Best Kept Secret by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

The secrets haunting Beau Rochester come alive.

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

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

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

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• MY REVIEW •


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐½

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

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

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🗝 Reviews for The Rochester Trilogy!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One | Private Property by Skye Warren

Book Two | Strict Confidence by Skye Warren


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

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Strict Confidence by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Forbidden. Commanding. Mysterious. Beau Rochester has an entire house full of secrets. And those secrets are putting Jane Mendoza in danger.

She fell in love with the one man she can’t have. She should leave Maine to protect her heart, but the thread refuses to be severed. The brooding Mr. Rochester and his grieving niece are more than her job. They’re her new family.

She races against time to find answers and protect the people she loves. The cliffside grows dark with the misdeeds of the past. Her heart and her sanity fight a battle, but they are both at risk.

Will Mr. Rochester learn to trust Jane? And will that trust destroy her?

•••

• MY REVIEW •

The suspense, the mystery, and the thrill have amped up in book two of The Rochester Trilogy! This is a continuous storyline — Private Property must be read first and with how that book concluded, I was keen to read the next installment in Beau’s and Jane’s highly-charged relationship.

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 As I mentioned in my review for the first book, this story is a modern retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. I had also mentioned that I hadn’t read that tale so I was going into Skye’s version relatively blind of the plot or how the characters relate to one another. I went into reading this story with an open mind, no issues with comparison to the original tale, and I think most importantly with no spoilers.

I love dark romances and this one had the element of suspense and thrill included. It’s more a romantic thriller than anything. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. The gloomy, depressing air that surrounded the first book effortlessly flowed through to this second one. The backdrop might have altered from the mansion they stayed in for the entirety of the first book to a new location but the sense of dread and danger lingered with Jane and the Rochesters nevertheless.

Just like the first book, it’s well-paced storytelling and still told from dual points of view. I felt the fear and anxiety coming off of these characters. It leapt off the pages and I couldn’t help but feel a little on edge right alongside them.

Little by little you get more and more out of these characters, and the more you can’t help but get invested in seeing where their story will head next. Especially with Jane, having to uproot her life for this job, only to somehow end up trapped in the same uncertainty she was hoping to get out of by taking this job in the first place. Everything is up in the air with so many segments of this story —

✔ Beau’s and Jane’s relationship.

✔ Jane’s employment.

✔ The Rochester mansion.

✔ Paige’s wellbeing.

✔ The town they reside in and the people who seem to know everything and nothing.

✔ Their past, present, and future.

✔ Their sanity. Their sanity. Their sanity.

Nothing is for certain which is one of the main reasons why I found myself so absorbed by Jane, Beau and the mystery surrounding their lives. I’m hooked and totally in it for the long haul! I can’t wait to read Best Kept Secret. Although I found some of the plot twists unsurprising, I am still itching to see how everything will go down…. especially with how this book concluded in quite a tingly cliffhanger just as the first book had.

Besides Beau Rochester’s hard, hot-and-cold demeanor and indecisiveness, especially where Janes is concerned, I still found him to be a likable character. Despite all his wealth and success, he still comes off human with relatable insecurities.

I tend to forget a lot of the time that Jane is only nineteen years old with her maturity level in handling a fragile little girl and all the drama surrounding Beau. She’s lived a tough mudda of a life and it shows in her character.

Easy flowing storytelling with an effortless transition from the ending of book one to the beginning of book two. Strict Confidence also introduces new secondary characters that are just as shady as the ones that were in Private Property that’ll leave your mind reeling with what ifs.

For a reader who has very little clue of how close of a retelling this is to the original tale, or if it’s only inspired by it, I can’t comment on whether or not Skye’s version is a refreshing take. But either way, I did find it engaging from start to finish. If you enjoy reading dark, twisted romance books, I recommend you give this story a go. An age gap, workplace romance story with a side of suspense.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Skye Warren and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙

🔔 Interested in reading Strict Confidence? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play

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🗝 Read my review for The Rochester Trilogy!

booksofthemuggleborn_privateproperty
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One: Private Property by Skye Warren


•••

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

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Private Property by Skye Warren

booksofthemuggleborn_privateproperty
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

When I signed up for the nanny agency, I didn’t expect a remote mansion on a windswept isle. Or a brooding billionaire who resents his new role.

His brother’s death means he’s now in charge of a moody seven year old girl. She’s lashing out at the world, but I can handle her. I have to. I need the money to finish my college degree.

As long as I can avoid the boss who alternately mocks me and coaxes me to reveal my darkest secrets.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Hmm. 🤔🤔🤔 This is a tough review to put down into words that makes relative sense. But here it goes…

First things first— did I like it? Yes. Yes I did. At the time of reading Private Property, I hadn’t realized that it was a modern retelling of the Brontë classic; Jane Eyre. As I hadn’t read that story either, looking back I’m glad I went into reading this one with no expectations and with an open mind. I can’t help thinking if I somewhat knew the storyline (based off of the classic) I probably wouldn’t have been in suspense and kept on my toes as much whilst reading it.

