Climbing The Ranks by Nicole James

Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

“No knight in shining armor is coming to rescue me. If I want to get out of this revolting place, I’ll have to save myself. He was supposed to be my escape, but now he has my heart under lock and key.” -Isabella

TREZ-

I’ve climbed my way back from the bottom rungs of the hell I once lived. I’ve treated the symptoms, my drug addiction, but have yet to forgive myself for the cause. I’ve buried it six feet under, but I know it’s there haunting me. I killed my mom, even if it was an accident.

Now it’s time to prove myself to my father and my club, the Royal Bastards MC. He put me in charge of a deal with the Hell’s Bandits MC. Now I must prove I can handle the responsibility. I must convince them I can do it. But can I convince myself that I deserve it?

That won’t matter, if I can’t even manage the deal. A sexy little vixen whispers secrets of betrayal and suddenly the problems keep piling up. She’ll give me the information I need in exchange for her escape. She has me questioning everything and wondering if I’ll be willing to free her from my grasp when the time comes. Is she the thing I so desperately need to finally be rid of my demons?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Nicole James just keeps on surprising me with how effortless she changes up not only her storylines but her bikers as well. Trez is the epitome of a badass biker who is a true-blue gentleman! Chivalry isn’t dead, folks! What sets him apart from all other bikers from other MC romance stories is how forthcoming and accepting he is of his feelings when the right woman comes along. There’s no game-playing… no ifs, buts, or maybes. He makes it so easy to fall head over heels for him! 😍

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Although a relatively quick read, the storytelling itself was well-paced and immediately had a sense of danger lurking right from the very start. It set the atmosphere for the entirety of the story. There may have been plenty of lighthearted moments throughout, but the feeling of uneasiness and waiting for the other shoe to drop was always lingering in the background. I loved it— it’s a meaty romance story with an angsty, suspenseful vibe.

I initially had a different perception of Trez in Club Princess (book one) but he has grown so much as person since, and this book is a definite redemption story filled with healing, acceptance, and new beginnings.

There’s a nice balance of romance, friendship, and MC elements that made this story so in-depth. It’s action-packed, never a dull moment, and just like the first book in the series, the story is told through multiple POVs, which is a refreshing change from the usual dual perspectives you see in a lot of romance books.

Both Trez and Isabella are such likable characters who haven’t had it easy in life. I was emotionally invested in their stories and my heart went out to both of them the second their backstories were shared. The slight slow-burn development of their relationship was one of the sweetest things about this book and made their connection all the more genuine.

This story is gritty at times and broaches on subject matters that maybe triggering for some readers. Please note it contains matters such as drug abuse/ addiction, attempted suicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, graphic violence and abuse— all causing physical, emotional, and mental scarring. Intended for readers 18+ only. 

Nicole James is so consistent with her writing— it’s always effortless to follow, she always manages to lure you in by the first chapter with her intriguing characters, and by the end of the book with the little teaser she provides you’re itching to get your hands on the next one. 😱 Climbing The Ranks is an exceptional second book in Nicole’s RBMC Durango, CO Chapter. I enjoyed reading it! The world-building has certainly become more complex as more characters are introduced and we get to see more and more of the club. It can be read as a standalone novel but I highly recommend reading Club Princess first as it show Trez’s history in detail and gives you a better insight of how far Trez’s relationship with his family has progressed since.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Nicole James and the entire RBMC crew for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Climbing The Ranks? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

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💀👑 More from the Durango, CO Chapter!

booksofthemuggleborn_clubprincess
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📓 Book One: Club Princess by Nicole James


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

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Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Rapture, desire, need – the yearning for our passions is the reason we strive, the reason we breathe. I’ve devoted my entire existence to the pursuit of my passion for dance. Ballet is my escape from the dark underworld I was born in to. As a Carpella and the daughter of a made man, I’ve accepted certain traditions. Yet, having just been promoted to principal within a prestigious dance company, I’m so close to being free…

Until a devil with blood on his hands and an Irish curse inked into his skin tears into my world, now passion holds a whole new, sinister meaning. With ruination in his steel-blue eyes and me in his crosshairs, Lucian Cross traps me in his gilded cage and uses me to deliver his retribution.

Forced to sign a marriage contract to unite two warring families, my father traded my life to save his own. Now I’m bound to Lucian, owned by a monster who swore an oath of pain and suffering to the Carpellas.

Lucian’s passion is revenge.

And because my family destroyed what he loved, he’s vowed to destroy what I love. Every night he forces me to dance until my breaking point. He wants to condition me to loathe the very thing that once gave me hope.

I can’t let him break me, but the closer we get to the wedding date, the more entangled I become in his dangerous, tempting world, and I’m losing myself in this man.

His vow is my pain.

My vow is not to fall for the enemy.

But how can I dance with the devil himself and not be singled by his fire?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I have never read a romance story with a slow-burn romance that tortured me as badly with how sluggish it developed than this book right here! My gosh, it was like a gradual teasing build-up that led to more teasing and a whole lot of sexual frustration and torture for both protagonists… and *cough cough* me. 🤦‍♀️😅 If you enjoy angsty, SLOOOOW slow-burn mafia romance reads, this story might just be for you!

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Trisha Wolfe is a new-to-me author and this was my introduction to her writing. Marriage & Malice sets a gritty almost squirm-inducing atmosphere right from the opening scene. I was instantly immersed, needing to know what’s to become of Violet and Lucian in this all-out mafia war and enemies-to-lovers story.

Italian mafia vs the Irish syndicate, and caught in the crossfire is Violet who spent most of her life outside of it, training as a ballerina. The premise of the two worlds merging was what initially had me interested in reading this story and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of seeing a nice balance of both elements. There’s an obvious dynamic between Violet and Lucian the minute they meet and it only intensifies the longer they’re in forced proximity.

