Marcella gave Maddox the impossible choice, and he chose her.
Still, she wonders if Maddox is ready to commit to a relationship, or if he’s scared of losing the uninhibited freedom his biker lifestyle offered him.
All his life Maddox knew who his enemies were, but suddenly he’s at a loss whom to trust. Will he ever find a place in Marcella’s life and family, or will old companions give him a new home and purpose?
Can enemies ever truly become lovers if the odds are against them?
CoraReilly is the author of the Born in Blood Mafia Series, The Camorra Chronicles and many other books, most of them featuring dangerously sexy bad boys. Before she found her passion in romance books, she was a traditionally published author of young adult literature.
Cora lives in Germany with a cute but crazy Bearded Collie, as well as the cute but crazy man at her side. When she doesn’t spend her days dreaming up sexy books, she plans her next travel adventure or cooks too spicy dishes from all over the world.
Join CoraReilly’s Facebook Group! Cora always post the latest news, teasers, and book covers in that group first! Lots of fun to be had with tons of bonus surprises!
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Giana Darling is a USA Today Bestselling Selling Canadian romance writer who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently lives in beautiful British Columbia where she spends time riding on the back of her man’s bike, baking pies, and reading snuggled up with her cat Persephone.
She loves to hear from readers so please contact her at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.
He arrives all dressed in black. Diamond cufflinks. A watch on his tanned wrist that cost more than we would ever see in a lifetime of work. He carries a single red rose for my mother.
Months later, Tiernan Morelli lays red roses on my mother’s grave. That same day, he tells me that he is my new guardian.
I should have known from the very start that he had more in common with the thorns than the rose. Now I know the truth: I’m a pawn in his dangerous game of revenge. I was too young and naïve. Now it’s too late to save myself from his clutches.
I belong to him.
• MY REVIEW •
When it comes to Bianca’s and Tiernan’s story, I am officially no longer on the fence! The prologue novella Bad Dream left me emotionally up in the air but after having read Dangerous Temptation, I can without a doubt say, “Okay, Giana, you’ve won me over!” 😄
This book had sex, suspense, intrigue, and corruption all weaved together. The further the story progresses, the more twisted it seems. As they toe the line between right and wrong, good and bad, it not only questions the protagonists’ morals but will have you questioning your own because as much as what is developing between them is all kinds of wrong, it’s also intensely gripping to see play out! 🔥😈
Dangerous Temptation was an intricately well-written storyline. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time constantly wondering where it was heading and how Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship would evolve from what was demonstrated in the prologue.
I was apprehensive at first with the distinct age gap— Bianca being seventeen (aka considered a minor), and a thirty year old Tiernan (who not only is Bianca’s love interest but is also the guardian of both her and her younger brother), but as we steadily get to know more about these protagonists, the lives they’ve lived, and once a particular dynamic settled between them, the issue with their ages gradually faded into the background. Yes, there are times that their ages/ mentality peeks out again and blares the obvious differences, but as this story had a handful of ongoing developments, with secondary storylines, diverse range of characters, and unique relationships you no longer focus on the matter of age gaps as much. Especially since Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship is far more complex than meets the eye.
If you love alpha-holes, add Tiernan to your “one to watch” list! *waggles eyebrows* Bianca can be passionate about certain things. Her youthful personality often exhibits a mixture of bratty teenager, rebelliousness, and naivety. But both protagonists will surprise you when you least expect it.
There are quite a few romance tropes at play in this story— billionaire romance, enemies-to-lovers, taboo romance… and a touch of erotica. But they all worked well together in creating quite a sexual build-up between Bianca and Tiernan.
This story provided lots of splendid little surprises throughout that honestly left me smiling, giggling, and/or talking to myself (or rather the book) asking, “Why, oh why!?”
You can easily guess the direction the story is heading, but concentrating on the moments (the here and now, if you will) I love the unpredictability of it all, and since Giana is a relatively new-to-me author, I think Dangerous Temptation is a nice introduction to her writing. The storytelling is vivid and well-paced, and transports you to these characters’ surroundings. I was invested in not only Bianca’s and Tiernan’s tumultuous relationship but those in Tiernan’s inner circle— his eclectic band of brothers won my heart over instantly! I’ve mentioned wanting to know more about Ezra after his introduction in Bad Dream, and I was ecstatic to find that my wish has been granted… and I think I may just love him even more now! ❤😍
I love the diversity of the secondary characters whether they are friend or foe, they elevated the atmosphere and overall world-building of the story. Besides the intense romantic relationship, the dynamic amongst the characters in Tiernan’s circle was my favourite feature in this story. I found it unexpectedly heartwarming and added lightheartedness in between the heated moments. There’s a genuine likability and relatability with these secondary characters, and I love the fact that they played such essential and momentous roles.
