Wicked by Nicole James

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

A woman lost in grief and pain. A bossy biker determined to bring her back to life.

A wickedly wild ride. Paige knows the meaning of pain and loss.

Two years ago she left town to nurse her grief over the death of her husband in a tragic bike wreck. Now she’s back— returning to the one family that understands the depth of her loss— her MC family.

WICKED—

My brother’s ol’ lady.

I’ve carried unspoken feelings for her since the night we met.

Ransack and I were as close as two MC brothers could be. I was with him the night he died. I held Paige in my arms in the trauma bay as she collapsed, her wailing sobs tearing my heart out. And the month after the funeral, I helped her load up Ransack’s old truck and head off for Macon— taking my heart with her.

I wish I could take that pain away from her.

More than once I’ve wished I’d died in my brother’s place.

Ransack’s death had been a huge loss for me, but watching Paige drive out of my life as well, ripped my heart out. Now she’s back.

When I see her standing across the clubhouse, instantly my lust for her flares back to life like it’s been days, not years.

She drove out of my life once, but I’ll be damned if I’ll waste this second shot with her.

All I have to do is win her heart from a dead man. I’ll do anything to keep my woman safe. Only problem is— Paige is stubborn and willful. And she never does anything she’s told.

PAIGE—

Wicked. He’s the one man I could always count on.

When I see him across the clubhouse for the first time in years, my heart begins beating again.

I need him, more than he can possibly know.

But in order to have a chance together, I have to let go of the past.

That’s easier said than done.

When information comes to light, I begin to question if my husband’s death was the tragic accident it appeared.

Determined to find out the truth… I won’t let anything stop me.

But the evidence I dig up could put everything I hold dear in jeopardy— Wicked, our future, and my very life.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Ok. Before I delve into my review, in case you didn’t know, Wicked was originally published as a novella called My Ol’ Lady. It’s part of the Evil Dead MC series, James expanded the story, renamed it (obviously 🙄😜), and it’s here in all its glory! Wooo! 🙌

I’m gonna cut to the chase— Wicked is another amazing addition to the series! This was a second chance romance with a twist as Paige was originally an ol’ lady of another MC brother who died in an accident. His best friend Wicked has always had an attraction to Paige but never acted on it. She moved away shortly after to try and get a fresh start but a couple years later she moves back home and reunites with the club. All romantic feelings come flooding back for Wicked once he sees her again and it’s like no time has passed. The kicker is… Paige has the same feelings for Wicked too!

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This was a relatively quick read (still on the shorter side of a full-length novel) with fast-paced storytelling. It’s told from both points of view and the majority of the story focuses on Paige being able to move on from her deceased hubby.

There’s a nice amount of MC elements still going on on the sidelines whilst Paige and Wicked figure out their budding relationship. I would’ve loved if it was a little longer to really give their story and their relationship a deeper development. I thought it could’ve been more in-depth. Paige and Wicked have known each other quite a long time but their past wasn’t something that was delved into in detail other than a couple of flashback memories. It gives you some insight into Wicked, Paige, and her husband Ransack’s friendship/relationship but I couldn’t fully connect with it because there wasn’t enough past interactions to make me see the close brotherhood they supposedly had.

I don’t know if that was purposely done so readers wouldn’t get attached to Ransack (because he’s dead and this is Paige’s and Wicked’s story) but in my opinion it lacked some form of bond, resulting in my lack of connection and emotion in really loving this couple as much as previous couples in this series.

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Putting those minor issues aside, I did overall enjoy reading this book. It still has great world-building in place with the brotherhood dynamics present. I was excited to see some of the past MC brothers make appearances in this book to give the story some dimension. There’s more than meets the eye with Paige’s story and the accident the killed Ransack, so I was kept on my toes as the truth slowly revealed itself.

Paige’s and Wicked’s rollercoaster of emotions and uncertainty within their relationship felt fairly relatable. I sympathized with Paige’s struggle to fully commit to a new relationship, and with Wicked’s frustration with having to somewhat compete with a ghost for Paige’s love.

James has added her usual trademark swoon-worthy heroes who are just the right amount of sweetness and protective alpha. The usual brotherly banter is there which is one of the reasons I first fell in love with this series, and even though this is an MC romance, there’s no doubt that “love conquers all” and a “happily ever after” is present.

I always love the balance of light and dark within the storylines of each book in this series. There may be some suspense and serious subject matters on occasion, but there’s also amazing friendships, swoon-worthy coupling, and tons of entertaining banter as well! Wicked is no different!

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A must read for fans of Nicole James and her Evil Dead MC series and perfect for any romance reader looking for MC romance books. 👌😉 The world-building is oh-so vivid and ever-expanding with each new book. Although this book can be read as a standalone, to get the full experience of their MC brotherhood and all the relationships, I highly recommend you start from the beginning with Outlaw and work your way from there (reading order below).

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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💀 Read my review for the Evil Dead MC Series!

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📚 Evil Dead MC Series by Nicole James


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

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A Deal With The Devil by Amelia Wilde

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

A man can only have one great love, and mine was the sea.

Until I pulled a half-drowned heiress out of the water. Until I kept her as mine. Until I hurt her to prove I didn’t love her.

Now we’re surrounded. Dangerous pirates want to use her for their own purposes. I won’t give her up that easy. I have a lifetime of treasure to protect. But with the ship going down, there’s only one thing I want to save. Her.

A Deal with the Devil is book two in the Devil trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Amelia Wilde. The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea must be read first.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

The swashbuckling action, the steamy cabin romps, and the big bad trouble following the Trident has officially amped up a level in book two of The Devil Trilogy! The story picks right up after the end of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea— where you’re thrown right back into the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but open water.

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This one was intense that I had so many emotions swirling around. Whilst I admit I was a little confused in the first book, this book cleared up a lot of the mixed-feelings I had towards Poseidon and Ashley.

Let’s start with the devilled pirate himself; Poseidon. He was a total alpha-hole in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Yes, he was a swoon-worthy pirate who took no shit on his own ship (he is captain after all), yet I never fully understood why he was cruel and hurtful towards Ashley… until now. Any lingering questions I had from the first book was cleared up in this one. It’s amazing once secrets and backstories are revealed how much you can sympathize and understand a character’s traits and actions better. 😅 And Poseidon’s past was quite a doozy. I’m not saying I condone his actions, but I’m in no way writing him off either.

I can’t speak for anyone else’s opinions of Poseidon but in my books as the story progressed, he was winning me over a little bit at a time. I’m always down for reading about a complex, morally-grey character, but they get bonus points from me when they can admit wrongdoings and regrets because it shows that underneath all their bravado and asshole-y attitude they have a conscience, a willingness to change… and have heart! You will see a lot more of Poseidon’s life in this book and how much of his family has had an affect on his upbringing, his adulthood, and even how he handles business affairs.

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Seeing the interactions amongst his crew is probably one of my favourite things to see in this book. I’m loving the fact that crew members are getting some of the limelight here and there. Also gives Poseidon’s ship a little more life by having different dynamics besides the one between Ashley and himself.

