A Vow Of Lust & Fury by L.P. Lovell

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

My uncle is the boss of the Chicago Outfit, but there’s one man even he fears, Giovanni Guerra. And he just sold me to him —as his wife. For an alliance. For power.

The boss of the New York family is beautiful, and deadly, and he stokes a fire in me that might just destroy us both. Giovanni was sold a submissive little mafia princess, but he’s about to find out that I am no one’s pawn.

The only vow I make is one of lust and fury.

A Vow of Lust and Fury is part of the Underworld Kings Universe. A multi-author series of standalone books filled with mafia families waging war, danger and violence, arranged and forced marriages, angst, love, and everything in-between.

Light or dark, twisted or sweet, the Underworld Kings has something for every reader.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Eeep. This is a perfect example as to why I am obsessed with dark mafia romance reads containing broody, excessively intimidating alpha heroes! AVOLAF had all the elements I love from this genre.

The premise was what initially had me wanting to read this story. From the first chapter, the protagonists had me intrigued. As it progressed, the storyline kept me engaged. There’s constant build-up and suspense, a torturous slow-burn between Gio and Emilia, and on top of that, their enemies are practically at their doorstep. Ugh. It’s one savagely edgy dark romance! 😍😍


“A better man would look away. A better man would let her go, but she’d made a fatal error; she’d drawn my attention.”


The Kiss of Death duet was the story that introduced me to Lovell, and the dark, all-out gritty mafia world she had created. This book not only lives up to the high standard that that duet had set, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the characters from said duet crossover into Gio’s and Emilia’s story. It’s honest-to-goodness like going back and visiting one of my favourite bookish worlds and seeing the gang together again. 🙌

If you haven’t read the Kiss Of Death duet, I think AVOLAF is a great introduction to their world, and the tight-knit circle of friends within. Not only will you be invested in Gio’s and Emilia’s developing relationship, but the supporting cast included will have you wanting to know their story too! The strong familial bonds amongst Gio and his friends are just as equal a highlight as the addictive push-and-pull romance.

Despite the slow burn, the storytelling is relatively fast-paced and action-packed. Lovell has created an atmosphere of uneasiness and danger surrounding Emilia and you can’t help but feel the dread right along with her. The desperation Emilia exudes has you sympathising her and the situation she’s inevitably been forced into by the lack of options she’s been presented with.

Please note: This book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as graphic violence, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. Explicit mature content intended for readers 18+ only.

I always yearn for a strong, gutsy heroine in my reads as I find the majority never live up to the “fierce, independent heroine” tag they’re supposedly described to be. But Lovell doesn’t disappoint in providing one in Emilia. In a male dominated world, she may not be as physically powerful in comparison, but she’s not one to back down and take brutality either. It’s what makes her a likable character that earns both awe and respect. Her vulnerability is what makes her relatable and genuine, and quite a contrast to the confident, and overprotective men in her life.

Gio is your typical anti-hero who does some questionable things but within reason. It’s hard to turn your back on him — he’s merciless, calculating, danger personified, yet within their society’s Underbelly there’s also an ulterior motive to his power and reputation. I love grey characters and he’s one of a few within this world that I was instantly hooked on. He’s arrogant with a little bit of a cheeky side to him that’ll have you suppressing a giggle or two, not wanting to admit that his charm has gotten to you. 🙈🤭

A mafia romance with an arranged marriage/ forced proximity trope. It’s dramatic, angsty, and keeps you on your toes the entire time. It’s very character-driven and emotion-based. Told from dual POVs, Emilia and Gio are both fighting the sizzling chemistry between them, and as their relationship builds, the intensity only deepens. For lack of a better word, it’s hot! 🔥🔥🔥

As the plot thickens, you see a gradual shift in their relationship. It might seem small in the grand scheme of things but the scenes where they get snippets of each other’s characters when their defences are down only added more dimension and complements the dark and gritty side of their story.


“He was the key to my shackles, and it occurred to me that while I’d been trying to escape him to find freedom, perhaps he was that freedom.”


True to its genre, it has equal parts mafia to romance elements. The antagonists here are legit villains. Lovell has created a diverse range of characters, all of which evoke strong emotions out of you. The writing is high quality, with such vivid world-building that I couldn’t get enough of.

Read the books from the Underworld Kings, they say.

They’re all standalone dark, mafia romance books, they say.

Um well… 🤔😅

At the rate I was devouring this book, I was completely blindsided by this, and I know plenty who considers it to be a deal breaker, especially if there’s no warning in advance, so I have to mention that this book is NOT a standalone. It ends on a massive cliffhanger that had me 😩😭😭 and needing the sequel baaaadly!

But despite the savage ending that leaves you desperately hanging, I still absolutely, without a doubt recommend this book. Lovell has quickly risen to auto-buy author status and AVOLAF has fast become one of my favourite dark romances. I will read this one over and over again. It’s a must read!   

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you L.P. Lovell, the Underworld Kings team, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading A Vow of Lust & Fury? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

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👑💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings!

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📷 Underworld Kings Website

Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli


•••

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

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Green by Nicole James

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Can a face from my past change my future?

When an invitation shows up out of the blue, I’m reminded of a promise I made to a girl twenty years ago and suddenly my heart is pounding.

Do I dare keep it?

She’s the one girl that ever meant a damn to me, and the one girl that got away. She walked out of my life once and it devastated me. Now life is giving me another shot, but if she walks out on me a second time I don’t think I’ll survive it.

Second chances don’t come around very often. Not for a one-percent biker like me. There are no do-overs in the MC life. Not when you’re staring down the barrel of a gun. Not when you’re deciding whether to pull the trigger.

