forced into, or didn’t have the means to get out of it themselves. It’s saddening, and there were moments whilst I was reading their stories unravel that I was surprisingly taken aback by what I was actually reading.

There are multiple POVs in this book. Whilst I usually love that type of format— I have to admit there was just too many in this one that I found it a little overwhelming at times. I initially had to jot down each characters name and a short description of them on a post-it just so I could keep track of whose POV I was reading at the time.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it took a little while for me to sink into this fantasy. Whilst the world-building is exceptionally imaginative, detailed, and unique— I couldn’t get a grasp of it like I wanted to from the get-go because the beginning read as if it was already in the middle of the story. If that make sense. I was like Alice down the rabbit hole. The story also goes back and forth from past to present.

Alice_RabbitHoleIt’s almost as if I’m expected to have already known about Everwhere, and the key these young ladies play in it. It isn’t until you start getting further and further along into each of their lives does it start revealing what that world entails. There’s no doubt about it.. it’s complex.

One of the things I enjoyed and looked forward to throughout the book was Leo’s (one of the soldiers) POV because it was a refreshing break from the girls, and in my opinion a much needed contrast.

You just have to get past the initial hiccup at the beginning because the second half really gets action-packed once all is revealed and the girls come together. *Avengers Assemble!* 😛 But seriously.. It becomes fast-paced, effortless— and truly a fascinating read.   

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This story really highlights girl power, one’s fighting spirit, and sisterhood, wrapped up in a somewhat dark YA fantasy storyline.

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/ 5

Thank you to Menna van Praag, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press, and Papercharm Book Marketing for the ARC in exchange for my honest review! 🙂

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TheSistersGrimm_Cover2If you like reading all things inspired by fairy tales and retellings, give this one a crack!

The Sisters Grimm releasing February 6, 2020

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Hope this was another helpful and interesting review for you. As always, catch you in my next one. Happy reading, guys! Xo