I’ve read and seen enough pirate stories to know that a woman on board is usually a no-no. But the dynamic Ashley has with Poseidon’s crew was such a highlight to see. I love the camaraderie, their charm, the light-heartedness they provided in what was an overall gloomy atmosphere, and the bonds they all individually made with her.

I actually laughed a good handful of times reading this book, and all those scenes involved Ashley. I’m happy sighing with relief that she’s now at a place where she doesn’t seem so alone and completely lost aboard a pirate ship. I wasn’t expecting the humorous scenes but it’s definitely some of the more memorable ones. (I’ll just say this: chocolate lovers will get a kick out of it!) 🤭

This was fast-paced storytelling with action left, right and centre. You get a deeper insight into the situation and how Poseidon and Ashley are feeling as it’s told from dual points of view. Despite the gloomy atmosphere, these characters are making the most of their time on the ship before trouble catches up to them. Ashley and Poseidon’s complicated relationship finally picks up pace and it almost seems like things are heading in the direction of an actual relationship where honesty and admittance of feelings are in play, whereas before it was very much a captor/captive situation.

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First book focused on Ashley as a hostage on the Trident, playing by Poseidon’s rules. This book focuses on how much her time on board and in his space has affected Poseidon and changed enough of his initial plans that it’s left this story on another cliffhanger. Plot twists galore! There’s quite a few developments some of which I suspected as much, but others were complete surprises that I’m keen to see how things will all wrap up in the final book. I’m wondering how things will work out between Ashley and Poseidon — not to mention his ship, his crew, and even with his family.

In my opinion, if you didn’t love the first book right off the bat but still curious to see more, then this book will win you over a little more. It’s definitely progressive with a clearer direction of where it’s heading. It’s one of those stories (although a continuous one) gets better with each book. I was kept in suspense from start to finish— whether it was due to Ashley and Poseidon’s intimate moments, Poseidon’s unfinished business, or due to the trouble that has followed Ashley whilst onboard the Trident.

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✔ A modern day pirate.

✔ A wanted heiress.

✔ A devil in disguise.

In one dark, contemporary romance. Book two in The Devil Trilogy is hearty, where one problem is solved just for another to pop up in its place. Ashley and Poseidon’s relationship has evolved into something more substantial. Lots of questions are still left unanswered and by the way it ended, it can honestly head towards a number of different ways.

I was sucked in and completely invested in seeing how things would develop further between Poseidon and Ashley. There’s plenty of hot scenes… as well as a few scenes worthy of stunned silence. If you’re a fan of mythologies, this one has a cool, modern take on Greek Mythology, obviously focusing on Poseidon (God of the sea).

I haven’t read a lot of books by Wilde yet, but from the ones I have read, I’ve come to enjoy. Her writing style is engaging with her vivid world-building, intriguing characters, gripping storylines, and satisfying amount of romance!

If you’re looking for a pirate romance story, give this one a go, start with The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and continue onto this one! Add Poseidon to your list of sexy pirates alongside Jack Sparrow, William Turner and Killian Jones! *waggles brows*

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Amelia Wilde and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading A Deal With The Devil? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

•••


Read my review for the first book in The Devil Trilogy!

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📘 The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by Amelia Wilde


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

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Stolen Hearts by M. O’Keefe

⚠ Warning: This review contains minor teasers
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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

The flare of a cigarette and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want.

Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me.

In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time.

Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones.

Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown.

Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words.

Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“One thing was clear — he was the danger. Ronan was the unknown.”


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👏 Ronan. 👏 Ronan. 👏 Ronan.

Okay, Constantines… Morellis… you’re gonna have to scooch over because Ronan is here to stay! My gosh I loved every little bit of Stolen Hearts! This is my introduction to O’Keefe’s writing, and it has honestly made me eager to check out her backlist of books right alongside the next books in the Hearts Trilogy.

(For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is part of the world of the Midnight Dynasty. Two powerful warring families with each character’s story told by a different romance author. All can be read separately and in different order, but I highly recommend you read them all for an expansive experience of the world. More info below).

This story is about Ronan, the mysterious Irish right hand man of sorts to Caroline Constantine (the matriarch of the Constantine clan), and Poppy who was taken under Caroline’s wing after a family tragedy. What started out as two strangers connecting one night, only to see each other again two years later. With instant attraction and intrigue, a forbidden romance develops.


“What do you want, princess?”


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It’s a relatively short first book (having easily read it in one sitting), and it leaves you with such a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. So many things were running through my mind by the time I finished the last chapter. Although this is a contemporary romance, it has a smidge of darkness surrounding it due to the characters that have been introduced. They’re all keeping their cards close to their chest and all seem to have ulterior motives that you never know who to trust. Yes, even Ronan.

He is the (anti)hero in this story who reveals very little of himself, and when he does seem genuinely sincere, it’s followed by actions that’ll have you second-guessing him again. It’s hard to turn away from his enigmatic persona. Maybe it’s the Irish charm! 😉😍 O’Keefe has brilliantly written him as a protagonist who can effortlessly hold your attention. Every time he walks into a room, sound fades out and you’re left anxious to see what he’s about to do next.

I came into this story not really expecting the story I ended up getting. It’s unpredictable, full of plot twists, and left me wanting so much more. Yes, for the most part the story is about Poppy’s and Ronan’s complicated, slow-burn relationship. But weaved in and out of it are lies, danger, and secrets that’s itching to be uncovered. There’s honestly so much to look forward to when reading this book—drama (and lots of it), suspense, and a thrilling mystery. Not to mention the intense chemistry all throughout between Poppy and Ronan whenever they’re near one another, and the dynamics the secondary characters bring that give this world more dimension.

Poppy can be described as bit of a damsel in distress— which I can usually roll my eyes at. But Poppy is a likable character. Despite certain insecurities, and personality traits stemming from the struggles she’s had throughout her entire life along with her more recent battles, she still comes off as good-natured, tenacious, and quite relatable.

Please note this book contains sensitive subject matter than may be triggering for some readers. It contains domestic abuse, child abuse, violence, and mental/psychological disorders. It also contains sexual content suitable for readers 18+ only!

This story is told solely from Poppy’s point of view. Whilst I would’ve loved Ronan’s as well, I still enjoyed seeing everything through Poppy’s eyes and how she interpreted certain situations and her inner monologue in regards to Ronan. Poppy’s backstory gets revealed early on as it sets the entire atmosphere for the rest of the book along with flashbacks here and there adding depth and an understanding to her present day situations and concerns.


“My blood was up. And I was ready for a fight.”


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She’s so fascinated by Ronan that her curiosity leaps off the pages and almost transfers to you whilst your reading. The few snippets that Ronan divulges to Poppy makes him all the more swoon-worthy in that his-sexy-but-his-also-bad-news kind of way. Who doesn’t love a complex, bad boy with a gritty past, though?!