But love? Maybe for once the luck of the Irish will shine down on me and give me a second chance with the one girl I let slip through my fingers.

Living with regret is a hard pill to swallow.

Living with the same regret twice? Impossible.

Sometimes facing your past can be the scariest thing you’ll ever do.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

📎 Note: I originally read Green’s story in the Twisted Steel Anthology and this was my review. After the recent release of Green’s book (with the new content included), I reread it and have revised my review. 😊

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I’m a huge fan of James’ Evil Dead MC series and this story was a much anticipated one from a very much loved character: Green!

And lemme tell you… it doesn’t disappoint in regards to making me swoon more-so over Green! His story was short and sweet, and shows a completely different side to him that I hadn’t expected (in a good way)! For those who aren’t familiar with this Evil Dead MC brother, Green is considered the guy who doesn’t really take himself or anything too seriously. He’s warm fuzzies and funny to boot but was never into wanting to settle down. Until of course… his story! 😉

He’s older now, most of his fellow MC brothers have settled down and started families of their own, and it’s made him really think about his future. Opportunities to get his life in order come through in the way of moving back into his childhood home, and receiving an invitation to his high school reunion. The possibility of seeing Sara, his old high school girlfriend in this reunion has him reminiscing their time together and how their relationship ended all those years ago. It’s given him the mindset that seeing her in this reunion and catching-up could be their second chance to reconnect romantically.

When I initially read Green’s story in the anthology, I was instantly hooked but felt it was too short and hoped that when the time came for James to release his own book that she would extend his story further. Well… wish granted! 🙏 James included extra scenes with Green and his fellow club brothers, making this MC-lite romance story just a smidge more balanced out with MC elements and romance. The scenes that take place also sets up future stories that I am giddy and raring to read!

It’s addictive and I couldn’t read it fast enough, but I also think there were certain developments between Green and Sara that could’ve been more in-depth. But knowing James’ characters tend to make appearances and crossovers throughout her books, I’m not too phased as there’s a high probability we’ll get to see more of Green and Sara in the future.

I’m not always a fan of flashbacks to the past in storylines as it can get a bit tedious and slow the pacing down but in this case the flashbacks provided in Green’s story elevated the moments and gave his relationship with Sara some complexity. Despite the length of the story being on the shorter side, James managed to get me effortlessly invested in Green’s and Sara’s relationship. I was already a big fan of Green but Sara’s a completely new character. In a short span, I already found myself liking her personality and overall presence.

I do adore the fact that they had history. It makes their relationship believable, especially with how quickly things progressed in the story. Although it’s been twenty years, I love that they were so in-sync with one another like no time had passed.

– MC Romance
– High School Sweethearts
– Second Chance Romance

This was more MC-lite in comparison to the previous books from James’ Evil Dead MC series. I didn’t necessarily mind it because it certainly sets it apart from the other brothers’ stories where theirs had more darker plotlines. Green’s and Sara’s definitely centred more on the romantic side of this MC romance story. I love the reconnecting/ second-chance aspect and that it was Green who ended up having this trope — it provided him with more dimension from his usual light-hearted, jokey side that I constantly saw throughout in the series. He was always the comic relief amongst the brothers in the MC and whenever he made an appearance in any of the books his scenes were instant LOL moments, so his story was much anticipated. Overall, I’m happy to say it lived up to what I hoped it would be. It’s swoon-worthy. We get to learn more about Green outside of the club, and we get to meet the chick who snagged Green’s heart. It held my complete attention from beginning to end! #TeamGreen #TeamIrish 🍀

A sweet and relatively short MC-lite romance story you can easily read in one sitting, and will have you happy sighing by the end. The world James has created and expanded never ceases to amaze me, and this story is a fab addition to her series! It’s a must-read for her fans, and more specifically avid fans of her Evil Dead MC series. It can technically be read as a standalone but your experience with Green and his club would be so much more heighted if you read the series from the beginning.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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💀 More reviews for the Evil Dead MC!

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Books 1-10: Evil Dead MC Series by Nicole James

Book 11: Wicked by Nicole James

Book 12: Shane (Review Coming Soon!)


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

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Clash Of The Nannies by Bella Jewel

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

A nanny is what I am.I’m a good one, too.When I’m hired by a biker and his rich woman, I can’t say no.I can’t afford to say no.I’ve never worked for a biker before, and I certainly haven’t worked for one who is this damned moody and did I mention oh, so gorgeous?Still, here I am.I need the money.I need to escape my past.I need something, anything, to make the demons go away.What I didn’t sign up for was the rich bitch he decided to reproduce with.Not only does she hate me, but she’s from the most wealthy family in town.My days are now filled with country clubs, galas and dressing a baby in clothes I could never afford in my lifetime.Did I mention the other nannies?The stuck up ones?The ones who hate me?Yeah, there’s them.Lucky for me, I have him.A connection that’s undeniable.Only, he’s everything I shouldn’t want.A biker? Bad news.I’m their nanny, even worse.Yet, their relationship is toxic.A one night stand gone wrong.An attempt to make things right for a baby he didn’t know he even wanted.I’m not in the position to be in the middle of that…Yet, there’s something there…Something between us that’s undeniable.This isn’t going to end well…

•••

• MY REVIEW •

A bittersweet ending to the Turf Wars series. I’ve enjoyed them all, as each one has been such entertaining reads. Clash of the Nannies is a secret/ nanny romance with a bit of a love triangle twist.

What made this book for me was Hugh. Aw swoon! 😍😍 He is probably the sweetest biker/ hero from the entire series, hands down! As the story progresses, you steadily see Hugh’s character growth from a biker with no commitments to becoming a responsible adult needing to take care of another human being.