The underlying reasons behind the chain of events that occur in this storyline are based on old rivalries, vengeance, and pure hatred, but it also strongly centres around familial bonds and unusual upbringings.
The more I progressed through this book the more it grew on me and the characters lingered in my mind. In a short amount of time, you see quite a transformation in both Bianca’s and Tiernan’s characters that ultimately alters the initial plans. It ended on a nail-biting conclusion that will have you needing the next book immediately. With the introduction of Bianca Belcante and Tiernan Morelli, Dangerous Temptation is a fascinating expansion to the Morellis and Constantines, and an engaging addition to the overall world of the Midnight Dynasty.
Thank you Giana Darling and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛
Rocker Charlotte Justice longs to escape her hectic life. Her estranged twin sister, Scarlett, owns Badlands, a biker bar outside Vegas, and has always wanted a chance at the limelight she feels was stolen from her.
On a whim, they decide to switch places like they did when they were kids.
What harm could it do?
Charlotte had no idea that the escape she planned would leave her on the receiving end of creepy texts, phone calls and “gifts” left at her door. Flying blind in her new role, pretending to be someone she’s not, Charlotte learns more about her secretive sister than she ever imagined.
On top of all of that, she’s doing everything she can to escape the sexy-as-sin MC President demanding she pay back the debt she owes him–that or sell him the bar.
Could the person stalking her also be the President of the Evil Dead MC’s Las Vegas Chapter? An alpha male who’s come-on to her in a won’t-take-no-for-an-answer kind of way that has her wondering just how badly she wants to say no.
Does he want Badlands badly enough to scare her into selling out?
Or is he the only one who can save her from a madman?
Charlotte will have to solve the mystery if she’s going to save the bar, and possibly her very life.
• MY REVIEW •
“For a girl like you, I’m willin’ to put in the effort.”
I’m flailing my arms in excitement and in desperation of the next book! Eeeep! Nicole James has smashed it again! See, this is why she is an auto-buy author of mine. She never fails at keeping her readers engaged with her stories and invested in her characters— and this little reader right here was hooked from the second Charlotte and her twin sister Scarlett started swapping clothes and spontaneously decided to temporarily trade lives!
Nicole has plenty of books under her belt and all the ones I’ve read so far have had some pretty amazing storylines. This one stood out with its intriguing premise. It’s a trading places storyline weaved into a light MC romance. It has a more contemporary romance feel in comparison to Nicole’s other MC romance books. With its small town setting, the world-building heavily revolves around the protagonists, Charlotte and Daytona. There was an immediate connection between the two that automatically had me sitting up in attention. Despite some serious tension and danger in the air, the story still had an overall light atmosphere to it.
Similarly to Nicole’s other books, this one had plenty of heated banter between its hero and heroine, alongside some lighthearted comic-relief ribbing courtesy of the secondary characters— who so happens to be the brothers from the bright and shiny new Evil Dead MC Las Vegas Chapter! 😍😍
If you’ve read her Evil Dead MC series, then the introduction of a brand, spankin’ new Chapter would make your eyes pop-out-of-its-socket giddy! It practically means new blood, and I for one, am all for it!
Daytona is the President of this chapter but right off the bat I discovered he’s different from the other Evil Dead MC Chapter Presidents. He may be a badass alpha biker, but he’s openly affectionate, straightforward, and doesn’t play games. He knows what he wants, and it’s evident when he first lays eyes on Charlotte.
Charlotte is rightfully skeptical of Daytona and his motives, especially considering she’s currently living life as her sister. I would’ve loved to have seen more character development from both (especially Charlotte) but with how the story played out and especially how this book concluded, I’m hoping there’s a lot more to reveal in the next book.
The story is told from first person, dual points of view, and progressed in a relatively fast-pacing. There’s a lot of things happening that’ll keep you on your toes. It’s insta-romance with a layer of crime thriller added. There’s lots of suspense and second-guessing that it was hard to predict where the story would lead.
Please note, there are certain sensitive subject matters within the story that may be triggering for some readers. Besides the mature sexual content, it also contains violence, stalking, and kidnapping. This book is for mature audiences 18+ only.