Overall, such an eye-popping start to the trilogy. It’s short, at times sweet, and most definitely packs a punch! It’s a romance story that I think would appeal to a lot of romance readers no matter if you prefer dark romances or lean more towards the contemporaries. It’s a bit of both along.

  • Broken heroine
  • Dangerous hero
  • Second chance
  • Secret romance
  • Game-playing

Stolen Hearts is set in a world where the Constantines and the Morellis can either be an ally or an enemy— image, power, and connections are key. Poppy is an outsider, and still navigating through her new life within, and she has a strong attraction to Ronan. But he’s practically part of the inner circle, and has a working knowledge of how things operate in their world. Can she trust him when it really counts?


“No man had ever made me so curious. Or reckless.”


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It’s gripping! You’ll fall for Ronan even though you might not completely trust him and you’ll root for things to fall Poppy’s way. In my opinion, it’s a must read! Bring on Broken Hearts!!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you M. O’Keefe, Dangerous Press, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read a review copy! 🧡

•••


Midnight Dynasty is a brand new world where enemies and lovers are often one and the same.

Continue with the world of the Midnight Dynasty!

 💻 Join the Facebook Group! Midnight Dynasty Reader Lounge

📱 Follow on Instagram! Dangerous Press

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up

•••

Read my reviews for other Midnight Dynasty books!

👑 Cinderella Trilogy by K. Webster

Book One: Stroke Of Midnight by K. Webster
Book Two: Prince Charming by K. Webster

🔥 Hellfire Club by Becker Gray

Book One: Wicked Idol by Becker Gray
Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray

🌹 Beauty and the Beast Trilogy by Amelia Wilde

Book One: Secret Beast by Amelia Wilde

•••

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

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Requiem Of The Soul by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

⚠ Warning: This review contains minor teasers
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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I was born with noble blood in my veins.

Heir to a powerful dynasty.

Wealth. Power. Aristocracy.

Temptations too dangerous to resist.

Until someone tried to steal it all.

Scarred and broken, I emerged from the flames.

Now I’ve returned to take what’s mine.

Revenge.

The first item on my agenda? Make Ivy Moreno my wife.

Second? Bend her until she breaks.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

😮😮😮 Holy book gods! I’m gonna need a minute. What did I just finish witnessing Ivy Moreno enter into with Santiago De La Rosa?! Sheesh. May the odds be ever in your favor.


“You’ve been chosen.”


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I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed in another Knight/ Zavarelli collaboration. They always manage to conjure up some deviously twisted dark romance! Requiem of the Soul is without a doubt a gritty mindfuck of what-ifs and know-hows.

First off— the world building is so crisp, so vivid that you can’t help but imagine if exclusive societies such as this one exists in reality (and for that matter… are they as dirty and shocking as this one has been made out to be?!)

Trigger Warnings: It contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. Violence, non-consensual sex, and abuse occur throughout. Please take into consideration before starting it. For readers 18+ only!

This book is set in such a dramatic and intriguing atmosphere right from the opening scene that I was having a hard time putting it down even for a bathroom break. 😅 I happily read it in one sitting but after the killer ending it leaves you with, I was cursing for not having paced myself. I have now joined the ranks of my fellow ARC readers in saying, “I need book two now!” Ugh. 😭

It’s gripping, with a complicated captor/captive type, arranged marriage between a man who has the power to call all the shots, and a young woman who is determined not to break in the life she’s been forced into. I am hooked and utterly invested in seeing this through to the end!

It’s one of those dark romance storylines that has you narrowing your eyes, trusting no character in sight, and trying to figure out the direction the plot is heading. Putting aside the elusive world of The Society that has been richly described, there are a handful of characters coming and going who all seem to have their own agendas. For secondary characters they all have such strong personalities that it’s interesting to see the contrast amongst them whenever they interact. If you’re a fan of morally grey characters, you’ll get your fill from this one! I am absolutely itching to discover certain secondary characters’ stories, and that’s just one of the reasons why I found the world Knight and Zavarelli created so multifaceted— with its untold history and full of secrecy that’s just waiting to be revealed. There’s so many things happening from all different directions, yet they all blend together seamlessly to give you a grand picture of the situation.


“Some call us thieves in the night.”


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A thrilling, fast-paced storytelling told from dual points of view. There’s a gradual build-up of suspense that’ll have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the pin to drop. Santiago De La Rosa is a larger than life personality who tends to lurk in the shadows that you almost think this is one of those stalker type, crime books. He’s a complex character. To be honest, there were times he gave me mental whiplash with his back and forth indecisiveness when it came to his game plan with Ivy.

Ivy Moreno is no better. I like that she has determination and I respect her ultimate reason for why she’s putting up with everything she’s enduring… but I wish she stuck to her guns a lot more. But putting those issues aside, I am truly fascinated by these two protagonists. Santiago oozes mystery… and craziness. Not to mention, when you discover the story behind his appearance, you’ll be all the more invested in seeing everything unfold.

I’m even more curious when it comes to Ivy. I’m really liking the fact that Knight/ Zavarelli has written in some diversity with their characters. Especially when the backdrop of this world is all about the pretences of perfection and certain expectations.

Besides the intrigue surrounding The Society, the sizzling chemistry between Ivy and Santiago is palpable. I adored their sweeter, more civil moments just as much as their fiery banter. They have a Beauty and the Beast meets Romeo and Juliet type of romance where a lot of factors are in play that I couldn’t get enough of.

You’ll be second-guessing decisions made, actions taken, and questioning whether or not these characters actually have any redeemable qualities in them.


“Don’t let him be a monster.”


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✔ Broken characters

✔ Vengeance

✔ Male-dominated world

✔ Manipulation

Are just some of the things you can anticipate in Requiem of the Soul! This is the first book in The Society Trilogy and does end on a cliffhanger. But if you enjoy filthy as fuck, gritty romances that contain some BDSM elements, then I highly recommend you add it to your reading list. You’ll find a strong, consistent storyline, crafty characters, and a lot of little surprises here and there. Such a raunchy, thought-provoking read!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Natasha Knight, A. Zavarelli and Give Me Books Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Requiem of the Soul? Grab your copy here: Amazon Universal Link  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books

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🌹 Read my review for the Ties That Bind Duet!

Natasha Knight and A. Zavarelli’s Dark Mafia Romance

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📕 Book One: Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

📕 Book Two: His by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli


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Hope you’re all enjoying your week! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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To Have And To Hate by R.S. Grey

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Marry a man I barely know to save my family from ruin.

It might’ve been simple, if my betrothed were anybody else.

On our wedding day, my husband-to-be arrived at the courthouse like a black cloud rolling over Manhattan. Walt didn’t crack smiles or pepper in pleasantries as we exchanged hollow vows in front of the judge.

His disdain for me was so palpable I assumed we’d walk out of that ceremony and resume our regularly scheduled programming. But then fate was like, Hold my beer. I got this.

In desperate need of help and with nowhere else to turn, I had no choice but to ignore a crucial rule in our contract: I shall only contact Mr. Jennings II in case of emergency. But hey, what’s a little fine print between husband and wife?