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Maggie is not your conventional nanny. She’s an opinionated heroine and she will put her two cents in for any situation. What made Maggie relatable to me is she’s a heroine of Asian descent—and to be more specific, one of a Filipino background. She represented some cultural diversity not just within this story but within the Turf Wars world, albeit she’s only partly Asian and her mixed heritage doesn’t play a huge part in her character, but it’s still a rarity (at least for me) to find a Filipino character in any of my reads, especially one who plays a main character.

The storyline also broaches on serious subject matters such as social standing, prejudices, and bullying. The experiences Maggie is confronted with are relatable, real-life situations, and although these topics are sensitive, especially for those who can relate, Jewel has written-in determined characters and has tried to keep the overall atmosphere as lighthearted to ensure it doesn’t become too dramatic or deflating.

Overall, another amusing rom-com with minimal MC elements in the background. Just like the previous books in the series, it was told solely from the heroine’s perspective. It’s a relatively short read with fast-paced storytelling, and because of that reason the conclusion ended quite abruptly with relatively quick resolutions (considering it’s the final book in the series). There are plot points that were left unanswered, and unexpected new ones introduced last minute that left me feeling a little taken aback. It was a lot to process in a short amount of time. 😱

I’m not a big fan of the ending, in general. Whilst bonds and friendships were constantly developing and expanding with each new book in the series, with this book it culminated with strong “end of an era” vibes that had me a little taken aback. As I mentioned earlier, it really is bittersweet.

However, putting the ending aside along with the quick resolutions, I did enjoy the growing friends-to-lovers relationship between Hugh and Maggie. It’s a nice change of pace from the enemies-to-lovers/ hate-to-love storylines from the previous books. It centres around Maggie’s day-to-day duties as a nanny in a high society environment. It has great balance of romance, family, and friendship within the storyline that I thought were real winning elements.

I recommend the entire series. Although it’s MC-lite, I honestly didn’t mind that the club was the background as it gave way to each of the hero’s personal life almost outside of it. You still get hot bikers without the dark MC elements. It’s a great series for readers who want to slowly transition into MC romance reads without having delve into the grittiness just yet.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Bella Jewel and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗

🔔 Interested in reading Clash of the Nannies? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo

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🧁 More reviews for the Turf Wars!

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Book One | Biker Schmiker by Bella Jewel
Book Two | Heart-On by Bella Jewel
Book Three | Pop Goes The Biker by Bella Jewel
Book Four | Tartlet by Bella Jewel

•••

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

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Kiss To Remember by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Some moments define the trajectory of your life.

Grace Shelton has experienced her fair share of loss and trauma, but moving to Blairwood is her chance for a new beginning.

For Trent Remington, going to college is a chance to break free of his overprotective parents and finally play basketball.

Some moments will change it forever.

When Grace collides into Trent by accident, she sees the last person she ever expected to find – the boy that’s been haunting her dreams for the past three years. Trent might belong to another girl, but he can’t seem to get the redhead with the sad eyes out of his mind no matter how hard he tries.

Together, they might risk everything for a chance at love, but will a kiss be enough to make him remember?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

An utterly thought-provoking, emotional, and heart-clenching journey wrapped up in world-building perfection! I couldn’t get enough of it and never wanted it to end. Doe has time and time again written stories within the Blairwood University series that are so real, so worthwhile that they just stay with you long after you’ve finished reading them. Kiss To Remember is without a doubt an epic addition to the series! I’m still reeling! 😱

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each book, but Kiss To Remember evoked the same feels in me as when I had read Kiss Me First. There’s just something extra special about these stories, these characters that won me over so easily.

The world-building is vividly exceptional and I think a big reason to that is because of the prologue Kiss Before Midnight. Not only does it introduce Grace and her personal story, but it gives you a sense of time spent with her. There’s a three year span between the prologue and the main story, and you get a deep view of what has happened within that timeframe. Once you start this book, you’re already invested in Grace and understandably sympathising with her frame of mind.

What constantly had me thinking throughout were the “what-ifs”. There’s a truckload of them, and it’s always lingering near the foreground of the story as it develops. I was constantly second-guessing EVERYTHING! 😲🙈

Other than what the prologue provides this is one of those stories where you need to go in blind to get the full reading experience and to ensure you make up your own opinions about the characters and the situations they find themselves in.

I loved the unpredictability of it all! 👏👏👏 It’s the main factor in why I was so immersed in Grace’s and Trent’s story from cover to cover. It also has a beautiful youthful romance— an air of innocence in their developing feelings which at times I found angsty but still charming nevertheless. It’s well-paced, with a gradual build-up, and told from dual POVs. I can’t fault the storytelling as I thought it was well-written and brilliantly executed. It’s a story that I can go back and read over and over again and never tire of.

The supporting cast added extra dimension and provided secondary storylines in the background. If you’ve read the previous books in the series, these characters will be familiar to you and it’s always nice to see what they’ve been up to since their own stories were told. Other than the romance, there are genuine solid friendships present. They provided crucial support systems for both Grace and Trent, and I thought their concerns and overprotectiveness were understandable considering what both these protagonists have and are going through in their lives.

Another thing I’ve come to find about Doe’s writing is she creates characters with a distinctiveness to them, whether it be through their appearance, upbringing, personality traits, and/or even interests. Doe is slowly but surely building up her cast of characters as more books are added into the world yet you can effortlessly distinguish them apart from one another. They all have different backgrounds and each one is as intriguing as the last. Full of contrasts and dynamics.

Grace has quite a history and her character is totally fleshed-out as she develops in this book. She’s a likable, authentic heroine who straight-up just seems like a good-natured human being.

