From 16 best selling authors comes seven never-before-released dark and forbidden co-written short stories with HEAs and sneak peeks of upcoming releases.
Tales of Darkness and Sin is only available for a limited time so get your copy now! Special Pre-Order price: $2.99!
Bestselling authors include:
Aleatha Romig, A. Zavarelli, Ashley Jade, Cora Reilly, Giana Darling, Isabella Starling, Jade West, K. Webster, Lucia Franco, Lylah James, Natasha Knight, Parker S. Huntington, Pepper Winters, Sam Mariano, Sierra Simone, Skye Warren.
All royalties from this anthology will benefit the National Women’s Law Center which represents a variety of issues from women’s rights to LGBTQIA issues. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.
• MY REVIEW •
Most (if not all) of these short stories were originally posted in the Queens of Darkness and Sin FB page, then this is the time to grab this baby! I had read a couple of these stories prior to this collection, so it was cool to be able to read the rest and be introduced to a few more new-to-me authors as well! 😊
Each one is hot romance story, definitely intended for 18+ readers only. Some have more sensitive subject matter than others that may be triggering for some readers.
Here are the short stories and introductions to new and upcoming books included in the anthology:
Sold to the Highest Bidder by Aleatha Romig and Skye Warren
Genre: Erotica/ Dark Romance
An auction backdrop with the highest bidder romancing the woman he won. Some Dom/ Sub content included. Not my cup of tea but if you’re a fan of BDSM in your romance reads, this might be up your alley. Bratva (Russian Mafia) also features in the story.
Stalker by A. Jade and A. Zavarelli
Genre: Stalker/ Revenge Romance
From a couple of my favourite romance authors. An absolutely excellent collaboration in this dark, stalker romance. Loved it! It was deviously evil and oh-so freaking good! I love a good comeuppance when it comes to someone who truly deserves pain.. (it’s why I love the movie Taken) Hehe. 😈
Great backstory to help create the world-building between Zander and Violet. Short story but it was action-packed, raunchy, and there was a scene that surprisingly made me LOL in that evil-haha sort of way! Highly recommended read.
Poised Hearts by Giana Darling and Parker S. Huntington
Genre: Mafia Romance
Wow. New-to-me-authors that blew me away with their short, but vivid mafia romance! Such world-building, with a character driven storyline. They made the whole enemies-to-lovers/ forbidden romance trope refreshing by having characters who connect in such an organic way. It’s gripping and didn’t read as a short story at all with the amount of detail and development that occurred. Slower paced and told from dual points of view. There’s a constant blanket of intrigue and suspense from beginning to end that makes this an exceptional dark/ mafia romance. Another great read from this collection!
The Dirty Bargain by Lylah James and Cora Reilly
Genre: Mafia Romance
A crossover between Lylah James’ and Cora Reilly’s mafia worlds. Can be read as a standalone. Killer and Talia are complete opposites and from opposing sides. An enemies-to-lovers romance.
It may be a short story but it’s suspenseful, packs a punch, and full of zing! 🔥
This was such an adorably entertaining story between a boss and his intern. An age-gap romance that had me hooked. The contrast between the bright, optimistic young woman who lands a job with the successful, older man she’s had a crush on for years is a sight to see. If you enjoy age-gap/ taboo/ father’s best friend type romances then you’ll want to read this one. It’s upbeat, with light-hearted banter — a total guilty pleasure read.
Not a Dirty Little Secret by Giana Darling and Sierra Simone
Genre: MM/ Taboo Romance
A step-brothers, age-gap romance. The two started off on the wrong foot causing endless heated banter between quickly turns into secret sexual encounters. Set in a political backdrop yet raunchy. A relatable story for those who have or are struggling to come out with their sexuality. Younger step-brother Tobias is openly gay whilst Prime Minister, and much older step-brother James is reluctant, and unsure of going public… especially with what’s on the line for both Tobias and himself. It’s a story of love and acceptance.
Slower-paced and a little wordy for my liking though.