I did enjoy the build-up to their relationship and the suspense surrounding them. I only wish it didn’t take as long to admit their feelings for one another, and because of that I felt like by the time they were in it for more than the initial arranged marriage and Lucian’s vengeance, the emotions they were feeling wasn’t as in-depth or believable as I was hoping for.

For the most part it was steady-paced storytelling, only occasionally slowing down in certain parts. It’s told from dual POVs and gives you excellent insight into both Violet’s and Lucian’s pasts. Their romance is undoubtedly steamy and their growing attraction for one another is one of the most tantalizing things you can expect to see.

Overall, it had suspense, some unpredictability, and the secondary characters helped create layers in the world-building. It’s a pretty grim and dark atmosphere throughout and putting aside the romance aspect of the story, it has subject matters that may be triggering for some readers. It contains attempted sexual assault, graphic violence, abuse/ torture.

Whilst both protagonists have some character growth, it’s Lucian, in my opinion who had the most development. The further you delve into the story the more you see the subtle changes in not only his demeanor but his mentality towards Violet as he struggles with keeping his revenge. It may be a love story (albeit a dark one), but Lucian is the central character here and the story revolves around his agenda.

As much as I like this book, I do however feel an epilogue is very much needed, whether or not Trisha decides to revisit this world in the future. The ending just didn’t feel complete for a story that’s supposedly a standalone and I was left wanting more for their HEA. 🤔

Nevertheless, I think it’s a great addition to the Underworld Kings. It certainly brings in the darkness, the world of Made Men, along with complexity, villainous characters, and ulterior motives one can hope for in a romantic suspense read. The scenes with Violet dancing were beautiful, and such a contrast to the death and violence that consumed a large portion of the storyline. Lucian is Irish and a real alpha-hole… but for good reason. Violet is thrust back into the world she was born into and discovers she has more grit in her than anyone (including herself) could’ve ever imagined.

If you enjoy reading hate-to-love romances with a dark mafia backdrop to them, give this one a read.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Trisha Wolfe and the entire Underworld Kings team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

•••


💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings! 👑

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

📖 Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

📖 Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard


•••

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

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Dangerous Temptation by Giana Darling

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

He arrives all dressed in black. Diamond cufflinks. A watch on his tanned wrist that cost more than we would ever see in a lifetime of work. He carries a single red rose for my mother.

Months later, Tiernan Morelli lays red roses on my mother’s grave. That same day, he tells me that he is my new guardian.

I should have known from the very start that he had more in common with the thorns than the rose. Now I know the truth: I’m a pawn in his dangerous game of revenge. I was too young and naïve. Now it’s too late to save myself from his clutches.

I belong to him.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

When it comes to Bianca’s and Tiernan’s story, I am officially no longer on the fence! The prologue novella Bad Dream left me emotionally up in the air but after having read Dangerous Temptation, I can without a doubt say, “Okay, Giana, you’ve won me over!” 😄

This book had sex, suspense, intrigue, and corruption all weaved together. The further the story progresses, the more twisted it seems. As they toe the line between right and wrong, good and bad, it not only questions the protagonists’ morals but will have you questioning your own because as much as what is developing between them is all kinds of wrong, it’s also intensely gripping to see play out! 🔥😈

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Dangerous Temptation was an intricately well-written storyline. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time constantly wondering where it was heading and how Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship would evolve from what was demonstrated in the prologue.

I was apprehensive at first with the distinct age gap— Bianca being seventeen (aka considered a minor), and a thirty year old Tiernan (who not only is Bianca’s love interest but is also the guardian of both her and her younger brother), but as we steadily get to know more about these protagonists, the lives they’ve lived, and once a particular dynamic settled between them, the issue with their ages gradually faded into the background. Yes, there are times that their ages/ mentality peeks out again and blares the obvious differences, but as this story had a handful of ongoing developments, with secondary storylines, diverse range of characters, and unique relationships you no longer focus on the matter of age gaps as much. Especially since Bianca’s and Tiernan’s relationship is far more complex than meets the eye.

If you love alpha-holes, add Tiernan to your “one to watch” list! *waggles eyebrows* Bianca can be passionate about certain things. Her youthful personality often exhibits a mixture of bratty teenager, rebelliousness, and naivety. But both protagonists will surprise you when you least expect it.

There are quite a few romance tropes at play in this story— billionaire romance, enemies-to-lovers, taboo romance… and a touch of erotica. But they all worked well together in creating quite a sexual build-up between Bianca and Tiernan.

This story provided lots of splendid little surprises throughout that honestly left me smiling, giggling, and/or talking to myself (or rather the book) asking, “Why, oh why!?”

You can easily guess the direction the story is heading, but concentrating on the moments (the here and now, if you will) I love the unpredictability of it all, and since Giana is a relatively new-to-me author, I think Dangerous Temptation is a nice introduction to her writing. The storytelling is vivid and well-paced, and transports you to these characters’ surroundings. I was invested in not only Bianca’s and Tiernan’s tumultuous relationship but those in Tiernan’s inner circle— his eclectic band of brothers won my heart over instantly! I’ve mentioned wanting to know more about Ezra after his introduction in Bad Dream, and I was ecstatic to find that my wish has been granted… and I think I may just love him even more now! ❤😍

I love the diversity of the secondary characters whether they are friend or foe, they elevated the atmosphere and overall world-building of the story. Besides the intense romantic relationship, the dynamic amongst the characters in Tiernan’s circle was my favourite feature in this story. I found it unexpectedly heartwarming and added lightheartedness in between the heated moments. There’s a genuine likability and relatability with these secondary characters, and I love the fact that they played such essential and momentous roles.

The underlying reasons behind the chain of events that occur in this storyline are based on old rivalries, vengeance, and pure hatred, but it also strongly centres around familial bonds and unusual upbringings.

