His Rule Release Day Teaser

Happy Release Day, Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli!

#HisRule is now live! ⚖💛

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HisRule_Cover
Cover Design: CoverLuv | Photographer: Wander Aguiar | Model: Andrew Biernat

•••

— BLURB —

I live in a world where secrecy reigns.
A Society rooted in power, wealth, and long-held dynasties.
Where men are Kings, and women are pawns.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of escaping the shackles of my expectations.
But it can only ever be a dream.
I made a fatal mistake, and those shackles became a cage.
Now I’m trapped in a war with a man who controls my every move.
He’s my brother’s best friend.
My enemy, my tormentor, and my solace.
His words have the power to wound me.
His touch just might break me.
But this is his kingdom, and as long as I’m here I only have one choice.
I’ll play by his rules.

•••

— TEASER —

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•••


— His Rule by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli —

The Rite Trilogy (Book One)

HisRule_LiveTeaser

Release Date: April 26, 2022
Genre: Dark Romance/ Romantic Suspense
📚 Add to your TBR: Goodreads
🔔 Grab your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••

📣 Coming Next…

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Book Two: Her Rebellion

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🔔 Pre-order your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••

Book Three: Their Reign

TheirReign_CoverTeaser

🔔 Pre-order your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••


— ABOUT THE AUTHORS —


Natasha Knight

NatashaKnight_Logo

Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.

Follow Natasha Knight on social media!

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up


A. Zavarelli

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A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

Follow A. Zavarelli on social media!

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up


His Rule Teaser

Get the first look at Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli upcoming release!

Coming Soon! #HisRule

HisRule_CRBanner

HisRule_Cover
Cover Design: CoverLuv | Photographer: Wander Aguiar | Model: Andrew Biernat

•••

— BLURB —

I live in a world where secrecy reigns.
A Society rooted in power, wealth, and long-held dynasties.
Where men are Kings, and women are pawns.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of escaping the shackles of my expectations.
But it can only ever be a dream.
I made a fatal mistake, and those shackles became a cage.
Now I’m trapped in a war with a man who controls my every move.
He’s my brother’s best friend.
My enemy, my tormentor, and my solace.
His words have the power to wound me.
His touch just might break me.
But this is his kingdom, and as long as I’m here I only have one choice.
I’ll play by his rules.

•••

— TEASER —

HisRule_Teaser1

HisRule_Teaser2

•••


— His Rule by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli —

The Rite Trilogy (Book One)

HisRule_CRTeaser

Release Date: April 26, 2022
Genre: Dark Romance/ Romantic Suspense
📚 Add to your TBR: Goodreads
🔔 Pre-order your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••

📣 Coming Next…

Book Two: Her Rebellion

HerRebellion_CoverTeaser

🔔 Pre-order your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••

Book Three: Their Reign

TheirReign_CoverTeaser

🔔 Pre-order your copy now!
Amazon US  |  Amazon INTL  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

•••


— ABOUT THE AUTHORS —


Natasha Knight

NatashaKnight_Logo

Natasha Knight is the USA Today Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense and Dark Romance Novels. She has sold over a million books and is translated into six languages. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband and two daughters and when she’s not writing, she’s walking in the woods listening to a book, sitting in a corner reading or off exploring the world as often as she can get away.

Follow Natasha Knight on social media!

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up


A. Zavarelli

AZavarelli_Logo

A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

Follow A. Zavarelli on social media!

🔔 Get the latest news! Newsletter Sign Up


Kiss To Belong by Anna B. Doe

⚠ This review contains a minor teaser!

booksofthemuggleborn_kisstobelong
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

𝐇𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞.

New Year has kicked off on a rough start for Alyssa Martinez. Pregnant, homeless, and alone, she has to figure out how to start over before her baby arrives.

Maddox Anderson has always been a brainiac. If only confessing to his best friend he has been in love with her his whole life would be as easy as coding.

𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝.

