From 16 best selling authors comes seven never-before-released dark and forbidden co-written short stories with HEAs and sneak peeks of upcoming releases.
Tales of Darkness and Sin is only available for a limited time so get your copy now! Special Pre-Order price: $2.99!
Bestselling authors include:
Aleatha Romig, A. Zavarelli, Ashley Jade, Cora Reilly, Giana Darling, Isabella Starling, Jade West, K. Webster, Lucia Franco, Lylah James, Natasha Knight, Parker S. Huntington, Pepper Winters, Sam Mariano, Sierra Simone, Skye Warren.
All royalties from this anthology will benefit the National Women’s Law Center which represents a variety of issues from women’s rights to LGBTQIA issues. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.
• MY REVIEW •
Most (if not all) of these short stories were originally posted in the Queens of Darkness and Sin FB page, then this is the time to grab this baby! I had read a couple of these stories prior to this collection, so it was cool to be able to read the rest and be introduced to a few more new-to-me authors as well! 😊
Each one is hot romance story, definitely intended for 18+ readers only. Some have more sensitive subject matter than others that may be triggering for some readers.
Here are the short stories and introductions to new and upcoming books included in the anthology:
Sold to the Highest Bidder by Aleatha Romig and Skye Warren
Genre: Erotica/ Dark Romance
An auction backdrop with the highest bidder romancing the woman he won. Some Dom/ Sub content included. Not my cup of tea but if you’re a fan of BDSM in your romance reads, this might be up your alley. Bratva (Russian Mafia) also features in the story.
Stalker by A. Jade and A. Zavarelli
Genre: Stalker/ Revenge Romance
From a couple of my favourite romance authors. An absolutely excellent collaboration in this dark, stalker romance. Loved it! It was deviously evil and oh-so freaking good! I love a good comeuppance when it comes to someone who truly deserves pain.. (it’s why I love the movie Taken) Hehe. 😈
Great backstory to help create the world-building between Zander and Violet. Short story but it was action-packed, raunchy, and there was a scene that surprisingly made me LOL in that evil-haha sort of way! Highly recommended read.
Poised Hearts by Giana Darling and Parker S. Huntington
Genre: Mafia Romance
Wow. New-to-me-authors that blew me away with their short, but vivid mafia romance! Such world-building, with a character driven storyline. They made the whole enemies-to-lovers/ forbidden romance trope refreshing by having characters who connect in such an organic way. It’s gripping and didn’t read as a short story at all with the amount of detail and development that occurred. Slower paced and told from dual points of view. There’s a constant blanket of intrigue and suspense from beginning to end that makes this an exceptional dark/ mafia romance. Another great read from this collection!
The Dirty Bargain by Lylah James and Cora Reilly
Genre: Mafia Romance
A crossover between Lylah James’ and Cora Reilly’s mafia worlds. Can be read as a standalone. Killer and Talia are complete opposites and from opposing sides. An enemies-to-lovers romance.
It may be a short story but it’s suspenseful, packs a punch, and full of zing! 🔥
This was such an adorably entertaining story between a boss and his intern. An age-gap romance that had me hooked. The contrast between the bright, optimistic young woman who lands a job with the successful, older man she’s had a crush on for years is a sight to see. If you enjoy age-gap/ taboo/ father’s best friend type romances then you’ll want to read this one. It’s upbeat, with light-hearted banter — a total guilty pleasure read.
Not a Dirty Little Secret by Giana Darling and Sierra Simone
Genre: MM/ Taboo Romance
A step-brothers, age-gap romance. The two started off on the wrong foot causing endless heated banter between quickly turns into secret sexual encounters. Set in a political backdrop yet raunchy. A relatable story for those who have or are struggling to come out with their sexuality. Younger step-brother Tobias is openly gay whilst Prime Minister, and much older step-brother James is reluctant, and unsure of going public… especially with what’s on the line for both Tobias and himself. It’s a story of love and acceptance.
Slower-paced and a little wordy for my liking though.