Turns out, Walt’s a stickler for legalese—I think it might be his love language. Oh, and his attitude at the courthouse wasn’t a put-on. My so-called husband is a jerk. He takes what he wants without giving any consideration to other people—specifically ME, his blushing, contractually-obligated bride!

I knew life with Walt would be no honeymoon, but a marriage of any sort should still come with a few standard guarantees:

To have and to hold.

For richer or poorer.

In sickness and in health.

But after experiencing Walt’s version of wedded bliss, I say let’s forget about all that lovey-dovey crap and just take me straight to death do us part.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Well now… I stand corrected. Guys named “Walt” can be someone very hot, very appealing, and very dreamy! *fans self* 😉😅

When I first read the blurb I was expecting a full-blown hate-to-love/ enemies-to-lovers romance story weaved through an arranged marriage. What I ended up getting was actually a miscommunication between two self-conscious individuals who don’t know what to do with their developing feelings. I found it adorable to see play out that I’m not even in the slightest bit disappointed that there was hardly any witty banter. Because I tell ya… seeing bumbling characters trying to not get in each other’s way was too entertaining to put down. Hehe.

Grey never seems to fail at lifting my mood up with her light-hearted, good natured plotlines and quirky characters! A very chick-lit, romantic comedy atmosphere that’ll have you smiling from beginning to end. Although in my case with this book, there were a couple of times I did get teary-eyed. It’s so easy to get invested in Grey’s characters. They’re always full of hilarious inner monologues that give you such insight to their lives and the type of people they are. Their mannerisms, personality traits, and reactions to things are so relatable and at times eerily realistic that you can’t help but LOL. As the oh-so wise Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory once said, “It’s funny because it’s true!” —and it is soooo friggin’ true when it comes to Elizabeth and Walt and their unusual arrangement! 

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Grey also has a knack for getting her readers to fall for her secondary characters too, and I was no exception. There were a couple of prominent characters in this story who had me perking up. This is a standalone book, but I do wish one guy in particular would get his own story. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bummed to see that by the epilogue a few things were left unanswered (at least in my opinion). Whilst I adored seeing where Elizabeth and Walt’s life had ended up, some things were not mentioned at all—for example; the current status of certain relationships, situations regarding their careers, things like that. It just felt like whilst some things wrapped up beautifully, there were certain aspects (that were strongly focused on in the storyline) that were left up in the air by the end.

Nevertheless, I love the gradual development between Elizabeth and Walt. From complete strangers, to an odd sort-of friendship, to finally being intimate—all whilst trying to navigate through their arrangement, of course. Although it’s a bit of a slow burn, so be aware. 

The world-building took off with a bang right from the get-go putting you right alongside Elizabeth and the situation she’s gotten herself into with Walt. From there it gradually grew as the characters and their new life together developed. It’s a character-driven storyline. They don’t stray too far away from one another so the majority of the world-building is within Elizabeth and Walt’s little bubble. But this is not some sappy fluff read, there’s some hearty moments included, accompanied by a range of personalities to really give the overall story some depth.

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Without giving too much away, I have a love/ hate relationship with the families included. Seeing how they interact with our protagonists was quite a sight. Elizabeth and Walt are likable characters, but I do wish at times that Elizabeth didn’t back down so easily. But there is an overall sense of balance between these two leads. They’re complete opposites yet they complement each other’s personalities so well and it’s evident throughout. 

What started out as duty that needed to be carried out, became one full of growth, independence, love, acceptance, and such heart. You can bet there’s always a good ol’ life lesson to be learned from one of Grey’s books! 😊 

Overall, such a quality read! *chef’s kiss* Perfect for hopeless romantics and contemporary romance fans. Great escapism that’ll have you happy sighing by the end. It’s well-paced storytelling, told solely from Elizabeth’s (first person) point of view. It’s a New Adult/ Adult romance book with some saucy scenes. Nothing too raunchy but it brings some heat! 🔥

If you love the whole arranged marriage trope in your reads, then I highly recommend this to you. Bonus! Elizabeth and Walt have a bit of an age gap, so if you also like an older man/ younger woman trope, then you definitely need to grab this book!   

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RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Rachel and Inkslinger PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗


•••

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

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Twisted Cravings by Cora Reilly

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Mafia meets illegal street racing in this action-packed standalone in the Camorra Chronicles!

As the youngest brother of the notorious Falcone clan, Adamo grew up surrounded by blood and violence. Drugs soon became his way of coping.

Becoming a Made Man like his brothers was his destiny but never his passion. When he becomes the organizer of his family’s successful illegal street races and one of their thrill-seeking drivers, he finally asserts his own path in the harsh mafia world.

His purpose isn’t the only thing Adamo discovers on the fuel-soaked roads he calls home…

​Dinara Mikhailov is the only female race driver and hard to ignore. Not only because of her flaming red hair and ruthless driving style, but also because the Bratva princess is allowed to drive in enemy territory.

Soon Adamo and she find themselves entangled in a passionate game that goes beyond the race track. Yet, both haunted by events in the past, their dark cravings put everything on the line.

As what they crave the most, comes with a brutal price.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

My my. Adamo’s quite a bad influence… 🙈🙉🙊

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I wanna say it’s what I was anticipating… but it wasn’t. Well… not completely. I was of two minds during and after reading it.

Whilst I was giddy with the initial premise of the book — I mean c’mon, mafia meets illegal racing?? Umm. Yes please! It wasn’t what I had expected. Yes, there’s the mafia side of things and elements of the illegal car racing but it felt more or less a means of bringing in the Bratva more so into what was initially the Italian mafia world, as suppose to having the majority of the storyline center around Adamo and that race world he found solace in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as intrigued by the Russian mob as much as the next fan of this world, but I just would’ve loved a lot more of that racing scene… and in detail.

It started strong with an opening scene to Adamo’s world since we last heard of him in the previous books and to be honest I was wondering if I was going to see him as all grown, broody and oh so swoon-worthy… orrrrrr if I was still going to picture him as an adolescent, still reckless, and still finding his place in the Camorra.

I’m going to be in the minority here but I definitely did not see him like I do Remo, Nino or Fabiano… or even Savio. 😅 Despite now being a young man, I just couldn’t believe it… ugh… he just wasn’t believable enough to be all grown up and a full-fledged Made Man in my books. He didn’t completely come off as a Mafioso. Put aside the Camorra and his family, you would think he was just a wealthy guy with connections, who runs illegal car races and who happens to be a nifty driver. The darkness the supposedly surrounds him wasn’t obvious. I didn’t feel it, it didn’t leap off the pages, and I wasn’t convinced whenever it was demonstrated. Which wasn’t as much as I thought it would have been considering the brutal events of his past.

I really wanted his story and his struggles to be delved into a lot more than what was provided. There was just something missing that didn’t give his story the oomph I was hoping for.