When Maddox finds out what’s going on with Alyssa, he demands that she move in with him. When sharing a bed turns into late-night snuggles, and movie nights end up with Alyssa straddling his lap, something will have to give.

But can Maddox prove to her they belong together when Alyssa is convinced that he deserves somebody better than her?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

  1. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
  2. Who says nerds can’t be hot!?
  3. Find and and secure oneself a Maddox Anderson!

Doe has done it again with Kiss To Belong! The consistent perfection of books in the Blairwood University series is driving me nuts! This was amazing, in-depth storytelling with genuine characters and broaches on relatable real-life issues.

Like all the pairings who’ve come before them, Maddox and Alyssa are quite a couple.

  • Childhood friends ✔
  • One-sided secret crush ✔
  • Complete opposites ✔
  • Heroine pregnant with another guy’s baby ✔

A best-friends-to-lovers romance trope that had me utterly intrigued to see play out. If you love the cruel angst of a slow-burn romance, Kiss To Belong might be for you. With a contemporary college setting, the drama that these characters find themselves in will kick you right in the feels and have you emotionally invested in seeing them simply catch a break.

A lot of the time their journey was an uphill battle, with Maddox a pillar of strength, love, and support. Although I couldn’t help but find Alyssa frustrating at times, I could also sympathize with her vulnerability and indecisiveness. With all the things that she goes through in this book, I can only imagine how I would’ve handled things if I was in her shoes.

Despite Maddox and Alyssa going through some rough unchartered territory, there was still a beautiful lightness to balance out the gloomy atmosphere. The friendships included brought about a strong support system, light-heartedness, and at times comic relief. If you’re up-to-date with the series, then this eclectic group of characters will not only supply you with their usual band of witty banter, but their appearances will give you insight into their lives since their own books. 🤗

I thought it was a solid story, that’s very well-paced. Doe has a way of creating engaging characters that parallels friends and family we all seem to have in our lives, in one form or another. It was these characters that immediately caught my attention and made this book all the more authentic. The unpredictably and the gradual transformation of Maddox’s and Alyssa’s relationship is what kept me glued to the pages. And just when I thought I was going to reach the end unscathed, there was one last momentous event that had me bawling my eyes out! Yeah… I didn’t stand a chance! 🙈😅


“Things might be changing, but there’s always going to be one constant in my life. Maddox.”


KathMc_EyeContact

What makes this hero a little different from those in the previous books of Blairwood University, is Maddox is no athlete. Preferring video games and being a homebody to playing sports and partying. Whilst all the books in the series, including this one is told from dual points of view, this is the first in the series where it felt like the majority of the storytelling was from the hero’s perspective as opposed to the heroine’s. You get a lot more of Maddox’s side of the story because he’s the one who’s been keeping his feelings a secret for so long.

Aly’s and Maddox’s story was one emotional rollercoaster that had me anxiously gripping the edge of my seat. A lifetime’s worth of memories, constant companionship and bonding— their friendship is full of layers that can only have been developed from spending years together, and as the story progresses, you see how it genuinely shows.

With how mature these protagonists are and the responsibilities they take on, you tend to forget at times that they’re just in the beginnings of their adulthood, with Alyssa being twenty-one and Maddox nineteen. Friendship and romance go hand in hand beautifully in this story and it honest-to-goodness left me happy sighing.

This is one of the most touching, heartfelt, and all-around soul-stirring book series’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Kiss To Belong is the fifth book, and I’m honestly hoping there’s plenty more to follow. Doe’s writing is insightful and always seems to touch on subjects that a lot of readers can effortlessly connect with. I highly recommend this book and the entire series. There isn’t a single one I haven’t enjoyed reading. It’s a series of standalones but it’s best to read in publishing order to get the full experience as all the characters make appearances in each other’s books.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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

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

•••


🏈 More from Blairwood University!