At first Trent seems like an easy-going, athletic hero but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Whilst this book has an overall heartwarming atmosphere to it that’ll have you sighing in happy contentment, the characters are complex, so trust me when I say Trent will have you stumped (but in a good, addictive way)! 😉

I strongly recommend it to fellow romance readers. If you like new adult, college romance reads, this one is perfect to snuggle up under the blankets with. It’s the fourth book in the series but it can be read as a standalone novel. If you’re new to Blairwood University, all the books can be read as standalone novels and, in any order, too, although I recommend reading them in publishing order.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss To Remember? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


Prequel: Kiss Before Midnight

• BLURB •

From the very first moment, Grace Danielle Shelton laid her eyes on Mason LeBlanc, he stole her breath away, but what will happen now that he sees her too?

Kiss Before Midnight is a New York Knights/ Blairwood University crossover short story.

• MINI REVIEW •

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After having recently read Kiss To Forget with Yasmin and Nixon’s story, I was curious about Grace (an old friend of Yasmin’s) and what her deal was. When it was mentioned at the end of the book that there was a little novella about Grace included in the romance anthology Mistletoe Kisses, I knew I had to read it. And well…?

OMG I need more! 🤗 Adorable young love, first dates and sweet kisses. This little snippet was perfection but nowhere near enough. I hope we got a full novel for Grace and Mason soon! Because I need to know what happens to them next.

Edit: It showed the innocence of young love, possibilities, and just an all-around feel-good atmosphere. Unbeknownst to me, this novella was the introduction to what ultimately ended up being a mammoth journey of star-crossed lovers and second chances.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔔 Read Kiss Before Midnight for FREE! Grab your copy here: Universal Link


•••

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

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Best Kept Secret by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

The secrets haunting Beau Rochester come alive.

He doesn’t deserve happiness, but he holds it in his hands. A woman he loves. A child. The past threatens to rip them away. He risks losing them forever.

Jane Mendoza is determined to protect the people she loves from every threat–the mysterious arsonist, the corrupt police force. The darkest danger comes from a place she never expects.

She risks more than her newfound family. She risks her life.

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“A responsible boss doesn’t get involved with the nanny.”


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Whilst the first two books in the trilogy had an air of suspense and secrecy, I was a little taken aback to find this third and final book was surrounded in such a depressing tone. It’s hard not to be affected by it because Jane, Beau, and the secondary characters all seemed to be in such gloomy moods for the majority of the book.

I found the pace of the storytelling a little slower in comparison to the first two from this trilogy. Although this part of the story is told from multiple POVs, so there’s lots of input and perspectives from different characters regarding the situation they found themselves in.

The first half of the overall story was very much inspired by the classic tale, Jane Eyre, but Warren has given the final leg of Jane’s and Beau’s story her own.

The angst between Jane and Beau is still very much present— if anything it’s amped up further now that their relationship has evolved from their initial guardian/nanny fling. I found their relationship to be drama-filled, tentative, and complex. If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy romance with tons off heat leaping off the pages, you won’t find it with Jane and Beau. There was initial sexual chemistry and zing in the first two books, but I found as the drama intensified, the sizzling romance became minimal. The push-and-pull between them is almost painstakingly angsty, but it can’t be denied that they do have a desperate need for one another.

Other than the relationship between the protagonists, there’s some interesting secondary plotlines occurring in the background that adds an extra element to the story.

As I mentioned earlier there’s a somberness to this book that ultimately became a big decisive factor in how I felt about it as a whole. You definitely have to be in a particular mindset to read a romance story that’s heavy on tragedy and heartbreak, and be prepared for it to seep into your own emotions. I easily got affected by Jane’s insecurities, Beau’s indecisiveness, and especially Noah’s battered heart. He surprisingly became the character in this book that I became the most emotionally invested in, just because his frustration and opinions when it came to Jane and her actions I felt were just. I most certainly felt bad for the guy.

There’s some character growth since Private Property, but I would’ve liked to have seen more in-depth development. The world-building was created and set from the first book but didn’t really expand any further from the small cast of characters and the town they reside in.

Overall, I thought it was decent conclusion. I admit it’s my least favourite book from the trilogy, but after having read and gotten sucked into Jane’s and Beau’s world, I was curious to see how it will all end. If you like Jane Eyre and retellings, I recommend you add this story to your TBR. It’s a contemporary take on a classic with an age-gap romance trope. With the differences in social standings, lifestyles, and familial backgrounds, Jane and Beau are the epitome of “opposite sides of the tracks” that unexpectedly collided together and sparked life-altering moments. It’s a dark billionaire romance; a Cinderella story of sorts, with a smidge of suspense and foreboding. These characters will have you second-guessing everything and keep you on your toes.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

•••

Thank you Skye Warren and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Best Kept Secret? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

•••


🗝 Reviews for The Rochester Trilogy!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One | Private Property by Skye Warren

Book Two | Strict Confidence by Skye Warren


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

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Dark Reign by Amelia Wilde

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Wealthy. Reclusive. Dangerous. Emerson LeBlanc doesn’t enter society much. He only ventures out in pursuit of new art for his collection. It starts with a haunting painting.

Then he meets the artist…

Innocent Daphne Morelli is more exquisite than anything he’s ever seen. He becomes obsessed with her. It doesn’t matter that she’s a living, breathing person with her own hopes and dreams.

​​​​​​​She’ll be the perfect addition to his collection.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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That’s what any rational young woman would be saying if this was any other story… or better yet, if this was reality. Lol. But this is the world of the Midnight Dynasty where anything and everything is possible— and where crazy, obsessed stalkers are swooned upon. 😜 If you like dark contemporary reads with a stalker romance trope, oh man, is this the book for you!