The more I progressed through this book the more it grew on me and the characters lingered in my mind. In a short amount of time, you see quite a transformation in both Bianca’s and Tiernan’s characters that ultimately alters the initial plans. It ended on a nail-biting conclusion that will have you needing the next book immediately. With the introduction of Bianca Belcante and Tiernan Morelli, Dangerous Temptation is a fascinating expansion to the Morellis and Constantines, and an engaging addition to the overall world of the Midnight Dynasty.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Giana Darling and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading Dangerous Temptation? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Apple Books  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

•••


🌹 Read my review for the Dark Dream Prologue!

booksofthemuggleborn_baddream
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📒 Prologue Novella: Bad Dream by Giana Darling


•••

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

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Bad Dream by Giana Darling

⚠ This review contains spoilers!

booksofthemuggleborn_baddream
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Bianca is trying to survive in the small Texas town. Her only goal–to keep her younger brother healthy. Everything changes when Tiernan shows up at her mother’s door in a suit and tattoos.

His dark world is all-consuming, but she doesn’t want his money. Or his secrets.

Until her mother dies.

Then she has no choice but to turn to the only person who can help.

** Bad Dream: A Dark Dream Prologue to Giana Darling’s upcoming release Dangerous Temptation set in the Midnight Dynasty.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

*Ding! Ding! Ding!* 🎙 Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuuuumble! 👊

My, my, my… Bianca and Tiernan both came out swinging! It’s not even the good type of banter. I’m talking all-out hate and spite between these two. So far, I can’t wrap my head around the thought that they’ll eventually become romantically linked— and there’s a few reasons why…

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a) There’s quite an age-gap between these two protagonists. Tiernan is thirty, whilst Bianca is seventeen. Age-gap romances don’t put me off as much as they used to, and I’m sure Tiernan and Bianca won’t hook-up until she’s older (let’s hope), but I’m still a little iffy on the fact that Bianca is still in her teens. 😬

b) And there’s the matter of Bianca’s mum, Aida having dated Tiernan (before her untimely passing, that is). There’s also a particular scene that clearly implies the two having slept together (I’m putting it mildly, here), and well, it’s hard to wipe that little image clean from my mind. Hm.

c) After the death of Bianca’s mother and things become a little clearer on Tiernan’s real motive with her family, he amazingly enough ends up having legal guardianship over Bianca and her younger brother, Brandon. Yeah… that’s not random at all. 

But in saying all that, I have to admit I am weirdly curious to see how this will all play out between them. As of right now, Tiernan is a right prick… and Bianca is a frazzled, naïve teenager who looks to be in way over her head, but this novella planted an air of intrigue and thrill of the unknown that has me eager to jump straight onto Dangerous Temptation (especially with how this prologue concluded).

Is it weird to say that at the moment I’m more interested in knowing more about the secondary characters?? Well, one in particular. 😅 Ezra. Like… woah who is he?! It’s the quiet ones you gotta watch out for— and it’s never been more true with Tiernan’s right hand man. Do we know if he gets his own story? Anybody? Any news?

And on the opposite end of the spectrum is Bianca’s little brother, Brandon. It’s still early days but he seems like an upbeat, likable character. No signs of brattiness, so that’s already points in his favour! 😁

Overall, a nice little introduction to Giana Darling’s world within the Midnight Dynasty. The novella is told solely from Bianca’s POV but I’m hoping once we get to the main duet that, that changes to dual perspectives. If you love dark billionaire, taboo romance books, then check this one out. It’s quite a teaser for what’s to come in the Dark Dream duet. This story is certainly making Lucian and Leo look like small-fry, and only time will tell on how cruel, how cold-hearted, how villainous this Morelli really is in comparison.

Readers and fans of the Midnight Dynasty, dust off your gloves because it looks like we’re having another Morelli/ Constantine fight-off!

*Ding! Ding! Ding!* 🎙 Fighters! Back to your corners! 🥊😈

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

🔔 Interested in reading Bad Dream? Grab your FREE copy here: Amazon  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••


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

•••

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

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Bewitching The Biker by Glenna Maynard

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

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📷 Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I’m an outlaw.
A man who takes what he wants without asking, and what I want is her.
I’ve been bewitched by a vixen. The witch has me under her spell.
She hexed me.
Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I’ll prove it.
I’m not supposed to fear anything. I never have.
Until her.
They call me Sandman but Bianca is the one haunting my dreams.

Bewitching the Biker is book 7 of the Royal Bastards, Charleston WV, Chapter but can be read as a stand alone.
Suggested reading order:
The Biker’s Kiss
Lady & The Biker
Tempting The Biker
Keeping The Biker
The Biker’s Lucky Charm
Taken By The Biker
Bewitching The Biker

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“Fuck me she’s a witchy dream come true. I’ve never wanted to fuck a wicked witch more in my life.”


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Eeep! Complete and total fun halloween-y addition to Glenna’s already amazing RBMC series! What a novella! 😍🙌

In just a short amount of time this story had me both swooning and laughing my ass off at the banter between Binx (aka Bianca) and Sandman! It’s a great little romance read perfect for the season of pumpkins, sweater weather, and all things eerie! Glenna has managed to shine a spotlight on a character that, to be honest until now I hadn’t really paid much attention to in the series’ previous books. Sandman is gruff, sexy, and all-out alpha, yet seeing him constantly get knocked down by a five foot tall minx of a heroine was a hoot to see! *Ka-pow!* 👊😂

Both protagonists are such lovable characters but I have to admit I immediately gravitated towards Bianca because I found her so relatable. If like me, you’re a huge fan of the cult film (and novel) Practical Magic, I guarantee you will enjoy this story too! It might technically be an MC romance but there’s definitely magic and suspense in the air.