But! In saying that…. do I love Adamo? Yes. No doubt. He may not be as gritty and yeah okay… not as hardy as his older brothers but he certainly had remarkable qualities that I was happy to see a Falcone brother possess. Traits in which I did find myself grinning at seeing whenever Adamo effortlessly displayed it. (And I’m not talking about his talents with his hands, mouth or dick).

In some ways I think Adamo’s personality is one of my faves from the Falcone brothers. He seems to have a lot of the traits I loved from all of his brothers within himself. And in general I loved seeing the contrast of relationships Adamo had with each one of them. Not to mention his relationships with the extended Falcone clan.

Now—What can I say about Dinara Mikhailov? She’s spunky, I’ll give her that. If you know me or have read any of my past reviews concerning heroines in Mafia worlds, that I would absolutely pick a chick who’s independent, can stand up for herself, kicks ass, and doesn’t back down easily over a meek, damsel in distress type any day… (Ooh wait now that I think about it… there is one exception though). *waggles brows*

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Dinara caught my attention right after she stole Adamo’s. 🤭 Her style alone is winning! *chef’s kiss* Add in her determination and how she holds attention, and next thing you know, you’re hooked and invested in seeing her story unravel.

As someone who’s read quite a few DARK reads, what you discover about Dinara in this book can so easily be tough to get through. I don’t know what level of darkness Cora had intended for Dinara’s story (and I can’t speak for others) but in my opinion her story wasn’t difficult to read. There was a sense of detachment—I don’t know if it was me and I couldn’t quite connect with it, or if it was Dinara herself and how she came across whenever her past was brought to light. Either way, it didn’t come across as dark as some of Cora’s previous mafia books.

Individually, both Dinara and Adamo are likable leading characters. For two people who knows nothing else but the mob life, they both have such softer personalities in comparison to the other couples. There’s an evenness in their relationship that was somehow calming to see. There was no sense of dominance with either one of these two, making it seem like they’re on equal footing with one another. But of course, things are never all that simple. Adamo and Dinara prefer to keep their turmoil to themselves, hence why they seem less blaring, and why they have a pull towards one another. Twisted Cravings is definitely a bang-on title for their story. They feed each others’ cravings that they can’t find anywhere else or weren’t being provided for by the people who were closest to them. As much as I perked up every time they danced around each other and their feelings, the further their relationship developed, the more I questioned: How healthy is their relationship? 🤔

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Dinara and Adamo are similar in so many ways having similar vices and coping mechanisms to get them through and connecting that way. Their relationship is a seesaw of emotions where it could go very bad, very quickly with just the smallest trigger. You can’t help but be on edge seeing how things will go down between them.

This book had some new elements that were thrown into what I consider staples of Cora’s in her Mafia world, and I was digging it! It was both refreshing at times and at other times unsurprising yet simply comforting. I always love seeing how Cora will expand her already vivid world building, and one thing that never fails to get me hooked for more are the secondary characters that make appearances or ones she introduces that seem to hold my attention as much (if not more) than the characters in the foreground. This book was no different. It was also interesting to see how certain dynamics and environments have altered over time.

🤐 If I could, I would shout it from the rooftops who I was swooning over in this book, what scenes had me ooh-ing and ahh-ing, and the eye-catching tidbits I noticed here and there where the Falcones are concerned. All in good time. All in good time.

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Twisted Cravings is as much Dinara’s story as it is Adamo’s and told from both their points of view. It’s a slower-paced story, in comparison to the previous books in the series, and despite the sensitive subject matter and trigger warnings this book contains, it’s nowhere as gritty either. With Adamo and Dinara being young, this had a lighter, more NA vibe to it… although the smuttiness is very much present.

I wanna say it’s a pretty straight forward storyline. The first part gripped me, it slowed down in the middle, but by the final third of the book it picked back up and finished strong! There wasn’t much plot twists, but there were a couple of moments that had me taken aback. Look forward to some lighthearted banter, some Falcone charm, and vodka! 🙌

As much I thought I would come away from reading this book loving all the romance. I actually ended up loving the family interactions more. There’s such strong family bonds in this one that I couldn’t get enough. In a cruel world like theirs it was so satisfying to see somewhat of a normal familial relationship included.

Overall, a great addition to the Camorra Chronicles. Adamo’s story has been very much anticipated and in terms of seeing him finally have his happily ever after, it certainly doesn’t disappoint! This book can easily be a bit too topsy-turvy, but when it did reach those highs, those moments were completely epic! This book has such heart. And there were parts that had me sitting up in attention and daydreaming of the future and what’s to come!

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I don’t think I need to say this but I will anyways—It’s a must read for any fan of Cora’s and the Camorra Chronicles. If this was to be the absolute final book in the series, I can happily sigh with contentment that all my Falcone babes found their haven.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Cora Reilly and Emily Alice for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

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

•••


Read my reviews for The Camorra Chronicles!

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📕 Book One: Twisted Loyalties by Cora Reilly

📕 Book Two: Twisted Emotions by Cora Reilly

📕 Book Three: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

📕 Book Four: Twisted Bonds by Cora Reilly

📕 Book Five: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly


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

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Kiss Me First by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Katherine Adams never thought she’d end up in a small town in Texas, but when things start to go south, it’s the perfect place to escape to.

Emmett Santiago, Bluebonnet’s golden boy, never imagined he’d fall so quickly, but one glance at Kate and he’s a goner.

Moving in with Katherine’s aunt her junior year of high school is the safest choice for her sister, and Katherine plans to do everything she can to make Bluebonnet their home. That most definitely doesn’t include flirting with a certain boy, no matter how charming his smile is.

Katherine might not believe in love, but Emmett is determined to win her over. When the sparks start to fly, who’ll be the one to make the first move?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Lé siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. 😍😍😍

This is just what I needed — a good ol’ wholesome and heart-filled romance story! This may be a prequel in the Blairwood University series and set in Bluebonnet but it gave just as much (if not more) feels as the other books already released. Ugh. I am officially calling Emmett my new favourite hero of this series! As much as I love a bad boy as the next chick, there’s something so special about a young well-mannered, sweet and caring gentleman!

I wholeheartedly believed Emmett whenever he set his mind to something or whenever he made a vow to Kate. He’s a straight-up good guy! There’s just nothing else to say. He’s one of those one in million guys any girl would kill to find… and it just so happens Kate managed to snag him without even trying! Dagnammit! 😄

What I truly love about this series is the groups of characters Doe creates to enhance her stories, and this book was no exception. I don’t think there was a single secondary character who wasn’t a friend or family member of Emmett’s who I didn’t like. They bring such contrast and dynamic to the group and their relationship with not only Emmett but Kate as well. I have to be honest there’s a couple of characters I’m actually hoping would one day get their own book, just so I can see what they’ve gotten up to since the time here. They’re just as developed as the protagonists with side stories of their own that I found just as entertaining to read through.

Whilst Emmett brings in the loyalty, openness, and trusty country boy charm to this story, Kate on the other hand is the new girl and comes off as someone who’s a little guarded and sceptical of trusting people (and rightfully so) — that is until Emmett (along with his best friends) brings her out of her shell and starts getting her to really open up and give Bluebonnet a chance.

There’s nothing to hate about either one of the lead characters. Kate may have her little hang ups but there’s a reason for it, but it no way makes her a disagreeable person. It’s the exact opposite, really, and it’s what makes her human and so relatable.

One thing that constantly popped into my head about this book is it has a lot of heart. I was almost taken aback by how much these characters are willing to go and beyond for those they love. Call it a cliché but this is definitely one of those “love conquers all” type of stories and I was digging it! ❤

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It’s a coming of age, young adult romance that had me teary-eyed practically from start to finish. Doe has successfully gotten me invested in not only Emmett and Kate’s blossoming love story but their own personal stories as well. It evoked such emotion out of me. Ugh. I can’t say enough positive things about this book. I even reread it right after the first time because I was nowhere near ready to close the book (excuse the pun) on Bluebonnet.

Besides the slow-ish burn (but luckily not cruel) romance, you’ll find out the reasons behind Kate and her sister’s move to Bluebonnet. It’s unsuspecting, gave this story more dimension, and keeps you second-guessing the direction in which the story will head. Told from both Emmett and Kate’s points of view, the storytelling is very well-paced and had me hooked with the gradual development of their relationship. With high school drama, family struggles, secret crushes, and new friendships, it honestly gave me such nostalgia. Ahh youth. Hehe.

  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Small Town
  • Sports Romance
  • Contemporary
  • Instant Attraction

There’s so many romance subgenres/ tropes within this storyline yet they all work so well together. Even if you’re not a huge fan of sports (football) in your romance reads, this will still hold your attention. All the relationships in this book whether they were purely platonic or romantic, were believable and in my opinion developed quite organically. It didn’t feel forced or written in to pad the story. There’s hilarious banter, a little fire between our hero/ heroine, and honest to goodness moments throughout that’ll have you happy sighing.

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*singsong voice* Loved it! It’s one of those books you can read over and over again and not get tired of. One of the best small town, teen romances I’ve read in such a long time. I would absolutely recommend not only this book but the rest of the books in this series. Such a great insight to a couple who were not necessarily in the foreground of the Blairwood University series but were always a couple that held my interest because of how easy-going and happy they always seemed within the group. So chuffed we got to see Emmett and Kate’s story. Well deserved and beautifully told!

If you’re looking for a feel good, lighthearted read, you have got to add this one to your reading list. You’ll sure giggle, swoon, tear up, and possibly hold your breath on more than one occasion reading through it. Amazing world-building where you truly feel transported to small town living, a tightknit community, and fresh country air! 😉

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss Me First? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


Read my reviews for the books in Blairwood University!

📔 Kiss To Conquer by Anna B. Doe

📔 Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe


•••

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

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Dirty Deeds by Nicole James

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

Kara Harbinger’s only crime is having a court judge for a father. One who just happens to be presiding over the criminal case of the President of the Devil Kings MC. The DKs are about to use the biggest Achilles’ heel he’s got to bend him to their will, to buy his decision, to buy his very soul.

Reno—

I want nothing to do with this job, but I can’t get out of it.

As a member of the Devil Kings MC, my life is a violent existence hinged on loyalty to the oath I took: Devil Kings before all else. I’m the club’s muscle, the brother they give the vicious, vile jobs, the dirty deeds. When it comes to my club, I do whatever they ask, whatever they need.

Then I see Kara, all sweet and innocent with her soulful eyes and sexy body. She’s a bright light in my dark existence. In her eyes, I see an escape from the brutal life I’ve lived for so long, a life void of feelings, emotions and light. She gives me the faith to believe I can have more, to believe I can have everything.

What do I do when my VP wants her taken as leverage to use against her father?
What do I do when one look at Kara threatens everything I thought I held dear?
What do I do if they want me to put a gun to her head and end her life?
I’ll have to convince her to trust me if I have any hope of getting us both out of this alive.

Kara—

He’s the only one who can save me.

I’m not supposed to want a man like Reno. He’s dangerous—a lawless, badass, alpha biker. I know I should be afraid, but the way he looks at me, with hunger in his eyes makes me want to become his.

I believed the lies he told me. I thought he was a good guy.

But when he takes me hostage, everything I thought about him is turned on its head.
Now he expects me to trust him, even as he holds me captive.

How can I trust a man whose loyalty is to his club, a club that wants me dead?

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I am obsessed with Dirty Deeds! With Reno. With Rusty. Even with the nameless prospect. Lol. But ugggh.. I loved reading every page of it! ❤❤❤

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I’m sure like many other Evil Dead MC fan, we had very strong feelings about the Devil Kings MC. They’re rivals clubs and every time they appeared in one of the books (especially in Shades), there was no love lost with them 😅

Well guys.. this book changes everything! You’re initial opinion of them (or at least some of them) will be thrown out the window the second you start reading Dirty Deeds. I don’t how else to describe this book other than a perfect read. It was just the story I needed to get out of my latest reading slump. But not only that– it was just the story that I’m always in the lookout for. It has all these elements I love in romance books all wrapped up in one and executed brilliantly, mind you! It was well developed, with the world-building expanding from the Evil Dead MC without leaving the reader who hasn’t read that series feel like they’ve missed the atmosphere and characteristics of an MC world.

Although these characters were first introduced in the Evil Dead MC, we don’t get their perspectives or their true opinions on anything really until now. The character development in my opinion is a big selling point in turning what was once the “bad guys” in the eyes of the Evil Dead (and Evil Dead fans), into the heroes in this scenario. The moral dilemma that Reno goes through here is what makes his character more than meets the eye. You really get an insight to their club life, the hierarchy and what the brothers jobs are within this club. (And if you have already read the Evil Dead MC, then you will also see the different contrasts between the two clubs).

There’s obvious dynamics in the Devil Kings. Which I think is what I enjoy about Nicole James’ MC books. There’s an array of characters with different personalities and attitudes that you’re bound to fall for some.. and glare at others. Hehe. But one thing you can always count on is the interactions these guys have. They’re written in so amazingly with their witty banter, brotherhood, and mischief-making that even without the romance, you’re still going to get an satisfying read!

But let’s be honest — we’re here for the romance…and the romance did not disappoint! This was a lust-at-first-sight turned hate-to-love, with a stereotypical bad boy/ good girl love story.

“Was it all a lie? Everything?” — Kara 

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Reno wasn’t someone I saw having his own book. Well, actually I didn’t see the Devil Kings MC having their own series but damn… now I’m eager for more! I’m excited to see more of him in future books and seeing how he’s going.

Did I mention how much I love the cover and think the model is perfect match to Reno? No? Well, he is — and I was picturing him the entire time I was reading this.

With a character like Reno (and even Rusty), it’s hard to hate him or his actions for very long because he’s one of those morally grey characters that has limits to what his willing and not willing to do, despite the fact that he’s part of an MC that lacks in the morality department. What works about him and this book as a whole is the lengths he goes through to change things in his life. You witness how he’s character goes from someone who takes orders, to someone questioning it and wanting to make up his own decisions. Kara was just the person who helps him wake up, if you will.

“You and me. That was true.” — Reno

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If you’re looking for an MC romance with equal amounts of MC and romance, then give this one a go. Dirty Deeds is a kidnapping-turned-lovers romance with possessive yet protective alphas and lighthearted banter throughout. It’ll make you swoon, smile and all the ooey-gooey goodness that comes with a winning romance book. It’s a greatly paced storyline with something always going on. If anything I wished it was longer. 😅

It’s total delectable escapism. An enjoyable read with enough thrill and suspense with so many “oh shiiiit” moments that it’ll have you holding your breath at times.

If you like alphas in your reads who are possessive and protective, but has a big teddy bear side to them — then this is another book you need to get to! Nicole James has perfected MC romances in my opinion and she knows what’s going to get her readers’ panties melting.

I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been dying for a new book from Nicole James for a while now, or that I’ve been craving an MC romance read, or that it’s a case of being cooped up indoors for weeks now that I’m no longer in the right frame of mind, or maybe it’s all of the above.. but I really, truly loved Dirty Deeds and couldn’t fault any of it.. (and if there was anything I wasn’t completely a fan of, my overall love of the book clearly trumped it!) 😄

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RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Nicole James was the author who first introduced me to MC romances, and honestly, as much as I’ve read a ton more since, nothing compares to Nicole and the caliber of her books. It always has the perfect balance of romance, edginess and grit–with a little humor mixed in. I haven’t read a single one of her books that wasn’t fun, entertaining and swoony as hell! Dirty Deeds is no different. After having read and utterly loved to death the Evil Dead MC series and all the guys in that MC.. I really didn’t think I would like any of their rival MCs. But oh man, Dirty Deeds (and Reno) sure as fuck changed my mind pretty quick.. 😂

Highly recommended read. This one’s not to be missed for any fellow MC romance lovers! A great start to a new series by James. Looking forward to the next one! 😄

•••


— EVIL DEAD MC by Nicole James —


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At the time I discovered the Evil Dead MC series, I wasn’t really writing reviews. And as much as I would love to write individual reviews for each book now, there’s just too many of them (lol… ahhh sigh) 🤦‍♀️ Maybe one day, but for the time being, I have an all-in-one post with my rating for each book in the series so you guys can at least see my overall thought of them. You can check it here: Evil Dead MC Series by Nicole James

•••


Hope you guys enjoyed another one of my ramblings.

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Catch you in my next one! Happy reading! 🥃

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Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

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• BLURB •

She was never supposed to walk into my club.
But she did.

I shouldn’t have looked twice at her.
But I did.

The criminal underworld is no place for a girl like her.

One night with Katerina isn’t enough, but men like me can’t afford to be weak.
So, I tell her to leave me behind.

She does, but not before she sees something she shouldn’t.

When she goes into hiding, it’s my duty to hunt her down.
I have a job to do, and she needs to disappear for good.

But four years later, Kat isn’t alone anymore.
And the little boy right beside her looks just like me.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Can I just start off by saying how much I miss reading Zavarelli’s mafia romances!? And that Mine brought all of the emotions back in full force. I wasn’t expecting to see an old character from her Boston Underworld series in this book and the second the little 💡 flicked on in my head with the realisation of who it was, I tell ya… it was fun-fucking A!

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It almost felt like an extension of her series, or a spin off. So I’m telling you guys right off the bat — if you ❤ the Boston Underworld series, then I can guarantee Mine is a must read! Save the date. Set an alarm. Add to your TBR. Because this one will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

It’s a very well-paced storyline (if anything, I think it went by too quickly). There was so much suspense and build-up, it felt like I was plummeting down a massive roller coaster loop, with my stomach in my mouth. Kat and Lev had sparks coming out of the bazoo the instant they laid eyes on each other, and I was sitting there reading (and surely looking like a creeper) wanting to see their interactions. 😍😍

I’ve only discovered a handful of authors who can get me invested in not only their characters, but in their stories within the first few pages — where we barely know anything about the characters yet, or where the story is heading (other than what the blurb has already revealed).. yet Knight and Zavarelli did it with ease (and such finesse!) I can usually tell straight away whether or not I’m going to like a character, and that’s a big tell on whether or not I’m going to enjoy my current read.

Both Katerina and Levka came onto the scene quite mysteriously. So, naturally I was damn curious to see who they were.


If you’re a fan of “heroines” who are smart, has heart, struggling at life but who doesn’t throw in the towel; a kitty with claws, if you will  — then Kat (no pun intended) is your girl!

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“I let out a violent scream and fight.

I fight like this is the fight of my life because it is.” — Kat


If you’re a fan of “heroes” who tips the moral scale all the way to grey (maybe even black), who’s pure alpha, both a hunter and protector, knows what he wants in life, and who can picture an end game — then Lev is most definitely your man!

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“You are safe with me tonight.” — Lev


I haven’t read an intense, romantic suspense book in a while and my gosh this is one of those books you wish would be an introduction to a new series instead of just a duet. There’s always something about a really great mafia romance that you get so completely sucked into the world and wish it would never end.

Mine had all the right elements in it that not only made it one helluva mafia romance read, but also the type of book that’ll have you wanting to read over and over again. It was effortless, pure and simple. The way Lev and Kat’s world was able to pull me in immediately. There was enough details revealed to lure you in and keep you engaged, but not enough that you can predict what would happen next.

ZacEfron_CheckListIt ticked all the boxes for me. Not just within the mafia romance genre, but romance fiction as a whole.

  • Diverse range of characters ✔
  • Plot twists ✔
  • World-building ✔
  • Chemistry ✔
  • Leaves you hanging with questions ✔
  • Leaves you emotionally wrecked ✔
  • Strong candidate for book hangover status! ✔

Before writing this review I was contemplating whether to rate this book full star rating or a little less based on my reading preferences. I’m sure everyone has things they’re not necessarily a fan of seeing in books — whether it’s violence, profanity, certain character traits, kinky shit.. whatevs! And whilst there was a little something in this book I’m not usually big on, in no way did it ruin the storyline or characters for me. It wasn’t my favourite scene, I admit, but it wasn’t a big enough moment to warrant a lowered rating in my books.

🤐 Without giving away any spoilers, and I know this won’t make any sense to you folks, and for some of you guys, this detail may not even be an issue for you at all. If you’re a fan of the Boston Underworld series, then this particular scene won’t surprise you all.

I don’t want to put anyone off from reading this book because it’s frickin’ magnificent and I would recommend it to any reader who’s a fan of dark romance, but I know a few who’ve said to me that they found the Boston Underworld series a little too dark and graphic for their liking, and I figured I should add this: As I mentioned earlier, Mine brought back all the same feels I had when I read that series. But in saying that, I also think it was less dark and gritty, nowhere near as graphic, and if you’ve just started reading dark romances or thinking of taking the plunge, I think this is the perfect book to ease you in.

These two fierce authors have portrayed their Mafia world exceptionally. Brutal. Unforgiving. Swift. The world Lev is wrapped in since birth and the family he’s obliged to makes his story both saddening and frustrating.

As is Kat’s. You don’t realise the trauma she’s been through until she’s back in a similar deadly situation and needing to survive. But even more now that she has someone else depending on her.

Lev and Kat may come from different worlds, but they both have a lot in common. And that’s one of the reasons I couldn’t put this book down. The way they connected (even in such a short period of time), you can’t miss the way they just gravitate towards each other. Ugh.

BIG SWOONINESS!!        

Mine technically hasn’t been released yet, and I know I’m lucky to have scored an early copy but damn… I needs me His like yesterday!! The way this book ended made my heart drop. It’s so climactic and panic-ridden, that you won’t know what to do with yourself when you realize it’s over and will have to wait for book two to see what happens! 🤯

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I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed reading this book. Whilst Zavarelli is one of my holy-grail romance authors, Natasha Knight was a new-to-me author. But after having read this one and loved it to death… I’ll definitely be checking out Knight’s books as well! 🙌

Escapism at its best! (Even if it is to a dark and deadly mafia world)

Please note: As this is part of a duet, Mine ends on a cliffhanger. Readers 18+ only!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Natasha Knight, A. Zavarelli, and Candi Kane PR for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

🔔 Interested in reading Mine? Grab your copy here: Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (Universal Link)  |  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

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📚 Read more of my reviews for A. Zavarelli’s books!

Crow by A. Zavarelli

Confess by A. Zavarelli

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli

📚 Read more of my reviews for Natasha Knight’s books!

The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

The Benedetti Brothers by Natasha Knight


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

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House Of Payne: Loki by Stacy Gail

HouseOfPayne_Loki_Cover

— SYNOPSIS —

Alice’s life…
…is falling apart. She’s penniless, jobless, and a week away from being evicted. Every last ounce of her misery can be dropped on the doorstep of one man—Loki, legacy member of the Gravediggers MC and tattooist at House Of Payne. One way or another, she’s going to make that monster pay.

Loki’s life…
…turns upside down when a long-legged beauty flips him onto his ass like she’s an escapee from a bad kung-fu flick. He has no clue who Alice Halliday is, but he’s determined to change that.

Their lives…
…are getting complicated. The vulnerable woman Loki sees hiding beneath a tough exterior fires up his protective instincts, and when he realizes Alice is up to her neck in all kinds of trouble, he’s determined to save the day. Sure, Gravediggers aren’t the usual kind of knight in shining armor, but Alice isn’t the usual kind of damsel in distress.

And damn, her distress is something else again.

Alice knows there are no heroes in real life, but Loki seems to be on a mission to prove her wrong. At every turn, he takes the pieces of her shattered world and builds a new one that revolves around him. But just as she begins to trust him to be the hero she needs, is he willing to let go of his Gravedigger ways to deal with the responsibility of taking care of all of her, including her heart?

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— MY REVIEW —

Loki is the tenth book in the House of Payne series of standalones. I haven’t read any of the books prior to reading this one, and although the way some of the characters interacted with one another clearly showing history, it didn’t affect the main story.

Now, onto my my thoughts of the storyline… Well…

HowToLose_DramaDramaDrama

This book came out swinging! The way Alice and Loki were introduced to each other had me fully sitting up, 100% of my attention on that opening scene and seeing how it was all going to play out. They’re completely different from the characters I thought they would be.

Alice is a spitfire. She has a hard time trusting people and tends to leap first before thinking things through. Sometimes it works out for her, but a lot of the times she ends up falling flat on her ass.

Loki, on the other hand, I assumed would be another stereotypical hard-ass. You know –the typical built-like-a-tank biker with tons of ink, and one tough alpha guy attitude. But in comparison to other books I’ve read with characters of similar traits, Loki in my opinion was on the milder side (especially considering he came from a brutal MC background). But I suppose some of that MC life did manage to rub off on him, because when he wasn’t being adorable, he was being a jerk. A massive, massive jerk! Who wanted to control everything. Hm. A complex character, that one. LOL.

So you put Alice and Loki in the same room, what do you get? Lots and lots of fireworks! Whilst I enjoyed reading some of their banter (it kept me entertained). There were also times I wasn’t a fan of their constant disagreements (pure preference here, FYI), which caused the story to drag a little for me.

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However, the character growth, the world-building and the idea of Loki wanting to help Alice out with her troubles, considering they had just met gave this contemporary romance more depth. It wasn’t a simple boy meets girl romance. It’s complex, a little gritty, and at times frustrating. I couldn’t help but feel for Alice whenever problem after problem piled up for her. On top of that, Loki’s persistence in pursuing her made their relationship one hell of a rollercoaster!

If you love angst, banter and stubborn characters, this book is definitely one to try 😛 😍

Monica_ItJustGotInterestingI admit by the time I reached the middle of the book, my enthusiasm level lowered a smidge. Once they technically got together, I found some of their interactions from then on a little repetitive. Although I will say this — they do bicker and make up like a realistic couple. LOL. I figured by that point I had already had a solid rating in my mind.. but ohhh the book gods was I effing glad I kept reading because the last quarter of the book blew my holey socks off! I went from wanting to skim through pages to needing tissues because I was all of sudden reading something that crushed my heart.

With the amount of times Loki and Alice didn’t see eye-to-eye, I knew there would be a build-up that was bound to erupt. And man, did it ever! The final chapters had my emotions sky-rocketing. I originally liked Alice and her independent self when she first came onto the scene.. but she lost a little of that along the way. Her taking back the reins in these final chapters had me fist-pumping air — and as a reader had me pro Alice again!

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I wasn’t expecting to get the waterworks. And if the emotions that was evoked in me from the final quarter had been all throughout, I would easily have rated this one a little higher. Nevertheless, the ending was my fave part no doubt! The suspense. The ass-kicking. Ohhh and the grovelling! Good times. Good times.

I also have to mention the side characters in this book added extra amusement, and at times lightened up an otherwise serious scene. There’s one minor character in particular I was drawn to the most and the way this book concluded gave sense that it may not be the last time we see this character.. so.. woot woot!

A very cool read! I would recommend it to my fellow dark romance readers, and whilst the MC was mostly in the background, I think MC romance lovers would still get a kick out of this one. Contains a fiery tempered heroine, a protective, headstrong hero (who certainly lives up to his name), and lots of hurdles for them to overcome. Grab a snack and some tissues (you may need them!) 😉

RATING: ♥♥♥.5/5

Thank you to Stacy Gail and InkSlinger PR for the opportunity to be part of the tour and for a copy of Loki to read and review!

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— House of Payne: Loki by Stacy Gail —

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Download your copy now!

Amazon (US)
Apple Books
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add Loki to your TBR: Goodreads

#StacyGail #HouseofPayneLoki #HouseofPayneSeries #NewRelease #AvailableNow #Contemporary #StandaloneRomance #Standalone #BuyNow


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Happy reading, and see you guys in my next one! Xo