The romance elements are swoony and had just the perfect amount of sweetness. It might have been on the insta-love side as far as romantic relationships go but it wasn’t at all unconvincing. They may have gotten together relatively quickly but there’s genuine interest in getting to know each other in more depth. You get Daytona’s backstory and an understanding of his mentality and how he lives his life. And with the arrival of this new Evil Dead MC Chapter, I was instantly curious about all the new club members who were introduced right alongside Daytona in this book. They may have only had minor roles in this story but they definitely made quite an impression! 😊
It’s a relatively shorter full-length novel but it was jam-packed full of detail and dimension, and the story didn’t stray away from its initial narrative. Nicole created a vivid world that I was effortlessly transported to. These characters go through a whirlwind of emotions and a rollercoaster of drama that you can’t help but sympathize. Even though this is fictional and some of the plots are dramatized, the situations that Charlotte and Daytona find themselves in are real-life, relatable experiences. Their lives are complex and their feelings are understandable and seem realistic.
Overall, I found it to be a hearty story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. There was constant buzz and build-up throughout that it was hard not to be gripped by it all. I was truly bummed to see it end and knowing I’d have to wait a little while for the release of book two. It ends on a cliffhanger but I’m relieved to see it concluded in a way where this particular part of Charlotte’s and Daytona’s story was somewhat settled…? Their relationship may be up in the air for the time being but the cat’s outta the bag and now we’ll just have to see how it all plays out from there. *dun dun duuuuun* Eeep.
If you enjoy reading about alpha heroes who have a gentlemanly side to them, and fiery heroines with backbone, then I recommend you give this one a try.
Definitely a must read for any Nicole James fan. I think this story is a great introduction for romance readers wanting to try MC romance books— whilst it certainly contains MC romance elements, it’s not completely MC heavy. It’s also technically an age-gap romance but it’s hardly noticeable, in my opinion.
I’m obsessed with Laila Fitzgerald. There, I finally admitted it. I’ve tried not to want her. I tried to step aside when my best friend said he wanted her. But it’s proved impossible. She’s too gorgeous and talented, too charismatic and badass, for me not to want her for myself.
Unfortunately, though, karma’s a bitch. In trying to do the right thing by my best friend, I’ve done the wrong thing by myself. I’ve pushed her away every chance I’ve had. Dug way too deep a hole to crawl out of . . . And now, Laila downright hates my guts. And rightly so.
But since we’re stuck together, yet again—and, this time, even more closely—I’ve decided nothing will stop me from getting what I want. This time, I’m going to figure out a way to coax Laila into falling out of hate with me . . .
• MY REVIEW •
👏👏👏 Oh my savage. I loved it! A solid conclusion to The Hate-Love Duet! Just like the first book, I was enamored with Laila and Savage, and seeing the next developments between them.
The first book focused on Laila’s and Savage’s puzzling merry-go-round of emotions for one another whilst navigating through music tours, media interviews, and building connections with other artists. This book focuses on the whirlwind of changes that has occurred in the short amount of time since they first met and toured together. You’ll see the inner workings of the industry, new music ventures, and more drama whilst juggling their personal and public images.
I know it’s still considered early days but who cares?! I’m calling it… This duet is one of my favourite reads of 2021! I honestly wasn’t expecting to fall in love with a rock star romance story as I don’t usually gravitate towards that romance sub-genre. But Rowe has captured my attention with the world she has created and the complex but lovable characters she’s introduced to readers. I highly recommend it! It’s a journey full of highs and lows but throughout it all you’ll get invested in seeing how things will play out. I might’ve gotten annoyed with Laila on a number of occasions throughout reading this book 😅 but Savage was right there to break my annoyance by (eerily) mirroring my exact thoughts… resulting me doing great big “boo-yahs!” 🙌🙌 What’s that saying? Great minds think alike. Lol.
I went through an emotional roller coaster. This book gave me all the feels. I went from giggling to being annoyed, to blubbering (and needing x amount of tissues), to happy sighing.
One thing that was rock solid was my love for Adrian Savage. He’s perfectly imperfect. His flaws and acknowledgement of them is what makes him a redeemable, heart-thumping character. His emotions leaped off the pages and couldn’t help but rub off on you. He’s such an authentic character and despite his high-profile image, his quite relatable. I love the layers and the reasons behind his personality traits. He’s a “tortured artist” with cool rock star status— the more his story developed, the more you realize that behind that image is a troubled man in need of guidance.
My affection for Laila may have wavered here and there whilst reading this book, but I am still Team Laila! There wouldn’t be all the hilarious commentary and banter without her. 😉 She’s the type of character who I can picture being good friends with but can have disagreements at times (but that’s all friendships). She has some great qualities about her I respect. She’s loyal to a fault, she loves wholeheartedly, and when she’s not being overly dramatic, she’s down right bubbly and fun!