I was initially intrigued by the premise, but to be honest after having read it, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Daphne Moretti was a secondary character in Wilde’s Beauty and the Beast trilogy that centred around Daphne’s closest older brother Leo. Her minor appearances made quite an impact that I wanted to know her story. I have no doubt that a lot of romance readers will enjoy this book and be enamoured with Daphne and Emerson, but I found that it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I had difficulties connecting with these protagonists, and where the story was heading.

I had always found Daphne to be a likable, cheery character, but I think it has a lot to do with how she is around her family. The interactions she has with her siblings in this book were my favourite parts by far. Despite the Morellis gritty and brutal upbringing, the bond amongst the siblings (well, most of them) came off so genuine, and there was just something so lovable about their family dynamic even though behind closed doors their family is a lot more complex.

This is the first book in The Collector trilogy and it’s an ongoing storyline. It concludes on a cliffhanger. But long before it ended I was already questioning not only these characters’ thought process, but the situations they put themselves in. Daphne found herself in plenty of situations that I couldn’t help but think could easily have been avoided, or ended up with a different outcome. 🤔 I think it’s one of the main factors as to why I just couldn’t settle into this story as much as I would’ve liked to.

Daphne is an innocent and naïve young woman— who prefers not to draw any attention to herself, yet she’s constantly putting herself in strange and risky situations only to second-guess her decisions.

Ideally, I would’ve wanted to say that by the end of the book I had a fairly good insight into who Emerson is but alas, he’s still a bit of mystery. It’s clear Daphne has attracted his attention, but when it comes to anything else in his life, it’s all so vague. You’re given snippets into the dynamics of his family but just enough to keep you curious.

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Whilst there are a couple of intense moments between Daphne and Emerson and a bond over their love for art, I found the romance side of things a little underwhelming and was hoping to see more of a deeper connection. But in saying that, this is just the beginning of their story, and hopefully further character growth and a more solid development in their relationship will present itself.

It has the beginnings of an interesting world-building, especially with Daphne so immersed in the art scene. It’s a refreshing change from her family’s usual dealings in the corporate world.

Overall, I thought it was a decent story, albeit not completely my taste, but I can see its appeal to romance readers. Especially to those who have been following the books in the Midnight Dynasty, and bonus, who enjoy stalker romances. It’s a relatively short book with steady pacing. It’s told from dual POV and you can just see the differences in Daphne’s and Emerson’s personalities throughout. It’s almost eerie how well Wilde has written Emerson with this obsessive, legit stalkerish vibe from the very first page up until the very last one. He’s definitely different from the other antiheroes introduced in this world. It’s too early to tell, but at this point, his interest in Daphne is most undoubtedly infatuation more so than anything on a deeper romantic level.

The atmosphere is more thriller than romantic. There’s an uneasiness in place that I think elevated Emerson’s character and motives towards Daphne and made Daphne all the more the vulnerable heroine. It’s a stalker romance that emphasizes on STALKER!

Don’t let my personal opinions put you off from giving it a try. Read the blurb and if you’re intrigued by it, start the book. Emerson may not be my type of antihero, but he might just very well be yours. 😉

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Amelia Wilde and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading Dark Reign? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

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More Midnight Dynasty reviews!

MidnightDynasty_Banner

🥿 Cinderella Trilogy | Book One:

Stroke Of Midnight by K. Webster

🖤 Hearts Trilogy | Book One:

Stolen Hearts by M. O’Keefe

🌹 Beauty and the Beast Trilogy | Book One:

Secret Beast by Amelia Wilde

🔥 Hellfire Club | Book One:

Wicked Idol by Becker Gray

Standalone Taboo Romance:

Lessons In Sin by Pam Godwin

🕊 Dark Dream Duet | Book One:

Dangerous Temptation by Giana Darling

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

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Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

 

•••

• BLURB •

I was a nanny in need of a job.
He was darkness personified.
I had little to call my own.
He was filthy rich, powerful, and dangerous.
The assignment was simple, and my goal was too.
Take care of his son. Keep my head down. When he least expects it, destroy him.
It should have been easy. I thought it would be until I looked into his stark blue eyes.
Kissing the enemy is a bad idea, but so is falling in love with him.
He doesn’t know my crumbling foundation is built on lies.
When he discovers the truth, I’ll find out if he’s as brutal as I believe.
I came here to steal his life.
I didn’t count on him stealing my heart.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Oh my… I was taken for one, all-out journey of epic proportions with Kingdom Fall! All I could think of whilst reading this book was that it was visually appealing and truly felt like a literary cinematic experience! 😮😍

It had all the makings of what I adore (and hope for) in my dark romance reads. I love the immediate mystery surrounding Natalia and her motives for wanting the nanny position with Alessio. Right from their very first interaction, I was instantly sitting up and drawn to Natalia and wanting to know her personal story. You will discover that she’s quite a unique character— I, for one have never encountered a heroine with her background.

Alessio was a surprising anti-hero. His dangerous, broody, tortured self had a different vibe from your usual dark alpha-type heroes. His savageness is rarely on display so you tend to fall for his unfeeling, almost calm demeanor. But when he slips up, oh man, is it explosive! 🔥

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This can easily be read in one sitting, but in no way does the storytelling feel hurried, on the contrary, the pacing is steady and brought on a gradual, intense build-up. You might even say there are nail-biting moments throughout and constant unpredictability. It’s one of the main reasons as to why I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it.

The constant push and pull between Natalia and Alessio that honestly gave me mental and emotional whiplash was another reason. 😅 The hot and heavy exchange between these protagonists in a story that is heavily surrounded in secrecy almost seemed like constant teasing and a game of second-guessing, not just for the characters, but for us readers as well. With the never-ending angst, not only will you quickly get in invested in seeing Natalia’s and Alessio’s relationship develop from professional to personal, but you’ll feel emotionally wrecked before the book even concludes.

I haven’t read a lot of romance stories with a single dad/ nanny romance trope, especially in a dark romance setting, so I found this one to be a nice change of pace from the dark, mafia type romance books I usually read. Whilst there are strong dark themes included, a lot of the story does centre around Alessio’s personal life outside of the violence. The dynamics amongst his close friends and family were such contrasts to see throughout and, in a way, kept the atmosphere from constantly turning overly gritty for too long.

In saying that, please note there are subject matters that some readers may find triggering. It contains graphic violence, torture, kidnapping, and brutal sexual assault. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Intended for readers 18+ only.   

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Ashleigh has written a suspenseful and though-provoking storyline that is so intricate and complex that I was almost taken aback by how meaty it was for a relatively quick standalone novel. I thought it was effortless writing to follow despite the multiple storylines happening simultaneously. It’s told from dual POVs, so you really get an insight into both Natalia’s and Alessio’s true feelings and opinions of each other and of certain situations.

There are a diverse range of secondary characters that equally grab your attention, and will undoubtedly have you eager to know their full story. Whether these characters are friend or foe, I thought they were all well-developed and written in so well to heighten the intensity of the story as it unfolds.

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Cruel intentions, raunchy romance, endearing friendships, and at times heartbreaking realization. I loved it all. I loved seeing Natalia’s and Alessio’s character growth and in turn, seeing their relationship develop no matter how rocky their journey was. The family dynamics within were undoubtedly screwy and twisted, yet a focal point in making this one exciting and all-encompassing thrill ride.

If you like dark romance/ romantic suspense reads, I highly recommend this one! Although it’s a standalone book, it does mention a certain exclusive community that was first introduced in Zavarelli’s The Society Trilogy. If you want to more about this world and the history behind the families within (which Alessio is a part of), I recommend reading the trilogy too. It doesn’t have to be read prior to Kingdom of Fall.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Ashleigh Zavarelli for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading Kingdom Fall? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

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👑💀 More from the Underworld Kings!

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner

Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe


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

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Sweeper by Amy Daws

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

The cocky footballer next door has some serious balls…

luckily, Daphney Clarke knows how to play.

Zander Williams is the hot new American determined to take European football by storm. His head is so big, it barely fits under his backwards hat. And when he’s recruited to one of the biggest up and coming clubs in London, he’s certain to make his name known.

Managing the building where they live is only one of Daphney’s many jobs. It’s why she has zero patience for the obnoxious American on the other side of the wall who makes the most ungodly noises and likes to answer his door in nothing but a pink tea towel.

Tensions build and after one steamy hallway kiss, neighbor wars quickly shifts into neighbors-with-benefits and that’s a battle they both intend to win.

But Daphney doesn’t know the real reason Zander is in London and now she’s stuck in the middle of a game she didn’t even know she was playing.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Wow. I’m having difficulty forming my emotions into words. This was one epic journey for both Zander and Daphney that I, as a reader felt honored to witness! I love the Harris Brothers series and the standalone books that followed set in the same world. They all centered around strong family dynamics, but in terms of family, love, and growth, Sweeper just had a different vibe. 😊

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Amy has written a beautiful, fleshed-out story that dealt with complex family situations and real struggles that one can easily relate to. It could very well have been a story that was entirely set in a melancholic atmosphere, but whether you’re familiar with Amy’s writing or not, you can undoubtedly expect some light-heartedness and uplifting mood-boosting scenes for balance.

The storytelling of this standalone had steady-pacing with gradual development and build-up. It’s multi-faceted, having a couple of secondary storylines developing right alongside Zander’s and Daphney’s quirky growing relationship.

Right from the very beginning, I was invested in not only Zander’s and Daphney’s spark-inducing romance, but Zander’s own personal story. With the internal struggles and second-guessing he constantly goes through in this book, you can’t help but sympathize and if possible dive into his life and be some kind of support system that he so desperately wanted and needed.

This book will have you going from one end of the emotional scale to the other. I went from tearing up from the situation that Zander has found himself in, to smiling like a total loon, to giggling senselessly, to bawling my eyes out. It’s an emotional journey, not only for these characters but for the reader as well. But despite the drama-filled rollercoaster ride, I came away from the book feeling exhaustedly happy, sighing with contentment, and mentally looking back at how far the Harris family have evolved over time.

Besides the personal issues that both Zander and Daphney are working through, there were plenty of fun moments. The flirty banter and the language barrier were probably two of my favourite highlights. I lost count of how many times I nodded my head and laughed my ass off in agreement. It’s a next-door neighbour, friends-with-benefits type deal between these two protagonists, and at first I found their little pact unusual albeit amusing, but as the story progresses, you see a gradual shift from their initial dynamic. I love how their relationship developed because it just felt so authentic. Even though it was a relatively short time frame from when they first met to them hooking up, it didn’t at all feel rushed.

The book also includes an immensely strong cast of supporting characters that all played vital roles in assisting to bring about Zander’s and Daphney’s story. Not only do they help set the mood, but they’re presence immediately has you gripping the pages because you quickly come to realize that they’re an unpredictable bunch! Amy always seems to have such likable personalities in her books and after having read Sweeper, I’m already hoping to see more of the characters featured in this story in the future.

If I had to nitpick, I would’ve liked the sense of a more completed ending. There’s no epilogue and whilst I normally don’t mind, this is a standalone novel and I felt like it concluded with an open-ended finish. Some matters were resolved, certain “chapters” in these characters’ lives have gracefully closed, but where Zander and Daphney are concerned, it almost seemed like the end was really just the beginning for the couple… yet not really, either.