Blairwood University Prequel: Kiss Me First by Anna B. Doe
Book One: Kiss To Conquer by Anna B. Doe
Book Two: Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe
Book Three: Kiss To Defy by Anna B. Doe
Book Four: Kiss To Remember by Anna B. Doe

•••

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

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Deceitful by C. Reilly

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

booksofthemuggleborn_deceitful
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, a young woman with special powers might be the only person able to stop him. As part of a secret branch of the FBI, Tessa is sent on a mission to impersonate Madison, a local teen and the last victim of the brutal attacker, to find the killer before he strikes again.

As if absorbing the DNA of someone else and pretending to be them wasn’t hard enough, Alec, the guy she’s been in love with for years, is joining her on the dangerous mission. Tessa knows she can’t let her feelings for him get in the way, especially as her crush seems hopeless. Not only is Alec her self-defence teacher but he’s also taken. If only the attraction between them would stop complicating everything!

Will Tessa find the killer before another person falls victim to him? Or will she lose herself in a life she’s always longed for but never had?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

For those who are only familiar with Cora Reilly’s work through her mafia romance books need to know that she’s an author who’s dabbled in other romance genres— dark, contemporary, sports romance… and now her latest? Supernatural fiction meets Crime Thriller. I can tell you after having read Deceitful, it went straight to my list of all-time fave Reilly books, and I am itching with anticipation to read the next book! 😍


“She is the perfect spy—the ultimate weapon.”


TeenWolf_Malia_BlueGlow

It took a little settling into but when I got into the groove, it was complete and utter smooth sailing with the storyline and getting to know these characters. Their special abilities and the purpose they’ve been given could easily have been overwhelming to learn about that you start to lose interest or focus, but Cora eases you into this new world she has created.

It’s effortless to follow, from the introductions of all the characters, to their backstories, to the relationships they have with one another. The storyline had a nice flow that keeps you in suspense from start to finish. There were three outstanding elements that stood out for me that ultimately made this a winning read:

  • The strong friendships that provided such contrast and dynamic to the cast of characters.
  • The excruciating love Tessa had for Alec, the bond they shared, and the rollercoaster of emotions they took me on.
  • And finally, the plot’s constant unpredictability throughout the book. As a crime enthusiast (both true and fictional), it was a real treat feeling like you’re working this case right alongside Tessa. Being suspicious of anybody and everybody, but never quite figuring out who the culprit is before the big reveal. I was on tenterhooks and it was such a buzz! 😄

I couldn’t help but think that it gave me such X-Men vibes with these characters having their own unique abilities— Tessa in the forefront with her ability to shapeshift into anyone she touches. They’ve formed somewhat of a diverse substitute family unit, and seeing their interactions were just as fascinating as seeing them use their abilities.

Cora has introduced world-building that honestly has so many possibilities and potential for growth. It already has great bones with Deceitful setting the tone, not just what we can look forward to seeing from Tessa, but from the rest of the superhuman operatives under the FBI’s secret branch.

I initially would’ve liked dual POVs but I quickly discovered that Tessa as the sole narrator was more than enough as this is her story to tell, her experiences, her journey. Whilst I fell in love with a few other characters in this book, it’s hard to overlook Tessa. Her inexperience and lack of emotional control made her such a raw, genuine, and relatable character. You may not agree with all her decisions and actions, but with her history, you can’t quite hate her for them either.

But I’m not going to lie… I’m excited to see more of the secondary characters introduced. There’s already a couple of characters that caught my eye that I’m eager to see more of in future books. There were a few things that I felt needed to be elaborated on, but with how this book ended, I’m hoping to eventually get in-depth details later.

I should point out that it does contain graphic violence that may be triggering for some readers. Although the majority of the story takes place in a high school backdrop, it’s new adult fiction with mature content.