Her Christmas Present by Jade West and Lucia Franco
Genre: Taboo Romance
A contemporary student/ teacher, secret crush romance story that was entertaining to read. I found myself smirking at Lexi’s flirtatious ways towards her teacher. It’s not a trope I usually read a lot of but this one was fast-paced, anything but dull between Lexi and Mr. Vaughn, and it was during the Christmas holidays. Let the good times roll! This is a legit dirty, raunchy Christmas fling! 😜
Forbidden Flaws by Pepper Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A one-night stand between two strangers who happen to stay in the same hotel. The story didn’t have enough dimension, lacked any real development between the characters, and was a little too far-fetched for my liking. A straight-up sex romp. But I know romance readers who will enjoy quick romance stories with this trope. Nothing against it, it just didn’t hold my attention.
With This Ring by Natasha Knight
Genre: Mafia Romance
This is the first book and an introduction to Natasha Knight’s newest mafia romance duet To Have and To Hold. An arranged marriage/ captor-captive romance between an Italian Made Man and a Cartel Princess.
I absolutely loved this book and the few chapters in this anthology will suck you into the story so fast, you’ll be wanting to grab the full novel right after! I highly recommend this one for avid mafia romance lovers! Cristiano and Scarlett are hot together! 🔥
I am intrigued! This introduction to Isabella Starling’s upcoming release was my introduction to her and her writing. I liked it! 😄 It was dark, giving only snippets of the protagonists and what their deal was. The story was gripping right from the start when you’re first introduced to the scarred heroine, Dove.
From what I’ve read from these chapters, this book will be suspenseful and will keep you on your toes. I enjoy a dark read when the characters’ motives slowly reveals itself as the story develops, and this is one of those stories. Great world-building with a strong gloomy atmosphere present. Will need to check out the full novel!
An amazing anthology perfect for fans of darker romance who are looking to expand their reading collection. It certainly introduced me to some new authors and looking forward to reading more of their work. Each one is only a few chapters long — some executed in creating world-building, character growth, and a hearty storyline within that short amount of time more than others. There’s a couple of which I wished were a little longer. But all in all a great collection. For a limited time only and I would take the opportunity to grab it whilst it’s available (and all proceeds are going to a good cause)!
OVERALL RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the participating authors and Social Butterfly PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! ❤
Born in Blood Sworn in Blood… …isn’t only the motto the Famiglia lives by. Bleeding for love is something every couple in this book has experienced. Through hardships their love morphs into something even more beautiful and resilient. A love each of them is willing to fight for.
This anthology contains stories for the following couples:
First off — I am so fucking ecstatic that we get more updates from OG couples from the mafia world that started it all, Born In Blood!
Warning: Lots of cussing ahead! And minor teasing!
Okay. Here we go. First up?
📖 1: Luca & Aria
What can I say about these two other than I love them, and seeing even a snippet of their lives whether it be past, present or future always leaves me with a buzz of happiness. Their short story pulls at the heartstrings — not only with how much they’ve come a long ways in their relationship since they first met, but with how much their world has evolved. It’s also a nice breather from the gritty, mafia side because this story is focus more so on their private life together.
Luca was my first love from this world, and I honestly don’t think I could ever tire of reading about him.
I’d like to see one person come away from reading this little novella without a smile on their face. C’mon. Prove me wrong! You’ll smile, you’ll giggle, you’ll flail your arms, and you’ll sigh with happy contentment!
😜 Not a surprise but I know a lot of readers are looking forward to this:
Next up? Fresh meat!
📖 2: Mauro & Stella
Ahhhh. Mauro and Stella. Two new characters that I didn’t realize I needed until I read their story. Now I am in desperate need of a full length novel! *Looking at you book gods. Make it happen.*
Who loves a step-sibling romance trope in their reads? I’m not embarrassed to admit it’s a trope I can easily be iffy about just because of the whole cringe factor that can be displayed if the story or characters are written in a weird incest sort of way. Uuck. But Forbidden Delights had none of that whatsoever!