Another thing I should point out is I haven’t read much workplace romance stories that specifically revolve around a nanny and her boss. Add in the age-gap between Jane and Mr. Rochester here (and yes, for those who’ve read Jane Eyre, after googling, I realized that Warren has kept the initial character names for her story), and it felt like a story I wouldn’t normally go for. But there was something so intriguing about the blurb that had me wanting to. And after reading it, I’m glad I did!

When it comes to the world of romance books, Warren has been around for some time. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the indie, dark romance world who hasn’t heard of Warren or read any one of her books. Whilst I haven’t read all of hers, the ones I have read have always left me feeling sucked into the world she has created and really invested in the characters. Private Property is no different…. especially with how the book concluded. This is only the first book in the trilogy but it has already dropped a jaw-dropping bomb that I am anticipating the next book.

It’s well-paced storytelling that had an air of mystery and doom from start to finish that leaves you never really feeling at ease because you know something is bound to happen to rock Jane’s world and put another twist to this dark romance. The first half of the book is told solely from Jane’s POV so I felt like you really get a sense of her hardships and why she’s come to be at the mansion working as a full-time nanny.

Trigger Warning: This story contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers such as abuse, sexual assault, and drug use. Please keep in mind before starting this book.

Once you reach the halfway mark of the story, you finally get some insight from Mr. Rochester — although frustratingly limited insight. I wish I could say that by the end of the book you have full understanding of him and his family, but sadly no can-do. 😅 Whilst I was totally mesmerized by the unusual yet erotic interactions between him and Jane, if someone were to ask me to tell them more about Mr. Rochester, I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. By the end he was still as enigmatic and surrounded by uncertainty as when Jane first encountered him at the beginning.

Warren toes the romance boundaries within this story by stirring up a little bit of adventure and erotic excitement in the young and innocent Jane. The world-building is well created and the continuous cold and gloomy atmosphere almost transports you to the stormy cliffside backdrop the story takes place in. The beginnings of character developments is evident as the plot thickens and you get glimpses into both their pasts.

Overall, this book has good bones— a dark romance with a chunks of thrill and suspense. There’s a lot of secrecy surrounding these leading characters and the circumstances that brought Jane to the Rochester family in the first place. It honestly leaves you wanting more.

It’s an interesting story that peaks at your curiosity. If you’re an avid fan of Skye Warren, then you won’t want to miss this. If you’re a fan of dark romance reads and/or modern retellings of historical romances, add this to your TBR and give it a go.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Skye Warren and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


•••

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

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Dark Fairy Tales Anthology

 Check out my reviews for each of the fairy tales included in this collection. Happy reading!  The book is now available, if you’re interested in reading it yourself. 

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

In a castle adorned with gems, coated in gold, and dusted with luxury, the youngest of the Constantine Family will be introduced to the elite of New York. But the party isn’t all glamor. Villains lurk in dark corners, evil deals are struck, and starcrossed loves are born.

FAIRY TALES INCLUDED:

The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts
Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters
Cinderella by Aleatha Romig
Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle
Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine
Snow White by T.M. Frazier
Rumplestiltskin by Celia Aaron
King Midas by Skye Warren
King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly
Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone
Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

Attend the ball, wear a red cloak, lose your shoe, spin straw to gold, or fall prey to a witch. In these fairytale retellings from bestselling authors, you will find a prince, but you might choose your happily ever after with the beast.

DARK FAIRY TALES is a limited-time anthology of modern fairy tales containing all NEW novellas. Download your copy and tell a book-loving friend, because it won’t last long.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

This was one hell of a romance anthology (and it couldn’t have come at a better time with lock down still very much in place here in Australia)! Some of these authors are new-to-me, as well as some of the tales included, but they made such an impact in making me want to check out other books written! I only wish these stories were longer. I’ve had to settle for rereading them! 😅

King Midas by Skye Warren

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

🎵 “I’ve got the Midas touch. Everything I touch turns to gold…”

And boy, did Raoul Midas certainly do that! A rich, successful, and powerful man paying for an escort, but finds himself enamored by the young, beautiful, and innocent Anita. This romance trope has been done plenty of times, and I’ve read a handful of them in the past, but this one had me curious from the get-go what with Raoul’s affliction at being touched. Yet, if Raoul was to let anyone break this barrier he puts up, Anita would be the one. Loved the intrigue, their instant connection, and their little chats! 🥰

Rumpelstiltskin by Celia Aaron

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

One of the old time classics. I don’t think there’s a lot of people in the literary world who wouldn’t have heard of, or read this tale of shifty dealings with the one and only Rumpelstiltskin — or in this case, the name is Clark. To be honest, I haven’t read any retellings of it (it had never been one of my faves growing up), but this was such a good one to start off with, and if anyone was every looking for dark, swoony versions of it, I wouldn’t hesitate to mention this novella! 😍 It’s modern, very well written, and oh-so gripping!

The Princess and the Pea by Sierra Simone

RATING: ♥♥½

Meh. I think I stumbled into the middle of the story because I was lost for a good chunk of the first half. It reads like you’re familiar with the characters already and their situation from the get-go, but I felt like I was trying to play catch-up. This is a Dom/Sub, second chance romance with some BDSM. There are plenty of romance readers who enjoy this type of romance, it’s just never been a preference of mine. So for that reason, I couldn’t connect as much as I would’ve liked with this story.

The Little Red Riding Hood by Karina Halle

RATING: ♥♥♥½

👩‍🦰“My what big teeth you have.” 

Seduction, mystery and murder, oh my! Starts off with so much intrigue already, until it slowly unveils the truth and you realize that this is definitely a dark and bloody tale. An enjoyable novella, that manages to create world-building and development between Red and Wolf within a good story line in a short span.

The Ugly Duckling by CJ Roberts

RATING: ♥♥½

As much as I would’ve wanted to like this story, I just couldn’t connect with it as much as the others. It’s detailed and somewhat wordy, and for a novella it surprisingly dragged a little for my liking. It did have elements from the original classic, e.g. being a little bit different from the rest and finally having the courage to stand up for yourself, but other than that this was a whole new story. Contains F/F romance. There’s sensitive subject matter within that may trigger some readers.

Beauty and the Beast by Willow Winters

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

“It’s a tale as old as time, isn’t it?”

I’ve read quite a few Beauty and the Beast inspired stories and retellings, and I still can’t get enough of them. This was a deliciously, dark and sensual version. It kept a lot of the elements we all know so well from the classic but wonderfully written in a modern setting. So much spark and heat between Calum and Annabelle that I could not turn the pages fast enough to see how things would unravel between them. Such world-building and build-up between the hero/heroine from start to finish.

Jack & the Beanstalk by Marley Valentine

RATING: ♥♥♥

Damn. This was one of those fan-your-face type of romance read. 🙈 I honestly couldn’t picture a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling as an adult M/M romance (or any romance for that matter), yet lookey here! And this one’s full of betrayal, revenge, and unrelenting love. If you’re a fan of enemies to lovers/ hate to love romance tropes, like I do, you’ll enjoy this one.

King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

A tale I was not at all familiar with. Now? I am obsessed with the tale! Or maybe it’s just Cora’s version of it, who knows?! 😄 Arranged marriage. Hate-to-love romance trope. Some mystery. With very hot and heavy scenes between Jean and Peyton. This story had me wanting more!

📔 Read my full review: King Thrushbeard by Cora Reilly

The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

One of my fave tales growing up. This is a must read. I thoroughly adored Knight’s take on it. I couldn’t get enough of the anticipation and build-up, and chemistry between Salvatore and Lucia.  Knight’s dark mafia spin was a refreshing take, with the prince in this version being the villain. Enemies-to-lovers at it’s best! 😍😍

📔 Read my full review: The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

Cinderella by Aleatha Romig

RATING: ♥♥♥

I thought this was an interesting take on one of my all time favourite fairy tales. Whilst it does have the main elements of the classic — like the shoes, the ball and evil stepsisters, it also has a lot of new elements that really make the story Romig’s own. She’s incorporated her book series (which I’m not familiar with) into this novella. It’s special-ops/ military type romance. If you like reading from that romance sub-genre, you’ll like this one.

Snow White by T.M. Frazier

RATING: ♥♥♥♥

Oooh. This was a deviously grimy read, and I didn’t expect anything less from Frazier. I’ve read quite a few dark versions of Snow White and this was probably one of the more twisted of the lot. It’s icky…yet not? 😅 All I can say, is if you’ve read quite a lot of dark romance books, and/ or familiar with Frazier’s style of romance, then the things that with these characters is nothing new to the world. Either way, I loved the intensity between Chase and Neve.

If you love dark versions of fairy tales, a modern retelling, and/ or stories inspired by them, then I think you’ll enjoy this anthology. There’s amazing romance authors included and their take on these classic tales are addictive that you won’t be able to put it down.

Whilst I’ve always been a fan of fairy tales, I admit some of these classics were unfamiliar to me, but after having read these ones, it’s completely made me fall in love with them. I highly recommend it.

Perfect to read in one sitting, or a couple at a time between your other reads.

OVERALL RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

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

•••


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Hope you enjoyed it. Catch you in my next one, guys! Xo

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