Overall, a relatively quick but punchy read! As I mentioned earlier, it’s become one of my favourite books Cora has written. I undoubtedly recommend it to readers who are fans of murder-mystery/ crime fiction with supernatural themes. There’s certainly romance, and despite Cora mentioning it being on the light side, I beg to differ. I thought there was just the right amount of romance weaved throughout that not only had me swooning, but it also had me craving to see more. It’s somewhat of a slow-burn but trust me when I say, there’s plenty of heat to keep the romance side of things nice and toasty! 😉


“He might keep me safe from the killer, but who the hell would protect me from my feelings for him?”


TeenWolf_Derek_DeepThought

With how this book concluded, I’m actually hoping to see if another romantic bond forms. *whispers* Let’s just say this particular pairing is giving me vibes similar to Kiara/Remo but whilst theirs will never happen… I can only hope this one has a fighting chance… (For those who’ve read the book, I’m talking about a certain “brother”) *cough cough* 🤞🙏 I can’t be the only one who saw potential!

This is a high quality debut for Cora into the supernatural/ crime fiction genre! Action-packed. Thrilling. Complex. It’s a must read! You won’t be disappointed. I’m already counting the days until Renegade!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

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

•••


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

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Till Next Time by Cora Brent

⚠ This review contains a minor teaser!

booksofthemuggleborn_tillnexttime
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I met Colt Malene when I was fourteen years old.

And it seems I’ve never recovered.

He became the headstrong star quarterback in a town that idolized high school football titles.

Meanwhile, I was the coach’s dutiful perfectionist daughter, never daring to step out of line.

We should have stayed far away from each other but we didn’t.

And the volatile fallout was unbearable.

More than a decade has passed and now my father is dying.

He wants to make amends.

He wants to be forgiven for the role he played in Colt’s ruinous downfall and my painful heartbreak.

To give a dying man some peace, Colt and I agree to a plan.

While Colt is here in town, we pretend to date.

We pretend to like each other.

We pretend that the past is buried and forgotten.

But with one reckless, passionate act we carve a new future.

Leading to a fate we never suspected.

In the middle of a storm we never saw coming.

And an ending no one could have predicted…

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“I never meant to fall in love with Colt Malene. I wasn’t supposed to. I’ve done it anyway. Again. I couldn’t help it, then or now.”


TVD_Stefan_ShySmile

After reading Till It Hurts and loving the strong trio of characters, I knew I needed more. Till Next Time is utter perfection that completely transported me back to their small town of Arcana, and to the trio who’ve reconnected as adults.

This story centred around Colt Malene and his life story. I couldn’t put it down! Cora has executed in telling his story and getting me emotionally invested right from the first few pages. The writing is effortless and vivid. It’s exactly the type of drama-filled contemporary romance I love to read. Fleshed-out, heartbreaking, yet nevertheless, inspiring.

Memories of past events weaved in between the present day not only gave Colt’s and Susanna’s personal stories so much depth and dimension, but it provided insight to their perspective households, families, and their developing relationship through their POVs.

The characters are complex and their lives are more than your average teenage rebellion against their parents. You see how much certain events that took place in their past have impacted and influenced their adulthood in the present.

You can’t help but feel for Colt. He had very little positivity in his life growing up, and it’s saddening to see his parents failed him as his much needed support system.

Susanna has her own issues and it becomes evident as the story progresses how much her life hadn’t ended up as initially planned.

It’s well-paced storytelling and these protagonists’ lives are not only touching to learn about, but they deal with life-long insecurities, along with some very heavy, realistic, and quite relatable issues along the way. I love the realism that Cora has imbedded in their story (along with Till It Hurts), it’s why I easily felt an attachment to these characters, especially Colt. They’re a likable pair of people, genuine characters with strong polar-opposite personalities.

The world-building is extraordinary— from Arcana; the little town that’s gradually wearing out over time, to the different backdrops that holds so many memories for Colt and Susanna, to the diverse range of supporting characters who all played significant roles in shaping them into who they are now and bring about contrasting dynamics.