Her Christmas Present by Jade West and Lucia Franco
Genre: Taboo Romance
A contemporary student/ teacher, secret crush romance story that was entertaining to read. I found myself smirking at Lexi’s flirtatious ways towards her teacher. It’s not a trope I usually read a lot of but this one was fast-paced, anything but dull between Lexi and Mr. Vaughn, and it was during the Christmas holidays. Let the good times roll! This is a legit dirty, raunchy Christmas fling! 😜
Forbidden Flaws by Pepper Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A one-night stand between two strangers who happen to stay in the same hotel. The story didn’t have enough dimension, lacked any real development between the characters, and was a little too far-fetched for my liking. A straight-up sex romp. But I know romance readers who will enjoy quick romance stories with this trope. Nothing against it, it just didn’t hold my attention.
With This Ring by Natasha Knight
Genre: Mafia Romance
This is the first book and an introduction to Natasha Knight’s newest mafia romance duet To Have and To Hold. An arranged marriage/ captor-captive romance between an Italian Made Man and a Cartel Princess.
I absolutely loved this book and the few chapters in this anthology will suck you into the story so fast, you’ll be wanting to grab the full novel right after! I highly recommend this one for avid mafia romance lovers! Cristiano and Scarlett are hot together! 🔥
I am intrigued! This introduction to Isabella Starling’s upcoming release was my introduction to her and her writing. I liked it! 😄 It was dark, giving only snippets of the protagonists and what their deal was. The story was gripping right from the start when you’re first introduced to the scarred heroine, Dove.
From what I’ve read from these chapters, this book will be suspenseful and will keep you on your toes. I enjoy a dark read when the characters’ motives slowly reveals itself as the story develops, and this is one of those stories. Great world-building with a strong gloomy atmosphere present. Will need to check out the full novel!
An amazing anthology perfect for fans of darker romance who are looking to expand their reading collection. It certainly introduced me to some new authors and looking forward to reading more of their work. Each one is only a few chapters long — some executed in creating world-building, character growth, and a hearty storyline within that short amount of time more than others. There’s a couple of which I wished were a little longer. But all in all a great collection. For a limited time only and I would take the opportunity to grab it whilst it’s available (and all proceeds are going to a good cause)!
OVERALL RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to the participating authors and Social Butterfly PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! ❤
A romance anthology with over THIRTY original, never-before-seen stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. Each piece was written for this anthology to benefit firefighters and wildlife in Australia. AUSTRALIA is only available for a limited time, so one-click your copy before it’s gone.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Penny Reid, Meredith Wild, Carly Phillips, Sierra Simone, Emma Scott, Susan Stoker, Kennedy Ryan, Willow Aster, Skye Warren, Kylie Scott, Aleatha Romig, Willow Winters, AL Jackson, Julia Kent, Rebecca Yarros, Nana Malone, Giana Darling, Emma Hart, Chelle Bliss, Noelle Adams, A. Zavarelli, Jenika Snow, Dylan Allen, Kayti McGee, Robin Covington, Mary Catherine Gebhard, Melanie Moreland, Parker S. Huntington, Nana Malone, Jewel E. Ann, Annabel Joseph, Celia Aaron, Michelle Heard, Brighton Walsh, Tamsen Parker, Pam Godwin, Kayti McGee
All royalties from this project will be donated to relief funds in Australia, with 50% going to a firefighter charity and 50% going to a wildlife charity. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.
• MY REVIEW •
This review is for The Date Arrangement by A. Zavarelli only!
First off, as an Aussie, I want to say how incredibly kind-hearted and thoughtful these amazing group of authors are for thinking of Australia during the bushfire crisis that occurred the past summer, and for generously donating the proceeds from this anthology to charities.
I may be a little late in reading this anthology (as it’s been sitting in my kindle since last year), I figured one year late and with Australia Day here, it’s no better time to crack it open.