Gripping, edge of seat chemistry. The build-up of sexual frustration was both adorable as fuck and intense. Add Mauro to your book boyfriend list? ✔✔✔
Since I had already read this novella when it was initially released in the romance anthology; Love In Lockdown, I’ve already written and posted my full review. To read my thoughts on Mauro and Stella, you can find it here: Forbidden Delights by Cora Reilly
😳 Here’s something to look forward to:
Things are heating up. Next one up is the couple that is “made for hell.” 🔥
📖 3: Matteo & Gianna
Okay. This one is a little tougher to review. Whilst I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading their novella, I did have mixed feelings about the developments. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their novella divide a lot of the readers who love Matteo and Gianna. When it comes to Gianna, you either love her or hate her. Just so you know, I’m on #TeamLoveGianna (I definitely prefer her more than Aria), and whilst their situation was all kinds of WTF?, her decisions are understandable, her feelings are relatable, and I, for one have always accepted her… opinionated attitude and all!
In saying that, Matteo has and always will be my adorable shark-grinned cinnamon roll! Seeing him wrack over his emotions just about gave me chest pains. The guy just has so much heart! This may be a novella but it packs a punch and gave a much needed update to the next chapter in their lives. Not only has this story showed how much Matteo and Gianna have gone through in their relationship, but it reminded me of how much time has passed, of how old I am, and how long it’s been since Bound By Hatred! 😅 But phew… What a journey! Have tissues at hand.
(Oh, and I knew there was a very good reason as to why I love Luca and Matteo’s brotherhood!) *sigh* 🤗
🙈 What you’re getting yourself into with this one:
Up ahead: Sugar and spice, and all things nice!
📖 4: Romero & Liliana
I don’t know why Romero and Liliana are underrated. I loved Bound By Temptation to bits and Romero is such a refreshing change from the arrogant, alpha type Made Men who enjoy the blood and grittiness. If you’re in need a true gentleman, who’s caring, protective and adorably romantic — Romero will not disappoint. And neither does this story. It was just straight up sweet!
Besides their intial book, for the most part Romero and Liliana haven’t been in the forefront, and this short story pretty much sums up their quiet life. They’re practically living the dream with having found a balance between the Mafia world and their own little heaven outside of it. It’s cool to see that there’s at least one couple in this world that doesn’t have too much drama going on around them constantly. Such an effortless coupling.
But not to worry, Romero will still bring out the raaaaawr!
And finally… the feels!
📖 5: Growl & Cara
I’m gonna admit it right here, right now — this couple’s story was the one I was anticipating reading the most! Why? Well, as much as I have a lot of love for Matteo, at least we got snippets of him in previous books. But with Ryan? The most we got was a name drop here and there.
Fuuuuuuuuuck! This story completely punched me in the gut. I felt like the rug was ripped right out from under me and it resulted in me bawling my eyes out! Ugh. As much as this story shattered my heart, it’s still probably my favourite one from this collection. I didn’t think I could love Growl anymore than I already do but he wormed his way in deeper into my heart!
Tissues! Where are the bloody fucking TISSUES!!!!? 😭😭
Their story was full of sorrow, but one of family, peace and healing too. Even if we don’t get another full length novel from Ryan and Cara, I think this novella will leave fellow Growl fans satisfied with the open-ended conclusion. When one door closes, another opens.
💘 Something not to be missed:
🖐 Fantastic stories! A great compilation from couples I so lusted after from the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles. Great seeing little snippets of what-ifs and possible teasers for future book storylines. A must read, and must have for all Reilly fans!
Thank you to Cora Reilly and Emily Alice for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💕
Happy reading, guys! Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo
Check out my reviews for each of the fairy tales included in this collection. Happy reading! The book is now available, if you’re interested in reading it yourself.
— BLURB —
In a castle adorned with gems, coated in gold, and dusted with luxury, the youngest of the Constantine Family will be introduced to the elite of New York. But the party isn’t all glamor. Villains lurk in dark corners, evil deals are struck, and starcrossed loves are born.
FAIRY TALES INCLUDED:
The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts
Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters
Cinderella by Aleatha Romig
Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle
Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine
Snow White by T.M. Frazier
Rumplestiltskin by Celia Aaron
King Midas by Skye Warren
King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly
Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone
Swan Princess by Natasha Knight
Attend the ball, wear a red cloak, lose your shoe, spin straw to gold, or fall prey to a witch. In these fairytale retellings from bestselling authors, you will find a prince, but you might choose your happily ever after with the beast.