“You can fight fate, deary, but she always wins in the end.”


A novella that had great world-building especially from Bianca’s witchy world, and a nice little build-up to their romance. I was so immersed in the development of their relationship that I honestly was bummed to see this story abruptly conclude. I would’ve loved one more chapter… or at least another few pages. But I’m giddy with excitement that Glenna does have more plans for this couple because they’ve seriously become a hot ticket item! ❤  

Here are the things I thoroughly loved about this book that you can look forward to:

  • Hate-to-Love (Banter! Banter! Banter!)
  • Opposites Attract
  • Zingy Banter
  • Tons of Brotherly Love
  • A sprinkle of Paranormal Activity
  • Laugh out loud one-liners! 😮🤭 

Great in-between read that’ll lift up your spirits 👻 (no pun intended). It can be read as a standalone book but this series and all the characters from Glenna’s RBMC world are addictive as fudge, and it’ll be a shame if you don’t read them all. 

Fast-paced storytelling but it’s hearty, multi-dimensional, and full of genuine characters. You’ll get a kick out of both Bianca’s and Sandman’s inner dialogues and opinions of one another as it’s told from dual points of views. The secondary characters from the comic reliefs to the adorable sidekicks added the extra oomph!   

Glenna’s writing style has always been effortless to follow and this one is no different. She has a way of sucking you in from the opening scene. There’s a sense of being watched, secrecy, and mystery throughout that gives the entire setting a buzzing thrill. Ironically, for a Halloween-themed story it’s actually one of Glenna’s less darker storylines but don’t worry, you can still expect enough MC elements within. Halloween, an unexpected romantic connection, and a motorcycle club… nuff said!  

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Glenna Maynard for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

🔔 Interested in reading Bewitching the Biker? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 More reviews for the RBMC Charleston, WV Chapter!

The Biker’s Kiss by Glenna Maynard
Lady & The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Tempting The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Keeping The Biker by Glenna Maynard
Taken By The Biker by Glenna Maynard

•••

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

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Worth The Pain by J.L. Leslie

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Allie…

I let him break me. Shatter my heart into a million pieces. And I took the coward’s way out. Only the drugs didn’t help. Didn’t make me forget him. I still remember every thing about him. The way his piercing blue eyes looked right through me. The way his perfect lips danced over my skin.

The way he rejected me so cruelly.

And now I can’t escape him. Couldn’t pretend he doesn’t exist even if I tried. Because every single day I wake up to a beautiful reminder of the devastating pain he caused.

Hunter…

My club thinks I’m losing my mind. My sister prays the old me will return. And my best friend…well…I’ve cut ties with him.

I’m on a path of self-destruction and I have no intention of changing direction. Not until I find out the truth. Not until I find the missing girls.

I thought she was one of them. Thought she’d been taken. But she was simply hiding away from me.

I don’t blame her. I was cruel to her. Caused her undeniable pain.

But she’s hiding more than herself. She’s hiding a kid. A kid who has piercing blue eyes exactly like mine.

And after everything I’ve put her through, I need to prove that I’m worth the pain.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I know this is only the second book in Leslie’s RBMC series but it felt like I’d been waiting for Hunter’s story for—ever! He was the secondary character from Worth The Risk (book one) that I was most eager to read more about, and now that his story is here, I have to admit it’s not at all what I had expected. 🤔

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It’s a relatively quick story for a full-length novel and I was able to finish it in one sitting. The storytelling is fast-paced with constant developments coming one after the other. It’s emotion-based, told from dual points of view with both Hunter and Allie being of second mind for the majority of the story. With all the craziness and the push-and-pull within their complicated relationship, you’ll question whether or not they’re truly suited for one another.

The premise is what initially intrigued me but the flow felt a little choppy for my liking, and the development in their relationship didn’t feel as in-depth or come off as authentic as I was hoping to see. They had a one-night stand and prior to their reconnection had spent time apart so I was expecting plenty of character growth and maturity from both protagonists but it seemed like time hadn’t altered their mindset and they’re stuck in this repetitiveness with their feelings, never quite moving forward. I am relieved to say it eventually improves and they do finally get their act together but I’m contemplating if it happened just a smidge too late in the story.

Hunter is not at all how I remembered him from the first book. From that time to the present his character has clearly shifted because he’s become a hard man to love. The only redeemable quality I could see in him within this book is that he eventually saw the light and wanted something more out of life, and knowing Allie had to be a part of it started to make amends. (I would’ve loved to have seen some more groveling from him though).

Allie is a likable character but she doesn’t necessarily make the best choices. She’s the type of heroine that I think readers would either love or loath. Although some readers may find her and what she’s been through relatable. She’s indecisive and uncertain about a lot of things but she also knows what she wants for her future, and I think it’s easy to identify with that.

Similar to the first book I was left with some unanswered questions that I’m guessing will either be left unsettled or will hopefully be addressed later down the track in future books. There are quite a few different plots happening at once and if you haven’t read the first book, you may find it a little difficult to understand the history amongst these characters. Although you can technically read this one as a standalone, I highly recommend you read Worth The Risk first.

For the most part a grey atmosphere but with this being the second book in the series, the world-building is gradually evolving. I do like that there’s a nice amount of both romance and MC elements. It has plenty of suspense and unpredictability. The violence is detailed but not overly graphic, and I thought there was enough lightheartedness brought on by the MC and the friendships to keep things from getting too gritty.

The storyline touches on drug abuse/addiction that some readers may find triggering. Including adult themes such as violence and strong sexual content, be advised this story is intended for readers 18+ only.

Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst I was already hooked from the opening scene and invested in seeing their story unfold, it did take a while to grow into liking Hunter’s and Allie’s relationship. But I can’t deny that it was the little moments they had throughout that ultimately kept me engaged. With the addition of the brothers from the MC and their comradery, I thought this was a pretty decent read.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you J.L. Leslie and the RBMC team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Worth The Pain? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 Read my review for Worth The Risk!

booksofthemuggleborn_worththerisk
Original post from my IG @booksoftheluggleborn

📒 Book One: Worth The Risk by J.L. Leslie


•••

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

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The Saints Series by Michelle Heard

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

Mafia & Bratva Romance. Set in the same world with connecting characters but these books are all STANDALONES and do not have to be read in order. All the books are told from dual POVS. 

•••

• Book One | Merciless Saints •

BLURB

Alliances are made. Loyalty is owned. Love is taken.

I’ll show everyone I’m a threat, and they will fear me.
For my family. I have to protect them.

The second I hear the name Damien Vetrov I know I’m in trouble.
He’s an arrogant Russian God.
Only, I have zero intention of bowing to him. Ever.
Attractive and lethal. He’s such an intoxicating mixture.

Every second we spend together, the pull between us becomes stronger, and my fear grows.
While my body wants him, my head knows better. He has the power to kill my family.

But when blood is shed, I’m forced to depend on Damien for my life.

Being at his mercy, whether he’ll kill me or protect me, is still up for debate.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Damien & Winter | An Irish and Russian marriage of convenience/ formed alliances romance.

Their story surprisingly have me bawling my eyes out! A heartbreaking storyline that just kept hitting the feels! I was emotionally drained after reading this book and a lot of it was due to the brutal tragedy that befalls Winter.

It’s action-packed and constantly moving forward. There’s just the right amount of build-up, suspense, and tons of shock value. I certainly wasn’t ready for how this story progressed, but despite the hardships these characters go through, I was instantly invested in not only Winter and Damien but all the secondary characters who were also introduced. The bond and brotherhood smacked me from the get-go. I was in awe of how little it took for me to believe the history, love, and loyalty these characters had with one another, and besides the romance aspect, was a big reason as to why I knew I would love the series! The family dynamics and strong ties will have you swooning just as much as the romance elements.

Winter and Damien had a sizzling push-and-pull chemistry. The writing felt effortless to follow and the emotions that both Winter and Damien displayed felt so genuine. It’s a relatively quick read that can be finished in one sitting. I enjoyed the pacing for the most part as the story came off hearty and full of dimension. I enjoyed the backstories, especially from Winter’s POV as it truly transports you to her life as if you’re experiencing her emotions in those events right along with her.

Right off the bat, the thought of an elite Academy who trains high-end assassins and has dealings with the underworld had me on the edge of my seat hooked! And seeing Winter and Damien start out as students of this Academy who eventually become two of the most dangerous, most powerful players in their Mafia world had me giddy with excitement at not just their budding romance, but the start of an intricate world-building. Although it’s a standalone story, it was amazing introduction to St. Monarch’s Academy and the entire cast of characters who’ll be reappearing in all the books to come.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••

• Book Two | Cruel Saints •

BLURB

Alliances are made. Loyalty is owned. Love is taken.

Little did I know my love and freedom would be taken to form a new alliance.

Brutal, possessive, and dangerous, Lucian is feared by all. Including myself.
When his father is assassinated, Lucian takes his rightful place as head of the Cotroni family. They rule the Mafia with an iron fist, and he’s set his sights on my family.
Until now, we’ve been the only threat, but when a new one emerges, my father is forced to arrange a marriage between Lucian and myself.

He might be handsome but he’s not the kind of man who loves. He takes what he wants and right now, it’s my body.
I might belong to him in name, but the question remains – will our union be consummated in blood or love?

WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Lucian & Elena | A Italian Mafia arranged marriage/ formed alliances romance story

It had my arms flailing and my eyes glued to the pages! I absolutely devoured this book! I loved the opposites attract trope between Lucian and Elena. They were the epitome of a knight in shining armour and the damsel in distress (in a dark Mafia setting). This was a refreshing dark mafia story as Lucian’s family was surprisingly the sweet, loving dynamic that’s not usually the norm in mafia romances. I’ve read countless books from this genre but I don’t think I’ve encountered one where the hero’s family was the one oozing love and happiness, and a genuine bond between father and son.

This story was one of the more grittier storylines and it includes sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, and graphic violence.

Although I don’t have triggers, I’m not going to lie, some of the scenes in this book was tough to get through. Michelle has written these stories with such vividness, that you’re already emotionally invested in these characters and their world right from the beginning, and seeing one suffering is gut-wrenching. Learning their backstories added more dimension and an understanding of these characters’ mindset in the present day.

Perfect balance of light-heartedness and darkness throughout. There’s evident character growth from both protagonists as the story progresses and seeing their bond grow from strength to strength makes this a touching and empowering romance story.

It’s intense with lots of action and suspense. There’s a nice gradual build-up in their romance that makes their relationship go from a marriage of convenience to genuine love and loyalty.

The secondary characters in this book will also steal your heart.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

•••

• Book Three | Ruthless Saints •

BLURB

I move in the shadow of death. I’m the villain. The monster everyone fears.
I’ve been born into a life of depravity and ruthlessness. It’s kill or be killed.

Until her…
The moment she smiles at me, my world changes.
I keep coming back. Watching her brings me stolen moments of peace.

Until I can’t stay away…
She doesn’t know who I am, that she’s flirting with death.
Slowly we fall deeper until she loves the lies I’ve told her.

The danger that follows me, creeps closer and the façade I’ve built comes crashing down around us.

And lovers turn to enemies.
But there’s no going back for me.
I want her. I will have her.
She doesn’t have a choice.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Carson & Hailey | An opposites attract, mafia/outsider romance story

OMG! Might just be my favourite story (after Alexei’s and Isabella’s)! I was just as immediately intrigued by Hailey as Carson was when she first walked into the room. The opposites attract in this particular story popped with bubbly, happy-go-lucky Hailey and enigmatic, broody, lurks-in-the-shadows Carson. The curiousity gets the better of Carson and seeing him struggle with wanting to know more about Hailey and steering clear of her was a gripping development to see play out throughout.