But despite my hang-ups with some of Laila’s actions in this book, I can’t deny I adored Savage and her together. Some of my favourite parts were them just hanging out getting to know one another. Their road isn’t an easy one, they go through a lot of insecurities, jealousy, and immaturity which resulted in setbacks in their relationship. But I found it all the more gripping to see how they overcome each concern.
The direction of the story took a turn from the first book and I admit the main plot was something I wasn’t expecting but it was intriguing. This is a work of fiction but if there’s truth to some of the situations that occurred, I actually wouldn’t be all that surprised but it’s refreshing to read about. The details included is what makes this story stand out. So many things were happening but every single one of them was wrapped up beautifully that by the end you’re not left wondering or asking questions. Rowe covered all her bases from Laila’s and Savage’s relationship, to their careers, to their personal issues, to everything! I legit can’t think of anything that I felt was left unfinished.
What I absolutely adored about this book (as well as in the first) is that Rowe went above and beyond in encompassing Laila’s and Savage’s world to the readers. There’s certain unique touches included — I won’t spoil what the extra content is for those wanting to read the duet but I’m not going to lie, it works so well when reading the ebook edition. 😉🤐
An overall vivid and progressive story of two people who started off on the wrong foot and only grew from there. From constant secrets, misunderstandings, and gameplaying, to one of second chances, realization, and a gradual development of a relationship. There’s no denying how much work and growth Laila and Savage go through, not only in their relationship but individually as well.
If you enjoy the following tropes in your romance reads, then I think you’ll enjoy this duet:
Rock star Romance
Hate to Love
It’s an exceptional love story— well-paced, and the dual points of view continued on from the first book. I love the friendships, the camaraderie amongst the characters, and without a doubt the music that accompanied their journey!
Thank you Lauren Rowe and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗
🔔 Interested in reading The Hate Love Duet? Grab your copy here:
I’ve tried to like Adrian Savage, the mercurial frontman for Fugitive Summer, while serving as his band’s opening act on tour. We’re stuck together for three months, after all. And I’m well aware I’m lucky to be here.
But it’s proved impossible. He’s far too rude and dismissive a guy to get along with. And way too good at getting under my skin. In fact, at this point, I think it’s fair to say I downright hate his guts.
Global thirst trap that he is, though, I’m finding it extremely difficult not to want to jump Savage’s bones, despite how much he infuriates me. I hate myself for it. But my body is going rogue on me. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m determined to resist him.
In fact, what I’ve decided is that, as long as I’m here and stuck with him, I’m not only going to give Savage the sound tongue lashing nobody else around here has the balls to deliver, I’m going to bring that bad boy to his knees.
• MY REVIEW •
Wow. Just wow. I honestly wasn’t expecting to get sucked into such a vivid world of rock stars, wild parties, and stereotypical groupies but I did… and hey! I could go again! 🙌 I can’t wait to get stuck into book two!
Lauren Rowe just showed me what I was missing out on with this book! I can’t believe I haven’t discovered her and her books earlier but with how much I enjoyed this one, I’m kinda chuffed it was my introduction to her work!
Right off the gate, you’re thrown into Laila’s and Savage’s world, schmoozing with celebrities and other artists in the music industry. Going in, there were a lot of details to get through, which at first I thought would be overwhelming, but once you start getting the feel of the atmosphere, the pacing, and start remembering who the secondary characters are by name the world kind of envelops you.
The blurb practically tells you this is a hate to love romance story and when you’re first introduced to Laila and Savage and see how their story starts, you quickly realize how it has become that situation… and I’m not going to lie I found their escalating banter mixed with their constant sexual frustration HILARIOUS! I’m talking belly-laugh funny! 😂🤣
I’m not going to give plotlines away (because duh, that would be a spoiler), it’s really one of those storylines you really have to experience for yourself. But just know it’s romance full of substance and feels!
And there’s no doubt about it, Laila and Savage have chemistry and spark. It can be difficult for that type of chemistry to leap off the pages and be believable but Rowe nailed it! I was constantly on the edge of my seat, all eyes on what would happen next between the two. I also adore the secondary characters that played a big part in making each situation, each scene all the more entertaining and intense.
This is what you can look forward to with this book:
A complex rock star hero
A sweet and sultry heroine
I admit I haven’t read much rock star romances in the past because I found the few I did read, the hero almost always was too arrogant, too cocky, and alpha in an off-putting way that did not make me swoon. But Savage is different. He does have the arrogance, and the cockiness, but it was in a jovial, good-natured way that you can’t help but smile at. It also helps that as the story progresses you get more and more insight to his personality and his life both in and out of the music industry. There were moments where you’ll find him to be the hot rock star that he is, but then there’ll be moments you see Savage turn that side of him off and he becomes so relatable and down to earth.