This review is for one of my all time favourite romance authors: A. Zavarelli. Her story The Date Arrangement was the one I wanted to read the most out of the collection… hence this review now.
Let’s get down to the most important detail, shall we? Did I like it?
Yes. Yes I did! 😁
I’ve read a few of Zavarelli’s novellas and short stories in the past and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. She has a knack for getting you to feel and connect with her characters in such a short time frame.
This story was no different. It’s technically insta-love romance but Zavarelli effortlessly writes it in a way where you get some world-building, character backstory, and a budding relationship between our hero/ heroine before they hook up.
The Date Arrangement is about Daxon, an Aussie bloke who runs his family’s successful winery. Willow is hired to be Daxon’s date for an event at his estate celebrating his winery. She’s an American actress backpacking across Australia, and whilst this isn’t in her usual job description, she figures why not? She could use the money. It’s just one date. Nothing to it, right? Only, when she turns up to the event to meet Daxton, things are not exactly what they seem.
They’re both apprehensive at first but as they start conversing, they realize there’s a sense of comfort between them. I appreciate the fact that before they took a chance at anything romantic, they got to know each other a little first. It gives this novella some substance. It’s a big reason as to why I enjoy Zavarelli’s short stories as I do her full-length novels. It’s never fluff and you find yourself easily connecting with said characters and investing in their developing relationship.
They’re both instantly attracted to one another but there’s also a subtle but obvious click between the two when they’re talking. The chemistry only gets zingier from there. Both Dax and Willow give you an insight to their upbringing and their lives now. Their conversation felt very organic and realistic.. and if I may say so, had pretty good first date vibes!
It solely focuses on our lead characters, but there’s a few secondary characters that give this story some dimension. The addition of Dax’s grandfather displays his family upbringing, and his two best mates add the Aussie vibe into the mix.
“I’m Dave. This is Bazza. We’re Daxo’s mates.”
Zavarelli did a relatively good job at getting her Aussie slang down pat. I even snort-laughed at the nicknames of her characters. It couldn’t get more Australian with a name like Bazza! LOL.
It’s a cute character-driven romance. A little predictable in the end but who cares? Although, I would’ve loved another paragraph or two just so the ending didn’t feel as rushed as the rest of the story. But overall, it’s a great in-between read and I was left in a happy sigh!
Zavarelli’s contemporary romances are just as gripping as her dark romances, and if you’re a fan, this one is not to be missed!
🔔 Interested in reading the Australia anthology? Grab the paperback here: Amazon
A safe and peaceful Australia Day to my fellow Aussies.
Happy reading to all, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo
Born in Blood Sworn in Blood… …isn’t only the motto the Famiglia lives by. Bleeding for love is something every couple in this book has experienced. Through hardships their love morphs into something even more beautiful and resilient. A love each of them is willing to fight for.
This anthology contains stories for the following couples:
First off — I am so fucking ecstatic that we get more updates from OG couples from the mafia world that started it all, Born In Blood!
Warning: Lots of cussing ahead! And minor teasing!
Okay. Here we go. First up?
📖 1: Luca & Aria
What can I say about these two other than I love them, and seeing even a snippet of their lives whether it be past, present or future always leaves me with a buzz of happiness. Their short story pulls at the heartstrings — not only with how much they’ve come a long ways in their relationship since they first met, but with how much their world has evolved. It’s also a nice breather from the gritty, mafia side because this story is focus more so on their private life together.
Luca was my first love from this world, and I honestly don’t think I could ever tire of reading about him.
I’d like to see one person come away from reading this little novella without a smile on their face. C’mon. Prove me wrong! You’ll smile, you’ll giggle, you’ll flail your arms, and you’ll sigh with happy contentment!
😜 Not a surprise but I know a lot of readers are looking forward to this:
Next up? Fresh meat!