DARK FAIRY TALES is a limited-time anthology of modern fairy tales containing all NEW novellas. Download your copy and tell a book-loving friend, because it won’t last long.
— MY REVIEW —
This was one hell of a romance anthology (and it couldn’t have come at a better time with lock down still very much in place here in Australia)! Some of these authors are new-to-me, as well as some of the tales included, but they made such an impact in making me want to check out other books written! I only wish these stories were longer. I’ve had to settle for rereading them! 😅
King Midas by Skye Warren
🎵 “I’ve got the Midas touch. Everything I touch turns to gold…”
And boy, did Raoul Midas certainly do that! A rich, successful, and powerful man paying for an escort, but finds himself enamored by the young, beautiful, and innocent Anita. This romance trope has been done plenty of times, and I’ve read a handful of them in the past, but this one had me curious from the get-go what with Raoul’s affliction at being touched. Yet, if Raoul was to let anyone break this barrier he puts up, Anita would be the one. Loved the intrigue, their instant connection, and their little chats! 🥰
Rumpelstiltskin by Celia Aaron
One of the old time classics. I don’t think there’s a lot of people in the literary world who wouldn’t have heard of, or read this tale of shifty dealings with the one and only Rumpelstiltskin — or in this case, the name is Clark. To be honest, I haven’t read any retellings of it (it had never been one of my faves growing up), but this was such a good one to start off with, and if anyone was every looking for dark, swoony versions of it, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention this novella! 😍 It’s modern, very well written, and oh-so gripping!
The Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone
Meh. I think I stumbled into the middle of the story because I was lost for a good chunk of the first half. It reads like you’re familiar with the characters already and their situation from the get-go, but I felt like I was trying to play catch-up. This is a Dom/Sub, second chance romance with some BDSM. There are plenty of romance readers who enjoy this type of romance, it’s just never been a preference of mine. So for that reason, I couldn’t connect as much as I would’ve liked with this story.
The Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle
👩🦰“My what big teeth you have.”
Seduction, mystery and murder, oh my! Starts off with so much intrigue already, until it slowly unveils the truth and you realize that this is definitely a dark and bloody tale. An enjoyable novella, that manages to create world-building and development between Red and Wolf within a good story line in a short span.
The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts
As much as I would’ve wanted to like this story, I just couldn’t connect with it as much as the others. It’s detailed and somewhat wordy, and for a novella it surprisingly dragged a little for my liking. It did have elements from the original classic, e.g. being a little bit different from the rest and finally having the courage to stand up for yourself, but other than that this was a whole new story. Contains F/F romance. There’s sensitive subject matter within that may trigger some readers.
Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters
“It’s a tale as old as time, isn’t it?”
I’ve read quite a few Beauty and the Beast inspired stories and retellings, and I still can’t get enough of them. This was a deliciously, dark and sensual version. It kept a lot of the elements we all know so well from the classic but wonderfully written in a modern setting. So much spark and heat between Calum and Annabelle that I could not turn the pages fast enough to see how things would unravel between them. Such world-building and build-up between the hero/heroine from start to finish.
Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine
Damn. This was one of those fan-your-face type of romance read. 🙈 I honestly couldn’t picture a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling as an adult M/M romance (or any romance for that matter), yet lookey here! And this one’s full of betrayal, revenge, and unrelenting love. If you’re a fan of enemies to lovers/ hate to love romance tropes, like I do, you’ll enjoy this one.
King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly
A tale I was not at all familiar with. Now? I am obsessed with the tale! Or maybe it’s just Cora’s version of it, who knows?! 😄 Arranged marriage. Hate-to-love romance trope. Some mystery. With very hot and heavy scenes between Jean and Peyton. This story had me wanting more!