Laila on the other hand is a firecracker! Lol. I’ll admit my thoughts on her changed with each new situation. But overall, she’s still very personable. Laila is this up and coming young star who’s still a little starstruck herself. In my opinion her reactions and her somewhat immaturity to certain things felt authentic. She’s out there, a little childish at times but I’m considering it as just another layer in what makes her character.
Rowe has created some complex characters here. I love that they’re those more-than-meets-the-eye type of characters and the further I read, the more I was invested in seeing both their individual stories and where their unusual relationship was headed.
Such a fun, entertaining read set in a behind-the-scenes backdrop of the music biz with a cool, steady-paced storytelling and told from first person, dual points of view. Besides learning about our protagonists, you get snippets of the secondary characters as well. I gathered relatively quickly that these minor characters have their own stories, and despite not having read them (yet), I didn’t get the vibe that I was missing anything in regards to the relationships these characters have with one another. Rowe has amazingly provided enough backstory that it flows with Laila’s and Savage’s own, yet at the same time has you intrigued to want to check out their books next.
This is book one in The Hate-Love Duet but it doesn’t (thank the book gods) leave you in a painstakingly cruel cliffhanger. It actually concludes quite nicely — almost like finishing an episode of a really cool, addictive tv show that has a continuous storyline, and you’re just waiting for the next one to air. Luckily you guys won’t have to wait too long for book two!
Other than my own teensy issue with Laila’s attitude at times that I was not a fan of, this book was hard to fault! If you’re a fan of contemporary romance books with rock star heroes, or if you’re new to this sub-genre and looking for your next read, then I highly recommend you give this one a go.
It has a strong, detailed storyline, easy to follow, and doesn’t stray from its premise. The characters have unique personalities and will certainly hold your attention. There’s dimension and a great balance of romance, friendship, and musical elements within the story that makes it a genuine rock star, contemporary romance. There’s tons of funny moments throughout that keeps the overall atmosphere light-hearted.
There’s also a little surprise addition towards the end that I thought was an ingenious touch by Rowe that makes it all the more believable that these are singers you’re reading about. Falling Out of Hate With You is a winner in my books!
Thank you Lauren Rowe and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💚
Hope you enjoyed. Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo
I’m an assassin of the Bratva, raised and trained to be strong, to be a cold killer. But even I have a weakness, and Nero Verdi will regret using it against me. He’s my enemy, so why do I get such a thrill when his fingers wrap around my throat? Why am I addicted to the brutality of his touch?
They call her The Kiss of Death, and I have the one thing she wants above all else. She’s nothing more than a weapon, a ploy for power, and yet I find myself wanting to dance with death, to possess her. I crave the kiss of her blade just as much as her lips. And that might just get me killed.
A game of power. An obsession that would see the world burn at their feet. A bloodied king. A broken queen.
Kill me or kiss me?
• MY REVIEW •
“Bacio della morte”
Kiss of death. It’s what the Italians call me.
Fuck yes! 🙌🙌
L.P. Lovell as blown me away with the Kiss of Death duet! By far one of my favourite mafia romance stories to date! This is also my first book of Lovell’s and honestly, with how high a quality storytelling this one was… I will be sure to checkout out her backlist of books!
Kiss of Death was originally released as two separate books, but Lovell’s releasing this duet as one and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it (especially after reading the blurb). Did you guys read the blurb?! The heroine is a fucking Bratva Assassin!! Like c’mon, hot sauce!! 🔥
I’m always reading at least one mafia book a month and this one had all the makings of an addictive read that you would without a doubt come back to time and time again.
A strong plotline you can easily get invested in
Build-up and suspense
Plot twists and constant unpredictability
Chemistry between the hero/ heroine
Secondary characters that elevate an already exceptional story
So! If any of what I listed above appeals to your dark, romantic heart, then I think you’ll be happy with Una and Nero’s story. But I should mention whilst I was provided an ARC, as I mentioned earlier that the Kiss of Death duet has already been released as two separate books. Book one is Kill Me, and book two is Kiss Me. For the first time ever, Lovell has combined the two books into one (pictured above is the brand, spanking cover for it)! Buuuuuut… If you can’t wait for this release, go grab those books now! 😉
I’m the Capo of New York.
A beautiful woman with a homicidal streak has always been my weakness.
Ok. Let’s get down and dirty and start off with Nero Verdi…
I tell ya, I’ve read countless stories of Made Men and they’ve all been described as powerful, intimidating, not-to-be-fucked-with mobsters… but I have to say Nero is one of a few that I actually think fitted the bill. He exudes confidence and strength and not once did I not believe that when he sets his mind to something that he wouldn’t succeed. Because he bloody well does! 🩸🩸
Nero may not necessarily have a moral compass, but what’s better than a twisted, bastard of a mobster who plays by his own rules to ensure he gets what and wants and rules all?
The only thing that confused me about Nero was his position in the Italian Mafia. On a couple of occasions he goes back and forth from being Capo and Underboss with him being Underboss for most of the story. Hmm. I’ve read quite a few mafia romances over the years, so correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Capo higher ranking than an Underboss? Because if that’s the case, why is Nero demoting himself to Underboss??? I just had to mention because it was niggling at me the entire time I was reading this book. 🤔
But I suppose either way, Nero rules and he has his soldiers to order around. Hehe.
Now. Did I mention how much I think the secondary characters in here not only made quite an impression on me, but they did a superb job in really elevating this world? 👏👏👏 There’s quite a span of secondary characters included and not once did it feel overwhelming or unnecessary seeing them. I’m not going to lie, some characters stood out more than others, and it wasn’t hard to get invested in them just as much as I did Nero and Una. Whether they are heroes, villains, or gray characters — you’ll get your fill here!
What will it be, Morte? Kill me or kiss me?
I can’t rave about this duet more! One of the best mafia romances I’ve read. It’s absolutely filled with this dark, gripping world that’s so vivid and detailed, which effortlessly teleports you into each scene; each moment. The storytelling is slower-paced but in a good way where there’s a gradual build-up to each scene giving you a picture of the situation. Told from both Nero and Una’s points of view, it couldn’t have been more intense seeing things from both their perspectives (especially when concerns the other). Their lives are supposed to be worlds apart yet they have the same type of darkness surrounding that that ultimately keeps them connected to one another.
Their story gives an entirely new dimension to the enemies-to-lovers/ forbidden romance tropes. There’s this satisfying balance between Una and Nero where they’re both each others’ strength and weakness. Dark, mafia romances is kind of my bread and butter in the romance book department and what makes me love this one so much is the fact the Una stands out from the rest of the heroines you usually would encounter in these gritty stories. She literally kicks ass! She knows how to defend herself, she’s street smart, and she oozes (rightly so) confidence in her capabilities. What I adore the most is she’s not a damsel in distress. In a male dominated world, she’s favored and feared. It’s honestly refreshing to see a heroine who is empowering, and who is powered by her emotions despite being conditioned to lose all emotions and all things considered weaknesses such as love and family from her life.
Ugh. I strongly recommend, if you haven’t already, to grab this book and start reading! In my opinion, it has one of the best dark fictional worlds I’ve read, and one I will absolutely go back and visit!
Thank you L.P Lovell and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! ❤
When I rescued Scarlett De La Cruz from her tower it’s not like her prospects were looking so great. You’d think she’d show a little gratitude. Thank me for putting my ring on her finger and marking her as mafia property.
I’ll keep her safe. And the trade-off isn’t so bad. Most women would jump at the chance to sleep in my bed.
Not Scarlett, though.
My Cartel Princess has a big mouth and an even bigger attitude. But it’s her furious caramel eyes that keep me coming back for more. That and the way her body bends to mine like it already knows it belongs to me.
Scarlett is my enemy. She’s also the one woman I can’t keep my hands off.
But if I don’t keep my head on straight, everything I’ve worked for all these years will have been for nothing.
• MY REVIEW •
If you’re ever in the mood for a reaaaaally honest to goodness mafia captor/ captive romance, I can without a doubt tell you to check out any one of Natasha Knight’s books! And after having finished reading With This Ring…? I can easily say it’s become one of my faves! 😍😍😍
The minute I started this book, I didn’t put it down. I read the entire thing in one sitting and I have no regrets! Yeah… I probably should’ve taken my time considering this is only part one of the duet but whatevs! 🤷♀️ I’ll read again it when it gets closer to the release date of book two; I Take Thee!
I’m no stranger to Knight’s books, having read quite a few in the last year. She has written quite a handful of captor/ captive mafia romances, and she has perfected the balance of a light and dark atmosphere, the romance, and the suspense. I was completely invested and hooked on Cristiano Grigori and Scarlett De La Cruz’s story. I love the mixture of the mafia and the cartel in this one, with an enemies-to-lovers romance between our anti-hero and heroine.
What starts out as a war between territorial, power-hungry families, turns into a struggle for vengeance. But what’s left of both sides are forced together as bigger unsuspecting threats are on the rise and has taken aim at both the Grigori and the De La Cruz families.
I’m a big fan of Knight’s writing style and she has a way of easily getting you to fall in love with her characters. Cristiano is a scarred hero who is secretly struggling with life, and hates showing any vulnerability. But it’s his sensitive side that makes him all the more human and authentic. He’s not necessarily the most damaged hero I’ve read of Knight’s but he still manages to have an air of intimidation, darkness, and strength to him. And when you discover his story, you can’t help but feel a little protective of the guy (despite the fact that he can kill in a blink of an eye).
Scarlett is broken in her own way and just as tortured as Cristiano. What I like about her is despite what she’s going through, she still has the character in her to be selfless. Her emotions and actions are understandable, and you can’t help but root for her to succeed.
Cristiano and Scarlett are driven, strong-willed characters. Their story is very much family bound. They may be rivals, but they have more in common when it comes to family than they are willing to admit.
There’s a lot of push and pull between these two. It’s hard to pick a side because honestly, you want things to go both Cristiano and Scarlett’s way. The character growth is slow yet gradual, and as their journey progresses they start opening up. Putting aside the sparks between them, it’s the quiet moments where they’re simply learning more about each other that are some of my favourite parts to read through.
As a mafia romance lover, this book ticks every box in my checklist of what I consider an amazing mafia romance book.
Storyline with a solid, well-developed plot
Vivid, expanding world-building
Complex, intriguing characters you can connect with
Chemistry between its protagonists
Suspense and unpredictability
Secondary characters that add another layer
What keeps you engaged in this story is the constant unease of what could happen next between Cristiano and Scarlett. They’re from enemy families — one seeking retribution, whilst the other is just wanting to survive, yet both unaware that they share the want and need for freedom from responsibilities that’s been demanded of them. The build-up is 🔥 in this one, people!
Call me cruel, but seeing them struggle with their feelings, and be in constant denial was entertaining as hell to see! 😈😄 I wanna say theirs is a slow burn romance but to be honest I think it’s because I simply wanted more! Knight is skilled at teasing her readers with just enough raunchiness to the point where the anticipation for a full-blown scene will emotionally kill you. Lol. Sigh.
A well-paced storytelling, told from both Cristiano and Scarlett’s points of view. You’ll see backstories to these two families. It’s very modern Romeo & Juliet set in the underworld. There’s a few vital secondary characters who are just as evasive as our lead characters that you’ll wanna keep an eye on. There’s also a few sub-plots that interconnect with the main that’ll have you itching to uncover. As I mention earlier, it’s suspenseful. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and will have you grumbling when you discover how it concludes. Ugh. 🙈🙉🙊
If you love a forbidden-esque enemies-to-lovers trope with tons of heated banter between your protagonists, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this read. It does have some sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers but not overly graphic or detailed. I would still advise that with the dark themes included, readers 18+ only!
Overall, another much loved book from Knight that I am happily recommending to my friends and fellow romance readers. It’s such an intense, emotional story of two broken souls who are left to pick up the pieces and fight on! This is the first book in the To Have and To Hold Duet, and I love it so much that I consider the brutal cliffhanger well-worth the pain!
Thank you Natasha Knight and Give Me Books Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! ❤
Happy reading, guys! Hope you enjoyed. Catch you in my next one! Xo
We’ve been saying “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over” constantly throughout the year and it’s fiiiiinally here! 🙌 In just a few short hours we can officially say adios to the crap-stick that is 2020 and ring in the New Year!
I’m sure plenty can relate that this year was a tough mudda (more so than usual) to get through. But I hope everyone at least found some goodness in between. Books and reading has always been some form of sanctuary and escapism for me. It’s partly why I can easily prefer reading books to spending time with company. 😅
Weird thing is with having been at home for the majority of the year, you’d think it’d be easy to knock out book after book but nope! With work, general adulting, life slumps, and the occasional I’m-not-going-to-do-shit-today mood swings, I’ve not read as much as I would have wanted to.
But in saying that… I did so happen to be fortunate enough to have read some unbelievably soul-shaking stories that completely had me in stitches, and/or ugly crying… which then resulted in either a hangover, rereading, thinking about day and night, and/or all of the above.
I won’t be including old faves I’ve reread this year. This compilation is strictly all new books I discovered in 2020. And surprisingly (probably to me more than anybody else, really) they’re not all five star reads. But I can’t stress this enough… they are all loved, and ones I would happily recommend to friends (FYI that includes YOU!) 😊
In no particular order (mostly because I’m too lazy to chronologize the shit out of it lol). But I have at least sorted them into sub-genres because I know not all romance readers read all romance, amirite? 😉
So here we go!