📖 2: Mauro & Stella
Ahhhh. Mauro and Stella. Two new characters that I didn’t realize I needed until I read their story. Now I am in desperate need of a full length novel! *Looking at you book gods. Make it happen.*
Who loves a step-sibling romance trope in their reads? I’m not embarrassed to admit it’s a trope I can easily be iffy about just because of the whole cringe factor that can be displayed if the story or characters are written in a weird incest sort of way. Uuck. But Forbidden Delights had none of that whatsoever!
Gripping, edge of seat chemistry. The build-up of sexual frustration was both adorable as fuck and intense. Add Mauro to your book boyfriend list? ✔✔✔
Since I had already read this novella when it was initially released in the romance anthology; Love In Lockdown, I’ve already written and posted my full review. To read my thoughts on Mauro and Stella, you can find it here: Forbidden Delights by Cora Reilly
😳 Here’s something to look forward to:
Things are heating up. Next one up is the couple that is “made for hell.” 🔥
📖 3: Matteo & Gianna
Okay. This one is a little tougher to review. Whilst I was on the edge of my seat the entire time reading their novella, I did have mixed feelings about the developments. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their novella divide a lot of the readers who love Matteo and Gianna. When it comes to Gianna, you either love her or hate her. Just so you know, I’m on #TeamLoveGianna (I definitely prefer her more than Aria), and whilst their situation was all kinds of WTF?, her decisions are understandable, her feelings are relatable, and I, for one have always accepted her… opinionated attitude and all!
In saying that, Matteo has and always will be my adorable shark-grinned cinnamon roll! Seeing him wrack over his emotions just about gave me chest pains. The guy just has so much heart! This may be a novella but it packs a punch and gave a much needed update to the next chapter in their lives. Not only has this story showed how much Matteo and Gianna have gone through in their relationship, but it reminded me of how much time has passed, of how old I am, and how long it’s been since Bound By Hatred! 😅 But phew… What a journey! Have tissues at hand.
(Oh, and I knew there was a very good reason as to why I love Luca and Matteo’s brotherhood!) *sigh* 🤗
🙈 What you’re getting yourself into with this one:
Up ahead: Sugar and spice, and all things nice!
📖 4: Romero & Liliana
I don’t know why Romero and Liliana are underrated. I loved Bound By Temptation to bits and Romero is such a refreshing change from the arrogant, alpha type Made Men who enjoy the blood and grittiness. If you’re in need a true gentleman, who’s caring, protective and adorably romantic — Romero will not disappoint. And neither does this story. It was just straight up sweet!
Besides their intial book, for the most part Romero and Liliana haven’t been in the forefront, and this short story pretty much sums up their quiet life. They’re practically living the dream with having found a balance between the Mafia world and their own little heaven outside of it. It’s cool to see that there’s at least one couple in this world that doesn’t have too much drama going on around them constantly. Such an effortless coupling.
But not to worry, Romero will still bring out the raaaaawr!
And finally… the feels!
📖 5: Growl & Cara
I’m gonna admit it right here, right now — this couple’s story was the one I was anticipating reading the most! Why? Well, as much as I have a lot of love for Matteo, at least we got snippets of him in previous books. But with Ryan? The most we got was a name drop here and there.
Fuuuuuuuuuck! This story completely punched me in the gut. I felt like the rug was ripped right out from under me and it resulted in me bawling my eyes out! Ugh. As much as this story shattered my heart, it’s still probably my favourite one from this collection. I didn’t think I could love Growl anymore than I already do but he wormed his way in deeper into my heart!
Tissues! Where are the bloody fucking TISSUES!!!!? 😭😭
Their story was full of sorrow, but one of family, peace and healing too. Even if we don’t get another full length novel from Ryan and Cara, I think this novella will leave fellow Growl fans satisfied with the open-ended conclusion. When one door closes, another opens.
💘 Something not to be missed:
🖐 Fantastic stories! A great compilation from couples I so lusted after from the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles. Great seeing little snippets of what-ifs and possible teasers for future book storylines. A must read, and must have for all Reilly fans!
Thank you to Cora Reilly and Emily Alice for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💕
Happy reading, guys! Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo