2022 Favourite Reads

Yep, I’m doing another round-up of my favourite reads,. This will be my third year posting and it’s looking like it’ll be a yearly tradition. Wooo!

I had another rollercoaster year. I remember the first few months of 2022 wishing the year would roll by quick, and now that it’s finally time to ring in the new year, I have such a bittersweet feeling because the last two-to-three months elevated the year.

I say this every year because it really is true in my life… reading has and always will be my form of sanctuary and escapism from the daily grind. I’m your stereotypical introvert who prefers books to company. The older I get the more I’ve preferred a cosy night in with a swoon-worthy book, a favourite movie playing in the background, and tons of comfort food, and I don’t really see my preferences changing back to my younger years when I spent over an hour getting ready to go out and dance the night away (although on a rare occasion I might brush off the party dress and put on a friendly smile hehe).

Now! 👏 Are you ready to see the books I ended up loving the most from all the 100+ books I read this year? Even I surprised myself when I went back to compilate this list. 😲

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Here is my compilation of favourite reads of 2022. Ooh man, it was hard! Like last year, I ideally wanted to pluck out one favourite book from each month but damn it was hard! Some months had multiple stellar reads, so I tried had to do a little bit of finessing… *cough* cheating *cough* 😜😁

But I will say this, I have a bunch of different authors in this list, some are new-to-me authors that have quickly been added to my auto-buy authors list. So if you’re wondering if I’d recommend any… HELL YES!

(FYI: organised by romance sub-genre)

So here we go!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• Contemporary Romance •

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📖 The Words by A. Jade

(Hate-To-Love, Second-Chances, Standalone, Rockstar Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Last On The List by Amy Daws

(Nanny/ Single Dad, Opposites Attract, Grumpy-Sunshine, Standalone in an Interconnected Series)

📖 Hating The Player by Rebecca Jenshak

(Hate-to-Love, Second Chances, Next-Door Neighbours, College Sports Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series)

📖 Shattered And Salvaged Duet by Anna B. Doe
Kiss To Shatter & Kiss To Salvage

(Brother’s Best Friend, Secret Romance, College Sports Romance, New Adult Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

Honorary Mention:
📖 Kiss To Belong by Anna B. Doe

(Best Friends-to-Lovers, Secret Crush, Close Proximity, Surprise Pregnancy, College Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

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• MC Romance •

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📖 Keeping The Throne by Nicole James

(MC Romance, Whirlwind Romance, Age-Gap Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

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• Mafia Romance •

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📖 Sinners Series by Michelle Heard
Taken By A Sinner (pictured)
Owned By A Sinner
Stolen By A Sinner
Chosen By A Sinner
Captured By A Sinner

(Dark Mafia, Suspense, Arranged Marriage, Enemies-to-Lovers, Hate-To-Love, Age-Gap, Standalones in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Sins Of The Orchid by Eva Winners

(Age-Gap, Forbidden Romance, Best Friend’s Brother, Suspense, Standalone, Italian Mafia) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 By Fate I Conquer by Cora Reilly

(Enemies-to-Lovers, Close Proximity, Forbidden Romance, Secret Romance, Suspense, Dark Romance, Standalone in an Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

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• Dark Romance •

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📖 The Devil’s Pawn Duet by Natasha Knight
Devil’s Pawn & Devil’s Redemption

(Dark, Beauty & The Beast Inspired, Suspense, Enemies-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriage, Close Proximity) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 The Rite Trilogy by A. Zavarelli & Natasha Knight
His Rule (pictured)
Her Rebellion
Their Reign

(Dark, Hate-to-Love, Forbidden Romance, Secret Romance, Brother’s Best Friend, Captor/Captive Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

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• Dystopian/ Paranormal Romance •

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📖 Deceitful by C. Reilly

(Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Crime Thriller, Superhuman Abilities, Suspense, Small Town, New Adult Romance, Interconnected Series) *Trigger Warnings*

📖 Cruelest Oblivion Duet by M.A. Heard
Cruelest Oblivion & Sweetest Awareness

(Dystopian Romance, Survival of the Fittest, Suspense, Close Proximity, New Adult Romance) *Trigger Warnings*

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There you have it! 😊 As you can see I’ve added a handful of books not pictured, but they were either part of a series or duet and needed mentioning.

And as usual, if you want to see ALL my reads for the year, check out my Monthly Wrap-Ups with links to my reviews. Just note, I’m lazy lol, and I don’t have reviews up for all them but hopefully my star ratings will be enough.

Check out my December wrap-up that I just posted earlier too! It was my biggest month of reads— hey, what did I tell ya? This year really has ended on a positive.

I hope you’re all enjoying the Christmas/ End of year holidays! My thoughts go out to those who are working over this crazy, hectic time— don’t overwork and make sure you take time for yourself. Hope everyone is staying safe and wishing a beautiful New Year’s Eve/ Day! 😘🎉

Thank you for the support you’ve all given me for my reviews and my book blog in general! I’m in awe of the amazing people I’ve met through this complex bookish community, and the copious amounts of books I’ve discovered over time. I’m truly thankful for the friendships I’ve made, as well as the opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of.

Fingers crossed 2023 will be a year of happy bliss, love, good health, and good fortune for us all!

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

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Princess Claimed by Alison Aimes

⚠ This review contains a minor teaser!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

What happens when a bad boy alien trying to go good meets a good girl omega looking to be bad?

He’s shuttle grease and heavy lifting. She’s lace, luxury, and glittering jewels.
He’s grumpy and closed off. She’s got a smile that could unite kingdoms.
He’s a scarred, exiled convict. She’s a dainty angel with the air of a princess.
They’re not just worlds apart. They’re separated by galaxies, circumstances, and expectations.
But when she literally falls from the sky into his arms and their explosive chemistry erupts, he’s only got one objective… convincing her they’re perfect for each other.

But first, he’ll have to get her to remember who she is and why there are men trying to kill her.

Princess Claimed is a scorching novella in the Ruthless Warlords series. It takes places in the same universe as the rest of the series and features characters from the Forbidden zone, but can be read as a stand-alone. It’s a hot sweet Omegaverse with fated mates, Alpha steaminess, and opposites-attract fun. It will initially be published in the Claimed Among the Stars Anthology.

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• MY REVIEW •


“Sometimes the bad guy really does have to play the hero.”


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What a spunky, character-driven novella from the Ruthless Warlords series! It might be short and sweet, but it’s also undoubtedly entertaining with plenty of twists and turns. For a short story, Aimes has managed to pack plenty of depth not just within the storyline, but with Ariana and Pavel’s budding romance.

There’s an instant attraction and connection with these two characters but in no way did it come across as superficial. Although there’s crazy-fast developments throughout, they’re constantly getting to know one another and ironing out kinks in their relationship. As the story progresses, it becomes obvious there’s more between these two besides lust.

I thought it had a great balance of raunchy romance, a little light-hearted humour, and some action and suspense within an epic intergalactic backdrop. It reads easily as a standalone novel but I highly recommend you get onto the Ruthless Warlords series and see where the world-building all started. It’s interconnected, with an occasional mention or appearance of characters from previous books in the series. This particular story takes place in the Forbidden Zone, which in my opinion is one of the most intriguing settings within this world because it seems like it has endless amounts of possibilities for expansion, or for more characters to be introduced, and this novella proves it! 😊 The secondary characters had caught my attention just as much as its protagonists, and I have my fingers crossed we’ll run into them again.

Sometimes you just need a romance read where you know the characters are destined for one another, and this love story soothed that craving. It’s a little bit forbidden love, a little opposite-sides-of-the-tracks, mixed with a little Bonnie and Clyde-ish vibes.

Told from third person, dual points of view, Ariana and Pavel have such an adorable dynamic that keeps you glued to the pages. I found them equally lovable individuals, with Pavel having just the right amount of protective, alpha-male-tendencies about him, and Ariana despite her predicament hasn’t lost her daring personality and magical omega traits. Together, they make one ballsy team, effortlessly working side by side!

To top it all off, the epilogue was the cherry on top of what was already a swoon-worthy read, adding the ultimate HEA for these two characters. It’s smile-inducing and leaves you with such happy contentment knowing what lies in their future.

This is the second novella within this series by Aimes and just as spicy and thrilling as the full-length novels. It contains vivid little backstories for each leading character that elevates the storytelling and provides more context to their circumstances.

Please note, it does include sensitive subject matters that may be triggering for some readers such as harassment, attempted sexual assault, and brutal violence that has resulted in PTSD. Intended for readers 18+ only.

Overall, it’s an amazing, quick romance read with nice fluidity to the narrative that’s not to be missed! Great for readers who enjoy sci-fi/ alien romance and/or a fan of the Omegaverse romance sub-genre.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Alison Aimes for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

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

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More from the Ruthless Warlords!

Book One: Ruthless King (Review Coming Soon)
Novella: Forbidden Flame (Review Coming Soon)
Book Two: Savage Prince by Alison Aimes
Book Three: Broken Heir by Alison Aimes

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

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Renegade by C. Reilly

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summed for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tess knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds.

Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for.

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• MY REVIEW •


“Sometimes love for someone can make you blind.”


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Ah. An amazing… gripping… unputdownable read! This second book in the Rules of Deception series is a brilliant and well-executed continuation from Deceitful.

Whilst I love my sci-fi thrillers and supernatural-themed stories on screen, I admit when it comes to books I haven’t read a lot from these genres. However, these two books from Reilly’s debut paranormal romance series are, in my opinion, the best way to ease into this genre, especially if you’ve been wanting to expand your romance horizons towards the realm of science-fiction. It has such an intricate storyline with plenty of dimension, but doesn’t overwhelm with wordiness or over-the-top details that I find a lot of sci-fi books tend to be. It has a great balance of romance to paranormal.

✔ You have the young, angsty romance element…

✔ Then there’s the mystery surrounding Tessa and her abilities…

✔ The suspense and danger looming from what seems like every direction…

✔ And finally, a diverse cast of secondary characters that bring in more complexity, more curiosity, and more possibilities for an expansive world-building.

Phew! It’s layers upon layers of literary goodness, with this part of the story delving deeper into Tessa’s backstory and superhuman abilities. As I mentioned in my review for Deceitful, I thought this story had strong X-Men vibes, and this book just reiterated that fact for me. The introduction of new characters comes with more unique individuals that I was just as fascinated about as the already existing ones.

It’s well-paced storytelling that builds up as you progress through the book. I was on the edge of my seat for the entirety of the time. If I was nail-biter, I would’ve chewed through my cuticles at how intense this story got.

This part of the story headed towards a direction I had hoped it would after I saw inklings of it in Deceitful and I couldn’t be more giddy to see the turn of events play-out. I didn’t think I could get more addicted to this world but Renegade has amped up the ante! The overall plot is totally unpredictable, you’ll be hard-pressed to figure out which way things will head until you’re right there in the moment. For the majority of the book I felt like I was alongside Tessa in real time for this journey. Road trip!

I don’t read a lot of YA/ NA romances as I once did, so Tessa’s world of angsty, teen drama brings about such nostalgia of youthful friendships, dysfunctional family dynamics, teen rebellion, and all-encompassing secret loves. The characters within are complex and thought-provoking, and the air of uncertainty surrounding each and every one of them is what ultimately makes this book a worthwhile surrender of your time.

This is a continuous storyline and this book ends on big, fat “O” moment that had me immediately wishing that the next book was already here. I found it to be an effortless story to follow with an ominous atmosphere that sets the entire book. It’s told solely from Tessa’s point of view and although I’m used to reading books with dual/ multiple perspectives, I honestly didn’t feel like it was necessary with this particular story as it’s purely from Tessa’s standpoint—her experiences, her inner monologue, her emotions.

Please note, it does contain sensitive subject matters that make be triggering for some readers such as substance abuse, kidnapping, and violence. Take into consideration before starting this series.

With superhuman powers, secret organisations, and a heroes-versus-villains outline… I highly recommend it! There’s romance but it’s not as prominent as what readers of Reilly’s mafia books may be used to. The spice level is low in comparison, but it will leave you pining for more (in a good way)! Reilly definitely has a talent for this genre, and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the future.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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

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🌲 Rules of Deception Series!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Read my review for book one!

Deceitful by C. Reilly

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

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Broken Heir by Alison Aimes

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

What is the one thing a sinner can’t allow? Temptation.But Keira Sartin is all that and more. A walking, talking, wet dream, she calls to every cell in Alexi’s messed-up, rule-breaking soul.Except she’s forbidden. Addictive.A distraction he can’t afford. Not when his family is depending on him and redemption is finally within reach. Not when his mission hinges on making no waves and fulfilling his duty.Not when she’s the sister of his bride-to-be.What’s the one thing a troublemaker can’t afford? More trouble.But Alexi Skolov is all that and more. He’s beauty incarnate. Flesh and blood sin. Wild nights and dark pleasure. He’s also up to no good. Which means he’s not for her. Keira has her own objective to fulfill and he’ll only get in the way.He’s also promised to her sister.It should be easy for them both: just stay away. But running from temptation is hard. Avoiding trouble even harder—and sometimes it catches up to you, leaving you…breathless,begging,broken.Broken Heir: A Dark Fated-Mates Romance is the third book in the Ruthless Warlords series. It is a scorching HOT standalone, though it is recommended to read the series in order for greatest enjoyment.Broken Heir also has no cheating and a HEA is guaranteed. Get ready for a steamy ride you won’t be able to put down. 

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• MY REVIEW •

Oooh! Okay, I think Broken Heir is my favourite book from the Ruthless Warlords series (so far)! 😁😍 It’s a whole new spin on the Beauty and the Beast storyline… and I can tell you now, there’s more to the beast in this book! Alexi was quite a contradiction of a character that I quickly realized I couldn’t get enough of.

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This is the third book in the series and centres on the third brother. Whilst each Skolov sibling has their own story, each book needs to be read (in order) as there’s a continuous developing storyline in the background that concerns their family and ultimately interconnects the books.

It’s a relatively quick read with fast-paced storytelling, and told from dual POVs. But I must admit Alexi’s backstory and sharing his broken perspective of himself was one of the main highlights of the book for me. Ruthless King, the first book in the series was a great introduction to the world-building, and it only expanded with the addition of books that followed. Their world is vast, vivid, and oozes danger at every corner. It builds the image of the struggles the Skolovs had to (and still do) endure to ensure the survival and success of their family.

What I love about this series is although it’s heavily focused on each Skolov discovering their “fated mate”, it also has a strong familial focus, and Broken Heir only reiterated that fact as they band together to try and eliminate dangers that threaten their existence, now more than ever. The Skolovs have an interesting, and at times, entertaining dynamic. Their interactions tend to include light-hearted banter that puts some of the escalating tension at ease.

What makes this story distinctly different from the previous books is Alexi Skolov. He’s heavily seen as a volatile monster with no self-control. Whatever pre-conceived notions I had of him based off of the first two books was only one aspect of his character. There’s sensitivity, consideration, and strong protectiveness with this alpha hero in comparison to his two older brothers who were a lot more domineering with their heroines, that I found so refreshing. Seeing his personal growth alongside his developing emotions towards Keira had me swooning.

In my opinion, Alexi and Keira have the most engaging relationship out of all the couples. It might have been instant chemistry and a whirlwind romance completely unplanned but there’s no doubt that their connection is genuine and meaningful.

A lot of sweetness with a few steamy scenes in between. Alexi and Keira go through a rough journey of self-discovery and empowerment, whilst navigating through the uncertainty of their future.

It’s an action-packed, multi-layered story in a science-fiction setting. I would’ve loved more of the mafia aspect that the first two books of the series exhibited to be more present in this book, but all in all I was still very much gripped by Alexi’s haunting past and internal struggles in subduing his beastly side. That, along with the fierce and unwavering love he found with Keira.

A touching, heartbreaking, and complete guilty pleasure read. An amazing addition to the Ruthless Warlords series! It’s become my go-to whenever I’m in the mood for a little alien romance. 😁😉

Please note, although this is a sci-fi/ paranormal romance fiction, it does contain serious subject matters that may be offensive or triggering for some readers such as, domestic abuse, kidnapping and child abuse, trafficking, substance abuse, sexual harassment, graphic violence, and profanity. Intended for readers 18+ only. 

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Alison Aimes and Grey’s Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 🧡

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

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More from the Ruthless Warlords series!

Book One: (Review Coming Soon!)
Book Two: Savage Prince by Alison Aimes

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

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Savage Prince by Alison Aimes

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

He’s a notorious crime lord—and he’s on the hunt for her.

Maxheim Skolov is mafia royalty. Worlds above her. Ice-cold and merciless. Driven by duty and dark secrets.

Tess is property. Expected to submit. Imprisoned by ruthless criminals determined to break her for information she can’t afford to give.

Because she’s got a secret that could change everything–and the last thing she wants is to put it in the hands of her enemies.

Except there’s something different about the heir to the Skolvo crime family that awakens long buried instincts within Tess and draws her toward the man inside the beast.

A force more dangerous than anything she’s faced to date.

So, she runs. But she won’t get far.

For mafia prince Maxheim Skolov, hunting down the rebellious, spirited female is a certainty. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her secret.

The real question is what he’ll do with her—and to her—when he catches her.

***

Savage Prince: A Dark Mafia Omegaverse Fated-Mates Romance is the second book in the Ruthless Warlords series. It is a scorching HOT standalone, though it is recommenced to read the series in order for greatest enjoyment.

*Book 1 in the series is Ruthless King: A Dark Mafia Omegaverse Fated-Mates Romance. 

*Forbidden Flame: A Dark Mafia Omegaverse Fated-Mates Romance is a stand-alone novella in the same world.

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• MY REVIEW •

Oooh there’s a new Alpha in town! Scooch a smidge would you, Nikolai…? 🤭😍

After reading Ruthless King and Forbidden Flame, I was absolutely itching to read the next book in this series. Savage Prince was full of emotion and heart that I couldn’t help but swoon over Maxheim’s and Tess’s love story.

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In Ruthless King, you’ll find the eldest brother and head Alpha, Nikolai whose dominating Alpha-hole personality that could have your head jerking back in shock. In this story you’ll read about the second oldest; Maxheim, who in comparison to Nikolai is sweet, and a more accommodating Alpha to his mate. His personality is almost opposite to his brother who’s always so hard and pushy, whilst Maxheim is definitely more considerate of Tess’s feelings and insecurities. He’s such a genuinely likable character. So, if you’re not a fan of the overly-controlling, arrogant Alpha character type, then I truly think Maxheim will be more to your liking. 😉

I’m new to the Omegaverse world, with this one only having been my third book but I find this romance sub-genre in general fascinating. Aimes has created an expansive and vivid world-building, and it’s only growing more as each member of the Skolov family’s story gets told and their overall family story gets more complex.

These are the main elements you can expect in this book:

  • Science-Fiction
  • Romantic Fantasy
  • Paranormal
  • Diverse range of Aliens
  • Supernatural Abilities
  • Intergalactic Mafia

I’m an avid romance reader, but I admit I’ve never really gravitated much towards sci-fi/ paranormal as much as I would dark or contemporary romance ones, but this series hooked me in so easily with its unsuspecting storylines, interestingly multifaceted characters, and the fascination of a world where its citizens are divided by an archaic hierarchy: Alphas, Betas, and the mystifying Omegas who at first may seem like the ones who are powerless, but you soon discover that there’s more than meets the eye. I was also really curious to see how the additional Mafia elements included would mesh with the sci-fi in this romance.

FYI: It actually works well together. A dark alien mafioso?! Who woulda thunk it?! Well Aimes did! It’s bloody brilliant!

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Please note: This book is intended for readers 18+ only. It contains strong sexual content. Although the backdrop is set in a futuristic, galactic world, it also contains realistic sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as human trafficking, violence,  physical, sexual and drug abuse, and emotional blackmail. Please take into consideration before starting the book. 

A relatively well-paced storytelling that flowed nicely. It’s told in third person point of view which I admit took a little time to get used to as it doesn’t necessarily get told from either one of the leading characters’ perspective but the focus of the story does shift back and forth from either Maxheim’s or Tess’s current situation. You’ll know what I mean once you read it. 

If you read Ruthless King first, you’ll get an insight into how Maxheim and his family first discover Tess. The initial premise is what had me wanting to read his story. An Alpha prince and an Omega slave?! Yes please! It’s an opposites attract storyline with a Cinderella-esque vibe to it.

There’s a good amount of character development from both the main characters. As the story develops, you see a gradual change in both Maxheim’s and Tess’s attitude and mentality, especially when it comes to their connection as mates. A lot of the story revolves around figuring how to solve their problems without sacrificing their relationship — there’s a ton of suspense and build-up with plot twists I had not expected at all.

This romance story has plenty of intensity between Maxheim and Tess with a good chunk of hot and heavy scenes. But what made their coupling for me was the amount of time and effort Maxheim put into getting to know Tess and ensuring she felt at home with his family. All the impulsiveness, the flaws and insecurities made their budding relationship all the more believable, especially when you see how much they’ve grown, not just as individuals but as a couple by the end.

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Savage Prince is action-packed with a protective alpha hero, a caring heroine that comes into her own, and a story that focuses on the bond of family and values the importance of love and mate-ship. It was swoony. It was steamy as hells. It was downright a captivating read! It keeps you on edge with it’s unpredictability and array of secondary characters whose motives are unclear that you can’t help but form theories.

I also adored the light-hearted comic relief provided by the Skolov brothers all throughout. There’s nothing like brotherly love and banter to break some of the tension! Seeing the various personalities of each Skolov sibling and how they interact with one another was a treat to see. 😄

If you’re looking for a romance read set in a fantasy/ paranormal/ sci-fi backdrop, then you have to try this one. As the author mentions, you can technically read Savage Prince without having reading Ruthless King first but I agree in recommending you read in order. Each love story is separate, but there’s an ongoing story in the background that interconnects each book. Starting the series from the beginning will provide a better reading experience and understanding of their world.

I found Aimes’ writing effortless to follow. With a thrilling opening scene, I was invested in Maxheim, Tess, and the entire story right from the very beginning. Amazing book two in the Ruthless Warlords series. I’m excited to see how this world will expand from here!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Alison Aimes and Grey’s Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Savage Prince? Grab your copy here: Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo


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

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