I loved their journey. The highs and lows. It had the right amount of angst, drama, and suspense to keep you reading with bated breath, but also had moments of lightheartedness to keep it from veering towards an overly depressing atmosphere. Colt and Susanna come full circle by the end of the book that leaves you not only happy sighing with complete contentment but a little bittersweet knowing that with Till It Hurts and now, Till Next Time, all three friends have had their story told and we bid adieu to their world.

This is only my second book of Cora Brent’s but after having back-to-back exceptionally quality storytelling, I’ll be looking into her backlist of books for sure. Till Next Time is a must read along with Till It Hurts. You can definitely read them as standalone books without missing a beat as events and relationships are well explained… but I do highly recommend reading the pair!

Colt’s and Susanna’s story was one big “Sliding Doors” moment full of missed chances and what-ifs? The road to their HEA wasn’t an easy feat, but it’s an epic second-chance romance that was a long time coming and well worth the wait!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Cora Brent and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Till Next Time? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU

•••


🏈 Where it all started! Read my review!

booksofthemuggleborn_tillithurts
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📘 Till It Hurts by Cora Brent


•••

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

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Swoon by Lauren Rowe

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

booksofthemuggleborn_swoon
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Growing up, I knew my older brother’s best friend thought of me as “Logan’s kid sister.” For me, though, our next-door neighbor, Colin, felt like anything but a sibling. Whenever I spied on him through my bedroom window, as he banged away, shirtless, on his drum kit, I felt sensations inside me I’d never felt for my actual brother. But when we moved away and Colin’s band took off like a rocket, I knew my tweener fantasies would never become a reality.⁣

Fast-forward nine years to my brother’s wedding, when I saw Colin again and we shared a secret, drunken kiss that rocked my world. The next morning, Colin blamed the alcohol. Said we should pretend the kiss, and my unfortunate text afterward, never happened. ⁣

Now that I’m heading to LA to work for Colin and crash at his place, though, all bets are off. I’m determined to make Colin swoon for me, the same way I’ve always done for him. Because no matter what he insisted, Colin’s body during our kiss, and the shocking thing he whispered into my ear right afterward, made it clear he doesn’t really think of me as his little sister, any more than I do.

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“Will I ever find true love in this lifetime? Will someone ever swoon for me the way I swoon for them?”


PrettyWoman_Fairytale

Excitement doesn’t even cover my feels when I started this story and immediately fell back into a world I was familiar with. It left me feeling lighthearted and all around happy contentment! 🤗 If you haven’t read any of Lauren Rowe’s books, then I think this is a sweet and giggle-inducing introduction to her writing and the vivid world she has created (and expanded). You’ll meet quite a cast of secondary characters as well, and for those who are familiar with Lauren’s work, then the crossover of these characters from her other books is a fabulous feature to see in the story. For the newbies, this story will surely have you curious about these characters’ stories and have you checking out the backlist of books Lauren has written about them. I know there’s a couple of characters that totally caught my attention in this book that I’m looking forward to reading more about. 😁

It’s well-paced storytelling with dual POVs. The history between Amy and Colin really amped up the dimension and dynamic of their relationship in the present day, and made their flirty romance all the more, as the title perfectly describes it… “swoon” worthy! I love seeing their relationship from each of their perspectives, because whilst they both have similar thoughts and feelings about some subject matters, they certainly have a difference of opinions on others. It was such a contrast, and at times the frustration that leaped off these characters easily transferred onto me, as the reader. It’s emotional, spontaneously unpredictable, with crazy, fun highs and lip-pouting lows, that it was easy to get invested in their story. (And don’t get me started on some of the secondhand embarrassment some of their interactions caused. Hehehe). 🙈

This is a contemporary romance story with a secret crush/ brother’s best friend trope, and what makes this story stand out from other books with similar romance tropes is that Lauren has included her own flair and musical creativity to it. Just like her other books set in the same world of musicians, tours, and stardom, you can look forward to hearing original songs incorporated into the storyline. It’s one of the highlights in my opinion, and totally elevates the atmosphere of those scenes and needless to say adds more realism to these fictional people.

I’ve only read a few of Lauren’s books but they’ve all been well-written with detailed world-building, and Swoon is no different. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Amy’s and Colin’s rollercoaster ride of emotions and see them develop as characters. By all means, their relationship is not perfect and these protagonists are flawed and complex but you can expect a reasonable amount of groveling and effort included that will have you rooting for these characters and satisfied with how roadblocks in their relationship are overcome.


“I’m gonna grand gesture the fuck outta her.”


With secondary plotlines developing simultaneously in the background, this was a multi-layered story. Never a dull moment, and although a lot of things are happening at the same time, it’s effortless to follow. It has an amazing balance of comic relief to the more pensive scenes, yet all are memorable moments. I always find romance stories where characters have entertaining inner dialogues all the more engaging and Swoon had them in spades. And if you fancy intimacy between the hero/ heroine to be descriptive and wordy, hehe yep, you won’t be disappointed with the detail that goes on during Amy’s and Colin’s bedroom romps either. 😜

There are strong friendships and family-oriented presence in this story that I loved seeing. As much as I adored Amy’s and Colin’s cute push-and-pull interactions, I equally found myself looking forward to seeing the dynamics and interactions they have with their friends and families— with an array of personalities and opinions, the relationships just seemed so genuine and relatable.

Overall, I found this to be a sweet, hearty story with gradual progression. The little moments down memory lane demonstrates how far and special Amy’s and Colin’s connection is. It has an entertaining cat and mouse type of romance that kept me engaged. All the characters are truly likable, and although this is predominately a romance story, both Amy and Colin also have their own personal hang-ups and insecurities that they come to realize and work through. It’s a standalone novel and undeniably concludes with a HEA!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Lauren Rowe and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗

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

•••


More reviews for Lauren Rowe books!

Bad Liar  |  Beautiful Liar  |  Beloved Liar

The Reed Rivers Trilogy by Lauren Rowe

The Hate-Love Duet

Book One: Falling Out Of Hate With You by Lauren Rowe

Book Two: Falling Into Love With You by Lauren Rowe


•••

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

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Date Me Like You Mean It by R.S. Grey

booksofthemuggleborn_datemelikeyoumeanit
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

I’m good at hiding my feelings.

Having to pretend I’m not in love with my best friend?

Pfft. That’s child’s play.

Here’s how I do it: I avert my eyes when he walks out of his room, shirtless in all his toned glory. I squash the butterflies that fill my stomach every time he slowly unfurls a dimpled smile. And, most importantly, I keep an arsenal of “personal massagers” in my bedside drawer. Wink.

Not to brag, but Aiden Smith isn’t hard to resist if you’ve been doing it for as long as I have. In fact, we might have continued as best friends forever if not for the fact that I needed him to play the part of my fake boyfriend.

Date me like you mean it, I told him. Nudge nudge. C’mon, just go along with a little lie, help a girl out, and then we can all return to life as we know it.

Except he veered from the plan.

He crossed the line.

Flirting with me when no one else was around? Pinning me down and kissing me like that? Okay, how exactly is taking off my bra part of the ruse, Aiden?!

I’d ask him about it if I could, but well…things got ugly and we’re not best friends anymore.

In fact, we’re the exact opposite.

Now, I have to play nice even though I want to crush his heart in the palm of my hand.

Pretending not to love Aiden was the easy part.

Pretending not to hate him?

Well…I might need a little more practice.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Ahhhh. Grey has done it again! DMLYMI was deviously good! I obsess over a good secret crush, but what’s even better? A secret crush turn enemies to lovers. *evil laugh* muahaha! 🤭

Just the book I needed to escape the reality of adulting for a little while. Lol.

Grey has the inate ability to get you invested with the ever-so Grey trademark characters who seem to talk (and think) a mile a minute — those who’ve read her other books know what I’m talking about! Her characters are instantly lovable with their humorous ramblings and random thoughts that it’s hard not to get invested in their story right off the bat.

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DMLYMI has now been included in my list of fave books of Grey’s right along with The Allure of Dean Harper and Arrogant Devil. All of which had a similiar hate to love romance. What can I say? When it comes to this tried and true trope, Grey writes some of the best!

But question… this was supposed to be a romantic comedy, right? I read that correctly, yes? So why the hell did I blubber and get teary-eyed so many damn times throughout reading this book!!? 😢😅

I loved the concept of a secret crush in this storyline because it’s almost all from Maddie’s POV for at least the first half. As a reader, you get on this ride of unrequited love with her, the hopeless dream of having your best friend mirror back your feelings. I think that’s why I got so emotional reading this book. The further it developed, the more I felt for Maddie. You can’t help but sympathize with what she’s going through. I’m not going to lie — I was crushed by some of the scenes. If you cry just as easily as I do, make sure to have tissues nearby. You’re bound to get into a snotfest!

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It’s full of heart. There’s a sweet balance of friendship and love, good ol’ banter and game playing to keep things lively. It’s what will keep you anxious to see how things will play out between Maddie and Aiden. There’s no doubt they have zingy chemistry. You can feel the years of their bond leap off the pages.

Full of what-ifs, secrets, missed chances, and unexpected opportunities. Both Maddie and Aiden are forced to navigate through all the events in their lives and the consequences of their choices. Their journey is one of growth, pure determination and acceptance that things may not work out the way they hope or expect it to. At times it’s a bittersweet pill to swallow.

It’s a fictional story of a couple struggling to find a balance in their lives that can very well mirror any relationship real life.

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What I love about Grey’s books (and this one was no different) is that her characters are fairly relatable. The relationships and life experiences are some that many of us can relate to. Whilst I adore Maddie and her usual happy-go-lucky personality, I had hoped she had more backbone where Aiden was concerned, and that she followed through and executed her plans because I can’t help but think that would’ve been a real kicker!

Aiden doesn’t have as much of the spotlight that Maddie initially has when it comes to their perspective of things but it doesn’t mean he didn’t make an impact. Putting aside the good looks Grey has bestowed upon him, he’s charming, sweet as hell and is just a pure care bear at heart! I couldn’t really fault the guy. Yeah, I might have smacked my forehead and shook my head mumbling “no, no, no…” at a couple of things he does but it no way means he’s crossed off the book boyfriend list! Not happening!

I may not always agree with these characters’ actions but I can see how others may, or even be doing the same thing if they were ever in the same situation. Either way Grey always manages to put realism into her characters and their world, which I’ve always liked about her writing.

If you’re a fan of friends to lovers, hate to love, and secret crush romance storylines, then this will certainly be a treat for you folks! I enjoyed it immensely and there are parts of this book I’ve already reread multiple times over because they’re still reeling in my mind.

The steamy scenes are indeed hot, yet tasteful, and just enough to keep you swooning over their relationship. I’ll leave it at that. 😉

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Overall, a well-paced storytelling, developing easily enough in the first half of the book. Although in my opinion, it did pick up speed in the second half making it feel little rushed but not to a point where it’s off-putting. The ending is still as sweet as when the story started. It has a beautiful wrap up that’ll have you sighing in happy contentment. Nothing was left unanswered (at least from my point of view).

Another not-to-be missed standalone romance from Grey! An amazing journey of love, friendship and sacrifice. It’s mostly lighthearted with moments of fluttering-butterfly-induced nerves. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll cruelly enjoy the banter, but secretly hope things will work out between Maddie and Aiden.

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Highly recommend for fellow romance readers to add this one to their TBR, asap!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

Thank you to R.S. Grey and Ink Slinger PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


•••

If you’re interested in more, make sure to check out my reviews for R.S. Grey’s other books. Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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