But nevertheless, it’s not at all a big issue (I’m just fussy), as I adored their story so much! It’s definitely a recommended read from me to fellow romance readers.

Two truly lovable, sweet, and funny-as protagonists. They have such chemistry that leaps off the pages and comes off so believable. I swooned. I love the interactions between them. Zander being a professional soccer player and Daphney being an indie singer/songwriter was an interesting contrast. Other than the next-door neighbours with benefits aspect of the storyline, you’ll enjoy seeing the attraction between these two opposites and the moments in which they slowly yet unknowingly start to fall in love.

Perfect balance of romance, comradery, and sports elements. It’s hearty, in-depth, and just really makes you question, “What would you do if you were in Zander’s situation?

Told from dual POVs, this story is more than meets the eye!

P.S. The backdrop will give you such wanderlust. No joke! I’ve always wanted to holiday in London, and this book only reiterated the fact that it’s on my bucket list for a reason! 😍🤗

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Amy Daws for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💚

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

•••


More reviews for Amy Daws books!

Blindsided by Amy Daws

One Moment Please by Amy Daws

Replay by Amy Daws


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

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Wicked Idol by Becker Gray

⚠ This review contains some teasers. Read at own risk!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

The new girl doesn’t belong here. So why can’t I stop thinking about her?

Iris Briggs a goodie two-shoes with a headmaster father who aims to ruin my school year before it’s even begun. She gets under my skin. With her demure skirts and braided hair, Iris flits around the periphery until she runs right into me, hot coffee soaking me as she looks up at me with wide, innocent eyes. We start off scalding.

In the library, we reach lava levels.

And then in the city? We go nuclear.

She’s a good girl, but I’m a Constantine. My duty is to my family. At least, it was until I started unbraiding the good girl and realizing there’s more to life than duty.

•••

— MY REVIEW —


“Follow me into the woods said the Big Bad Wolf to Red Riding Hood.”


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Hehehehe… I am just a little bit in lust with this book! 😍😍😍

Just when I think I’m free and clear off books set in high school, I’m dragged back in with a fantastic read!

  • Preppy students.
  • Snob-induced cliques that’ll eat you alive.
  • Jocks = Jerks.
  • The innocent, pretty, yet sassy heroine.
  • The arrogant, stubborn king of the school hero.  
  • Drama. Angst. Intrigue.

This is a high school romance full of juicy chemistry, sexual tension, enemies to lovers, and banter all rolled into one. This is Gossip Girls meets Cruel Intentions with a smidge of Gilmore Girls in my books! 🤗

(But FYI: In regards to the content, this is definitely more New Adult than Young Adult in audience rating. It’s raunchy and detailed. Suitable for 18+ readers).    

It was such vivid storytelling. I was swept up in the world of Pembroke Academy and the silver-spooned students right from the first chapter. Keaton Constantine might just be my favourite Constantine sibling so far, and Becker Gray (pen name) may just be the new (to me) authors to look out for! Wicked Idol is the first book in their Hellfire Club series and it kicked off with a bang!

I can only imagine the next books to come and which stories are next to be told. I’m giddy with anticipation and excitement just thinking about how this series and it’s world will expand. Eeep.

There’s just something special about this book that has me reading it over and over again (especially some parts more than others). I think it’s their entire dialogue… yeah I think that’s it! Right from the beginning you already get that sense of electricity in the air between Keaton and Iris. Their first impressions of each other may not have been ideal especially when teen social standing and public awareness is concerned… but sheesh was it crackling?! 🔥


“We’ve been real with each other from the start. We’re not going to stop now.”


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Witty repartee is an all time favourite element of mine in romance reads and seeing Keaton and Iris battle it out had me in absolute hoots and giggles. I love that despite Iris’ earlier misstep with Keaton and the Hellfire Club, she bounced back like a brand, spanking new tennis ball and is hitting aces towards Keaton! 👊

Keaton is first introduced as the guy who seems to be Mr. Popularity. The King of the school, leader of his clique, and has all the young ladies swooning about. He has the arrogance of a guy who has the power and backing of his well known family (and rightly so), yet as you progress throughout the book and specifically from his POVs, you start seeing a different side to him.

I love the gradual character development of our hero/ heroine. They have a nice balance between them whenever they’re together that it displays the effects they have on one another. It’s a stereotypical love story of the popular, jerky jock and the pretty, but quiet nerd but told in a modern, Gen-Z, glam-ridden way. There’s an air of coolness and poise in the student population that even the geeks and nerds in this school are above average. 


“Would it be so terrible? To fall in love with him? It would if he didn’t love me back. Because that—it would break me.”


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Amazing continuation to the Constantine clan. I’m loving the author collaboration for the storytelling of this family. As for Wicked Idol, it was an attention grabbing start to the Hellfire Club series. Would I recommend this book? Uhh… hells yes!

A well-paced and wonderfully executed storytelling told from both Iris and Keaton’s POVs. My only critique is that I would’ve loved more of a introduction to Pembroke Academy and the different cliques prior to Iris and Keaton’s official meeting. It just seemed like Keaton already had an impression of her beforehand. But this is my own personal opinion. The world-building is amazing, and I feel like there so much possibility of expansion the further the series progresses. 

There’s some very relatable subject matter touched on this storyline. Other than navigating through their feelings for one another, there’s also the typical relatable matter plenty of students deal with on the daily, such as workload, graduation, balancing school and personal life, and on top of things the stress from family expectations. 

This may sound very Disney but this story is also about taking risks and following your dreams. To never settle. 