The inner dialogues by both these protagonists had me giggling at times and gave such comic relief and lightheartedness when you least expect it.

Similar to the first two books, it’s another action-packed, suspenseful quick read. By this third one you get the gist that each of the books within the series contains the build-up in the first half of the story with a somewhat swift conclusion by the end, which I would normally be disappointed with but since these books present character growth, steady romantic development, and an overall detailed storyline, it doesn’t feel like it’s ending abruptly.

Hailey and Carson, in my opinion had one of the more complex and heart-wrenching storylines from all all the couples, and despite the heartbreaking scenes that were tough to see play out, I could not put it down until I finished it. It’s an angsty, dramatic rollercoaster ride that had me ugly-crying for a good chunk of the book.

With Carson being Alexei’s younger brother, they certainly have the talent to turn heads. *waggles eyebrows*

I’m also loving the entire innocent-outsider-enters-the-mafia-world. It’s thought-provoking seeing their dark and gritty world from an outsider’s perspective, and once again I adore the fact that the hero is another protective, caring sweetheart who’s just the right amount of dominating alpha.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

•••

• Book Four | Tears Of Betrayal •

BLURB

My father is the head of the Bratva, but being born out of wedlock, I’ve never been a part of that world.
Until a hit is taken out on me. I’m kidnapped in the dead of night and waking up, it’s to come face to face with Demitri Vetrov.

Dangerous and heartless, Demitri is the most feared man in the world. I’ve heard whispers of what he’s capable of.

I’m thrown into a nightmare where I don’t know who I can trust, and fear for my life is my only constant companion.
I’m forced to be at Demitri’s mercy, I’m just not sure he has any. It also doesn’t help that he’s disarmingly attractive.

Tall, dark, and deadly.

Knowing this, he uses it against me like a weapon, breaking down my walls faster than I can put them up.

There’s a war coming, and I’m right in the middle of it.
The only question is, will Demitri be the one to save me or kill me?

WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

MINI REVIEW

Demitri & Ariana | A captor/captive, forced proximity Bratva romance story.

Ooh okay… I feel like after reading Alexei’s story, there was a lot of anticipation in reading Demitri’s story— just for the fact that he was this quiet but deadly character who was strictly all business.

First thing that comes to mind after reading this book is how much I couldn’t get enough of their inner dialogue—especially Ariana’s as her mindset was so genuinely relatable… and so girly. Lol.

If you love sexual banter, you will enjoy the hell out of this one. The unsuspecting one-liners that come out of Demitri had me snort-laughing, and it’s these moments that break the tension and gloomy atmosphere that overall surrounds the situation that Ariana (and Demitri) find themselves in.

Another storyline with tear-jerking moments (honestly, I don’t think there was single book from this series where I didn’t cry at one point or another).

And after having reading all the books, I realized that each one had strong family presence. These may be a bunch of mafiosos and assassins but trust, loyalty, and family are paramount in their world.

Demitri and Ariana had somewhat of an insta-love romance yet slow-burn at the same time. Best way I can describe their romance is there’s a ton sexual build-up and teasing before their relationship develops deeper.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

•••


• Book Five | Tears Of Salvation •

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Alexei & Isabella | An enemies-to-lovers, Cartel and Bratva romance story.

At the time I read this book it was also part of the Underworld Kings author-collaboration series. It was my introduction to Michelle Heard and the rest of The Saints. After having read Tears of Salvation I knew I had to go back and start from the beginning of the series. Best. Decision. Ever! ❤

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

📖 Read my full review here: Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

•••

I have myself another favourite romance series that I will surely read (oh who am I kidding, I already have) over and over again. I love how they are all relatively short reads so whenever I need an all-consuming, passionately hot romance read to perk my mood up or get me out of a reading slump, these will be my go-to books for sure!

One word to describe this series— the characters, the storylines, the romances, all the developments…

OVERALL SERIES RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½


•••

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

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

ISABELLA

I was the party crasher.
He was the Devil.

Three months ago, I suffered a moment of insanity and had a one-night stand without even knowing who the man was.
It was hot and unforgettable.
I tried to forget him, but there are moments I swear I can still smell his aftershave.

Little did I know he’s the head of the Bratva.
Alexei Koslov.
My family’s worst enemy.

There’s a thin line between love and hate,
and I’m straddling it.

ALEXEI

There’s an even thinner line between the truth and a lie.

As the head of the Bratva and the best assassin,
I’m the devil everyone fears.

I get more than I bargained for when I come face to face with Isabella Terrero.
Instead of the Princess of Terror, she might just be the embodiment of the goddess of mischief and chaos.

For her, I broke all my rules.
For her, I burned down the world.

STANDALONE: A complete standalone novel in the Underworld Kings series.
WARNING: This book contains subject matter that may be sensitive for some readers. There is dark and triggering content between these pages. 18+ only. Please read responsibly.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

They say good things come to those who wait…

I’ve been wanting to read books by Michelle Heard for some time now but timing was always off. But you know what? Not only was Tears of Salvation THE BEST introduction to new-to-me author Michelle Heard but this may just be THE BEST introduction to the world of the St. Monarch’s Academy! 😍😍❤

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I love my dark mafia romances and this story had the perfect balance of action, suspense, and romance within such a well written and vivid storytelling. Michelle Heard, where have you been all my life?!

The cast of characters whether they played a major or minor role were unique and stood out in their own right that I had no issues differentiating them from one another. These characters are also one of the main reasons as to why I am eager to read the other books in the St. Monarch’s Academy (even though this one in particular is also part of the Underworld Kings author-collaboration series).

From the opening scene, Isabella’s and Alexei’s story had my full attention. The immediate sexual chemistry between them leaped of the pages setting the tone for the rest of the story. With all the intensity, it was easy to keep invested. The fast pacing, the constant build-up of suspense, and the dual points of view all added to making the entirety of this story exquisitely and deliciously addictive!

Whilst there’s some sensitive subject matter within, the overall atmosphere is not overly brutal or gritty. I thought it had the right amount of lightness and darkness throughout. There’s also some lighthearted banter amongst the brotherhood which was unexpectedly awe-inspiring and a display of friendships that seemed so genuine. Seeing the familial bonds and deep affection was just as gripping as the romantic aspects of the story.

An enemies-to-lovers with a twist that I did not see coming. I love that Michelle has written a story where anything and everything can happen that you feel like you have to constantly be on your toes so you don’t miss out on anything.

It’s a refreshing take on mafia romance. One feature being the fact that these characters despite their differences and alliances all trained in this exclusive, specialized school. I have never wanted to go to a fictional school more since I first read about Hogwarts in Harry Potter during my teen years. I can without a doubt say St. Monarch’s Academy is up there with the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If I was offered a place, I’d be there in a heartbeat! 😄

If you love any of the following, you have to add Tears of Salvation to your TBR, stat!

  • Dark Romance
  • Russian Mafia Romance
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Enemies-to-Lovers
  • Assassins
  • Comradery
  • Kickass Heroines
  • Overprotective Alphas

The world-building in this book is exceptional, clearly showing both Isabella’s and Alexei’s worlds that eventually fuse together as they discover that they may have more in common than they initially realized.

Isabella is such a likable character with the perfect amount of heart and badassery in one. I’ve read plenty of dark romance books where a strong, independent heroine is present, but Isabella is in a class of her own. There’s a believability in her determination and strength, in her actions, and even in her presence when she’s around people that makes her favourable, not just as a heroine but as character in general.

Alexei is a total swoon-worthy alpha of a hero, not only does he walk the walk but what I ended up loving about him most is his fierce loyalty and protectiveness over his loved ones. He’s a feared and ruthless leader but those who follow and serve him know his greatness and his heart.

Overall, I really could not fault this book. Yes, I would’ve preferred some parts of the story to have played out a little longer than they had, but those are just minor hang-ups for me. I loved reading every page of it and wish it hadn’t ended. There was an effortless flow from beginning to end, with plenty of dimension as the story develops. You’ll get to see gradual character growth from both Isabella and Alexei as they navigate through their intricate relationship. They are an exceptional match. Equal pairing that I couldn’t get enough of!

I was never bored. I didn’t once feel the need to skim through pages. I enjoyed seeing the multi-layered storylines that all weaved together— from the romance, to their own personal vendettas, to all the secondary characters and their stories that added to the entire world-building.

Please note it does contain matters that may be triggering for some readers such as, human trafficking, child abuse, kidnapping, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Take into consideration before starting. Whilst this may ultimately be a dark, mafia romance, it’s no fluff read. The backstory covers real dark societal issues. As I delved further into the story I connected more and more with the characters, sympathising with the realism in what they’ve experienced and witnessed in their lives.

A highly recommend book that can easily be read in one sitting. It’s one that had me thinking about long after I finished reading it. From this book alone, I can already tell that Michelle’s writing style is one I’ll constantly enjoy reading.

If mafia romances are your go-to romance books, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this one. It had all the elements of a hearty story— memorable characters, substantial character growth, a fleshed-out storyline, complex world-building, and enough scenes with shock value. Tears of Salvation had all that and then some! *singsong voice* Loveeeed it! Now one of my all time favourite mafia romances read to date!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Michelle Heard, the entire Underworld Kings team, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

•••


💀 More on the Underworld Kings 👑

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Website: Underworld Kings


•••

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

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Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Ellison

My parents moved our family to a new town when I sixteen years old. The first person I met was local bad boy, Calvin Montgomery. His father was president of the local MC, but despite his reputation, Calvin had a heart of gold. We were a perfect match until one violent night destroyed the future we’d envisioned together.

Calvin

I lost Ellison and the dream for our future when I locked up for a decade. An act of violence I will never forget. It’s been ten years without her, but a day hasn’t gone by where I haven’t thought about her. But Ellison isn’t the same girl I left behind. They say time heals all wounds, but nothing cuts as deep as your first true love.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

I was expecting a dark, suspenseful romance story and was surprised to find a sweet contemporary, coming of age story instead between two next-door neighbours. 😊

Bikers_SunsetRide


“We were on the razor’s edge and that’s where our love lived.”


Mila Crawford is a new-to-me author and this was my introduction to her writing. I can’t make any comparisons, so I don’t know if her writing style in this particular story differentiates with her other books, but this one definitely had a mixture of different romance sub-genres in one. Whilst the overall setting is contemporary, it had elements (albeit more in the background) of both MC romance (Motorcycle Club) and Mafia romance. The majority of the book is also set in a high school/ NA narrative.

It has a steady enough pacing, and whilst it was detailed in certain areas, in my opinion the aspects that required in-depth detail were the parts that actually lacked it. I also found the story to be choppy at times for my liking. For example, it would start out with a gradual development of an event just for it to end abruptly. Next thing you know, time has passed and the next event in their lives takes place. The flow has a start-and-stop feel to it that I was finding it difficult to really settle into the story because it doesn’t quite give you enough time to absorb events before it moves onto another development.

Whilst I thought Calvin’s and Ellison’s adorable meet cute and the sweet developments in their relationship throughout their teen years interesting to see play out, once the story hits the pivotal turn of events and time has fast-forwarded to their adulthood, there was a visible atmosphere shift. It was hard to keep the connection with these protagonists (especially Ellison) as it felt like I was reading a brand new story. The past may have altered both their futures but Ellison’s character development headed in a direction that had me a little taken aback to be honest.

The vibe is almost a separate one from the first 2/3 of the story. I think the main reason as to why their past and present, and the overall story ending up coming together is because one particular secondary character ended up playing a bigger role than expected. Not only was he the link to both Calvin and Ellison in both timelines, but he was the bridge in merging (or should I say re-merging) their lives together again.

The synopsis initially had me intrigued and after having read it I thought it was a nice storyline overall, but I did think there was some repetitiveness. Plot twists and additional plotlines were also either too vague or lacked further development after it was first mentioned, which I’m not going to lie frustrated me because those points could so easily have added extra dimension into the story but unfortunately was never elaborated on and leaves you with unanswered questions.

Despite it all, there’s plenty of heartwarming moments between the two which lightens the overall sombre mood of the book.

Calvin is a unique character with an eclectic range of traits from caring and protective, to cocky and hot-headed. I liked the fact that he knew what he wanted from the very beginning and his mindset never wavered. His loyalty and willingness to break away from a toxic lifestyle had me rooting for him.

Mila created a diverse and complex heroine in Ellison and because of that had me curious in knowing her personal story. What she ended up divulging added realism and relatability within the overall storyline as it raises sensitive subject matters that people don’t necessarily or easily discuss openly but are topics that one may relate to.

This book may be triggering for some readers as it contains matters such as domestic violence/ abuse, kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted suicide, and mental health. It’s intended for readers 18+ only.

Although I have mixed feelings about certain things, I did enjoy reading this book as a whole. The highlights are definitely from their teen years as most of the story development and the growth of their relationship takes place during that time. Calvin and Ellison are both likable characters but I must admit Calvin’s brother Fox won me over right from the very beginning. 😍😍 There’s a range of secondary characters who all added complexity as they played predominant roles in both Calvin’s and Ellison’s lives. I thought Mila brilliantly created characters that evoke strong emotions out of you and you’ll find yourself truly sympathizing for both Calvin’s and Ellison’s personal struggles.

I think Razor’s Edge is a great book for romance readers who are transitioning from reading contemporary to more darker romance stories, as it has a blend of both worlds. It’s heavy on the contemporary setting but also has dark elements in between to give the story a bit of bite. The romance between the protagonists is insta-love but nevertheless sweet, full of heart, and just how you would imagine first loves to be. It’s a story of second chances with underlying lessons in not taking anything for granted and learning from one’s mistakes.

**This book is a standalone in the Underworld Kings author collaboration series. 

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

Thank you Mila Crawford, the entire Underworld Kings team, and Ardent PRose for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Razor’s Edge? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


💀 More on the Underworld Kings! 👑

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✨ Website: Underworld Kings


•••

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

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The Biker’s Kiss by Glenna Maynard

booksofthemuggleborn_thebikerskiss
@booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

One kiss is all it takes to bring him to his knees and have him asking for forever.

Roane Connors doesn’t do relationships. He’s been burned before and isn’t looking to repeat past mistakes. All he needs is a warm body in his bed for the night. Someone to ring in the new year with. Julie Wilson ticks all his boxes. She’s back in town, hot, and single. When the clock strikes midnight one kiss ignites a spark this royal bastard’s not ready for.

The Biker’s Kiss is a Royal Bastards MC holiday novella.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Glenna Maynard is new-to-me author and when I saw Tempting the Biker — which is the third book in the series, I initially wanted to read it first but Glenna noted that it was best to read from the beginning of the series.

I figured since the first book is a novella, I might as well read it and get a better a idea of her writing style, her MC world, and see if it was something I was willing to continue with. Well? I’m so glad I did! 🙌

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It’s second chance, insta-love romance, and ended up being a cool little novella to kick off the series!

Roane and Jules were high school sweethearts but life happened and they parted ways. Both having been burned from their shitty marriages and both now trying to move on from their exes they never expected to meet up again after all these years. Sparks immediately fly and they both wonder if this is their second chance at love.


“You’re not slipping through my fingers a second time, baby doll.”


All I can say is Roane is not one to beat around the bush. What he wants, he certainly will do everything in his power to get. This MC romance is full of alpha vibes! Roane is one assertive biker. But he’s also a protective bear of a man who would do anything to ensure Jules is happy.

Jules has lost a bit of her spirit but the more time she spends with Roane, the more her confidence returns. She has a likeable personality and isn’t one to rush into anything without at least voicing her concerns.

I’d say this story focuses more on Roane and Jules’ rekindling relationship with the Royal Bastards MC is the background. You get introduced to a couple of the other brothers that gives you a little insight to the club and their bond. Whilst I would’ve loved to have seen more, I understand that this is a novella and only so much can be shared. What was revealed was definitely enough for me to be intrigued about the next couples stories’ in the series. *waggles eyebrows* 😉😉


“Hate to break it to you, baby doll, but you’re in The Devil’s Playground. Normal rules don’t apply.”


One highlight for me in this book (other than the hot and heavy romance) is Pam, Jules’ older sister. She is a hoot and a half! 😂 A great addition to the story to keep it lighthearted and you giggling at her random commentary.

There are some sensitive subject matter included in this story that may trigger some readers such as domestic abuse, sexual assault and substance abuse. Please keep that in mind before considering to start this book/ series.

Overall, whilst this book took on a faster pace storytelling (since it’s a novella), and how our protagonists’ relationship progressed at a relatively breakneck speed, I still enjoyed it. I got invested in their world and I’m looking forward to reading the next books!

If you’re looking for more MC romance books, I’d consider adding this series to your TBR!

RATING: ♥♥♥/5


•••

Hope you enjoyed! Happy reading, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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