• Contemporary Romance •
📖 Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe
(Hate to Love, New Adult Romance)
📖 Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
(New Adult, Bully Romance)
📖 Pretty When She Cries by A. Zavarelli
(New Adult, Hate to Love, Bully Romance) *Trigger Warnings*
📖 One Moment Please by Amy Daws
(One Night Stand, Hate to Love, Adult Romance)
• MC Romance •
📚 Blood Fury MC series by Jeanne St. James
(Dark MC) *Trigger Warnings*
📖 Tempting the Biker by Glenna Maynard
(Dark MC, Age Gap Romance) *Trigger Warnings*
📚 Devil Kings MC series by Nicole James
(Dark MC, Opposites Attract) *Trigger Warnings*
📚 The MC Sinners series/ MC Sinners Next Generation series by Bella Jewel
(Modern Day Fairytale Retelling) *Trigger Warnings*
Aaaaaaand there you have it! 😁 Not sure if this will become a yearly thing for me so this could very well be the one and only. Hehe.
If you want to see all my reads for the year, don’t forget to check out my Monthly Wrap Ups. My December one will be posted shortly so keep an eye out for it! Happy holidays! I sincerely wish everyone a safe but happy New Year’s Eve/ Day! 💙
Thank you for the support you’ve all given me for my reviews and my book blog in general! I’m in awe of the amazing people I’ve met through this bookish community and the copious amounts of books I’ve discovered over time. I’m truly thankful for the friendships I’ve made. As well as the opportunities I’m fortunate enough to be a part of.
Happy reading, and as always catch you in my next one! Xo
Monsters don’t often look like monsters on the outside.
Forced to marry a man I should hate, I’m now bound to Damian.
I sometimes wonder what he sees when he looks at me. Deer in headlights, I guess.
What I see is clear.
A man with too much experience.
The day he took me he told me I belong to him. On our wedding night he proved I did. And I believe him when he says he’ll keep me safe because he won’t let anyone touch what’s his.
But I can’t forget what he is. Can’t forget the things he’s done.
And no matter what, I can’t let myself fall in love with him.
— MY REVIEW —
What a beautiful, yet bittersweet conclusion to the Unholy Union duet!
Unholy Union set the bar, started the gripping story and Unholy Intent kept it going with the twists and turns and constant intrigue.
If you want to read about a dysfunctional, corrupted and totally revenge-fueled family… then add this one to your list. Apart from the spark-inducing romance going on between Damian and Cristina, there’s a lot of family drama whirling around.
There’s so much questions where these characters are concerned. I only wish that all my questions were answered though before the book ended. There was a few things I thought would come back around as it was mentioned somewhat in the first book, but unfortunately it was never brought up again. Some things were also left open or wrapped up too abruptly that would’ve been nice to see elaborated on, but all in all it was still an ending that’ll have you in a happy sigh! 😊
If you’ve read any of Knight’s other dark/ mafia romances then you’ll be familiar with her love of story lines involving enemies-to-lovers, contracts, and seeing ruthless, conniving heroes come apart, develop into possessive as hell alphas who will to go through hell and back to protect the women they’ve claimed as theirs.
The Unholy Union duet (especially within Unholy Intent) is a modern day Romeo and Juliet with warring families, forbidden love, and navigating through the protagonists’ inescapable fates.
I don’t want to make anyone anxious but I did tear up in several parts of this book. There was some things that were revealed that I hadn’t expected and completely took me by surprise. Other than the chemistry that Knight has brilliantly created between Damian and Cristina, I was utterly and completely absorbed by Damian, his family and there intense family dynamics. Just when you think you’ve seen the most villainous one of the bunch, one surprises the hell out you and blows the rest out of the water! The funny thing is… you cannot not hate them. These characters are flawed and damaged but you can’t help but sympathize over their struggles and their broken lives.
On one hand, I almost wished some of these secondary characters would get their own books but on the other, I don’t think I would handle reading their story. 🙈😅
The world-building, the story development and the character growth were all exceptional. The pacing was set in Unholy Union and I’m glad to see it didn’t falter at all in this book. It’s action-packed and filled with so much suspense. It’s edge of your seat exciting! You’ll be questioning decisions made, actions taken… or in some cases not taken. 🤦♀️ You’ll be second-guessing if things could’ve turned out differently and forming your own interpretations of certain things that happens and for what reason.
Damian and Cristina’s love story was a hot mess (lol) but damn was it addicting to see develop. I want to say when it came to their sexual attraction, it was leaped off the pages effortlessly, but when it came to their feelings and admitting them out loud… it was a bit of a slow burn.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Unholy Intent and this duet as whole. It has definitely become one of my fave reads from Natasha Knight! A dark romance that hits the mark!
Thank you to Natasha Knight and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🌹