An intense atmosphere is evident from the start. There’s an obvious divide in the students depending on their social, family, and popularity standing. I found the secondary characters were just as enigmatic and full of personality as our protagonists. Besides the interactions between Keaton and Iris, the friends are definitely something else to look out for! This book was just full of layers from the blossoming relationship, to the quirky friendships, to the complex family dynamics.

It’s gripping from start to finish.    

Even if you’re like me, who thought you had outgrew YA/ high school romance books… this will suck you back in! Just the right balance of high school drama, lighthearted banter, and young love in all its intensity. A roller coaster ride you’ll want to go on again and again… (at least until the sequel comes!) 😜  

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

🔔 Interested in reading Wicked Idol? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon Universal Link  |  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

•••


Read my review for the next book in the Hellfire Club!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📘 Book Two: Callous Prince by Becker Gray


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Happy days, my friends! Stay safe. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Violent Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

The deal was sealed the moment she stepped onto that stage.

It was like seeing a ghost. Sunshine blonde hair, pale skin, and azure eyes that held a thousand secrets.

I didn’t know what caused her to end up on that auction block.

And I didn’t care either.

All I knew was that I had to have her…no matter the cost.

One-million dollars later and she became just that.

Mine to break.

Mine to use.

Mine to keep.

But we all have secrets and when I discover hers no one will be able to save her from me.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Oooh. Second book in The Moretti Crime Family is a hiiiiiit!! 👊 If you love your dark romance reads with a little juicy mafia captive/captor romance trope, then you gotta add this one to your TBR!

This book had intrigue and suspense dripping out of it right from the get-go when Markus sees, bids, and successfully wins Fallon at a flesh auction. 

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But is one million dollars worth reliving your pain-filled haunted past? Yes. Annnnnd no. 

Markus may be seeing a ghost right in front of him in the form of Fallon but what he didn’t factor into his plans is her stubborn attitude, deceitful stories and constant emotional roller coaster.

What are my thoughts on Fallon? Ehh… She’s not my favourite heroine. I can’t say I would know how I’d act or feel if I was ever put into the same position as her, but I do know that I wouldn’t risk pushing a person who can kill in .05 seconds flat past their limit time and time again. 🙄😒

I hoped to have liked Fallon a lot more. She has some great qualities to her character but her relentless mindset was hard to overlook, and I just wasn’t a fan of it. Even with Markus’ willingness to try where Fallon’s concerned, she constantly makes rash decisions against better judgment, consequences be damned! Ugh. Not cool, chicky. Not cool. 🙅‍♀️

Thank the book gods my love for Markus was more than enough to outweigh the issues I had with Fallon. It’s a big reason as to why I enjoyed reading it overall. Clearly, I’ve gone into the deep end when it comes to dark/ mafia romances because despite the fact that Markus is danger personified, who lacks any sort of emotion that would make him the warm, fuzzy type, I still found him to be credible, alluring and protective— for a ruthless, coldblooded killer… that is. 

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Thank goodness for his experience and expertise when it comes to this dark, cruel world or else who knows what would’ve become of Fallon.

I found this book slower paced in its storytelling and in my opinion could’ve been a few chapters shorter and still would’ve kept the twists and turns and intrigue. It didn’t necessarily drag but I felt like when it came to Fallon and Markus’ constant disagreements and miscommunication it did get a little repetitive. 

Although told from first person, dual POVs, Markus’ inner dialogue was an absolute highlight to see throughout the book. For someone whose norm is to be discreet, hard, and emotionless, seeing an internal battle over his feelings towards Fallon, having him slowly open up and be a little more heart-warming towards her… well… it’s a swoony sight to see. 

Didn’t hurt that despite the whole captive/ captor situation they’ve got going, there’s definite sparks between them. Whether they’re bantering, or in a full-blown comfort sesh, their chemistry is undeniable. *waggles eyebrows*

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There’s little expansion to the world-building from what was already existing from the first book, other than when Markus mentions his job in the mafia, how dangerous that world is and how it’s not to be messed with it’s not exactly in the forefront. It’s a character driven story, with the mafia world merely in the background to cast an overall gloomy atmosphere.

Despite Fallon lacking a little for me as a heroine, I did find the story itself filled with an edge of dread that keeps you hooked. They’re both keeping things to themselves, with Markus surprisingly being the more open one — which I think is why he had a gradual character development in comparison to Fallon. Markus (as they say) is like an onion… with the layers. You can’t help but be curious and to see him unravel. And if I’m going to be honest, I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the things he did (and considered to do) to ensure things were kept in order. Lol. 🙈🤭

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A story with a few surprises here and there. I would’ve loved to have some more intensity and edge of your seat moments before everything was revealed but I could not dislike the ending either.

The majority of the story focuses solely on our protagonists. Any side characters that make appearances play minor roles or are cut short for certain reasons. Nevertheless, it was enough to provide some dimension and give us readers different dynamics depending on who they interacted with (besides one another).   

All in all, mafia romance lovers will enjoy this book. I sure did! 😊 It’s a great addition to the series and follow up to Savage Beginnings. I’m already anxious to read the next book! Eeep.

The Moretti Crime Family is a series of standalones, but the guys’ backstories are somewhat interconnected that I would recommend you to read Savage Beginnings first. Previous characters make appearances in this one and you’ll have a better understanding of where they stand with one another.

As far as dark romances go, Violent Beginnings is on the milder side, but I can assure you it’s still gritty. There’s serious subject matter included in this storyline that may trigger some readers such as graphic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking. So please keep that in mind, when considering this book.  

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to J.L. Beck, Cassandra Hallman, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

•••


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Read my review for Savage Beginnings!

📓 Savage Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

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Read my review for Savage Christmas (The Moretti Crime Family — Christmas Novella)

📓 Goodreads Review 


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

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