One of my fave tales growing up. This is a must read. I thoroughly adored Knight’s take on it. I couldn’t get enough of the anticipation and build-up, and chemistry between Salvatore and Lucia. Knight’s dark mafia spin was a refreshing take, with the prince in this version being the villain. Enemies-to-lovers at it’s best! 😍😍
I thought this was an interesting take on one of my all time favourite fairy tales. Whilst it does have the main elements of the classic — like the shoes, the ball and evil stepsisters, it also has a lot of new elements that really make the story Romig’s own. She’s incorporated her book series (which I’m not familiar with) into this novella. It’s special-ops/ military type romance. If you like reading from that romance sub-genre, you’ll like this one.
Snow White by T.M. Frazier
Oooh. This was a deviously grimy read, and I didn’t expect anything less from Frazier. I’ve read quite a few dark versions of Snow White and this was probably one of the more twisted of the lot. It’s icky…yet not? 😅 All I can say, is if you’ve read quite a lot of dark romance books, and/ or familiar with Frazier’s style of romance, then the things that with these characters is nothing new to the world. Either way, I loved the intensity between Chase and Neve.
If you love dark versions of fairy tales, a modern retelling, and/ or stories inspired by them, then I think you’ll enjoy this anthology. There’s amazing romance authors included and their take on these classic tales are addictive that you won’t be able to put it down.
Whilst I’ve always been a fan of fairy tales, I admit some of these classics were unfamiliar to me, but after having read these ones, it’s completely made me fall in love with them. I highly recommend it.
Perfect to read in one sitting, or a couple at a time between your other reads.
OVERALL RATING: ♥♥♥♥½
Thank you Skye Warren and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗
A prequel to the Throne of Glass series. Contains all five novellas.
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.
— MY REVIEW —
Before I get on with my review. I have to admit that I read this book back in May but with life getting in the way of fangirling and book blogs, my blog took a backseat the whole of June (hence my lack of recent blogs) but I’m hoping to slowly but surely catch up on my book reviews. Phew! Please bare with me! 💜
I loved this book! I loved reading about where and how Celaena started as an assassin.
Sarah J Maas advised to read this one after Heir of Fire and before Queen of Shadows, so if you read the first three books like I did, you would know Sam (her first and in my opinion true love) had died. So you would think coming into this book you wouldn’t necessarily develop a deep connection with Sam because you would’ve already fallen for Chaol or even Dorian for Celaena. You’ve had three books worth to get a feel for a character and to fall for them but let me tell you, this book…omg this book..totally changed everything. It was such an insight to Celaena’s past and you finally get to see the man Celaena is still hurting over.
I thought when I first read Throne of Glass that I wouldn’t fall in love any other character for Celaena than Chaol himself (then of course that changed with Rowan coming into the picture later on). But after getting a glimpse of Sam here and there throughout the first 3 books, I was really curious to read more about him and why he impacted Celaena’s life so much.
If I didn’t say it before, I’ll say it again. I wish Sam didn’t have to die.
I WISH SAM DID NOT HAVE TO DIE! I would have loved to see more of what could have been between Celaena and him. And see him as character develop more into a man. I was seriously reading the book knowing ok..he’s going to die.. but question is when? You think I would’ve already prepared myself, right?
It was a weird experience reading it. You could see it coming but then again you couldn’t. Does that make sense? I don’t know how else to say it. I was in panic mode the whole time I was reading it (hoping even),that he would survive! Or at least not die the way he did! 😢
Ohhhh how I loved these novellas. There’s 5 in total but I loved The Assassin and the Pirate Lord and The Assassin and the Underworld the most.
Besides getting to know the beautiful Sam, you also get the pleasure of knowing how cruel and vindictive Arobynn really is. If you thought he was already a shitty piece of crap from the way Celaena talks about him in TOG, then you’re about to get to know him first hand! Enjoy!
All kidding aside, I really recommend that you guys don’t skip this book. It really does give you insight to why Celaena became the way she did and it really shows how far she’s come from since. And I’ll give you a little hint – Some of the things you read from this book may just come back around in the series (and you wouldn’t want to be lost when you do read on, would you?) 😉
It’s actually one of my favourite books from the series. I would’ve given it full ratings if it weren’t for some of stories being a little slow paced for my liking. I kid you not, if I wasn’t so picky about tiny things like that this would be 5/5 in my opinion. So don’t even take my rating seriously. Lol.