Seeking Shadows by K.E. Osborn

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

What if the woman I fell for was in love with someone else? The man who claimed her heart is my VP, the same man I need to respect and follow his orders. But now that I’m no longer a prospect, it’s difficult to find my place. What if I don’t want to play by the club rules anymore?

But then again, what if while I’m seeking shadows, I find something I wasn’t prepared for? And the darkness leaves me fighting for everything I thought I’d never have…

Seeking Shadows is a part of The Royal Bastards MC Author Collaboration and is book three in the Tampa, FL Series.

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• MY REVIEW •

Well. This was one a hell of an introduction to Osborn’s RMBC, Tampa FL Chapter! 🔥😍 I’ve read a few books from another one of her MC romance series but Seeking Shadows was my introduction to this RBMC one. It’s the third book in the series but it was honest to goodness written with such detail that I didn’t feel like I was missing any vital information by not having read books 1 and 2 beforehand. You’re given the gist of the characters and/ or couples from the previous books so you’re relatively up to scratch with their relationships and overall group dynamic.

So, if any readers out there interested in reading this book but concerned that it’s already the third one… don’t be. I can without a doubt tell you, you can read Seeking Shadows without having read the first two.

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Now. Let’s get onto the man of the hour — Dash! *phew* Ok… when I first started this story and quickly realized Dash was pining for another MC brother’s ol’ lady… I was immediately questioning how this story would play out. I’ve read countless MC romances to know that club members don’t mess around with their brothers girlfriends, wives, or ol’ ladies. I seriously thought, “Geez! Please don’t tell me Dash ends up having an affair with this chick!” 😱🙈🙈

Needless to say… the story quickly turned a corner and not only was I breathing easier, but I couldn’t sit still from the unexpected turn of events. *waggles eyebrows*

This was steady-paced storytelling that I was all in for. I was loving the gradual build-up and story development. With dual points of view from both protagonists, it wasn’t difficult to get invested in both their personal stories. One thing that stood out to me about Dash in particular was that his story began with him as a prospect for the RBMC. Seeing him still at the stage of doing the club’s grunt work, steadily working his way up to be a full-fledged member— it showed plenty of character growth, that, along with a level of maturity. Right from the beginning he was already such a likable character (and with the awkward love triangle situation, you easily feel for him), but as the story progresses and he slowly realizes what he wants, you see the gradual change in him as he starts considering things in his life differently.

Besides the likable hero/heroine in this story, I was sucked into their slow-burn romance. I couldn’t get enough of their quirky, lighthearted friendship before anything romantic came about. The constant banter and comical ribbing added the necessary lightness to what was an overall dark, suspenseful romance. Their relationship organically developed and seemed so genuine to witness. They went through some relatable and realistic emotional hurdles that not only made their relationship stronger in the long run, but made me back them more as a couple!

Not going to lie, whilst most of the secondary characters in this book were likable enough, there were a couple of them that I just wasn’t a fan of at all, and never grew to like in the end either. They certainly played roles in providing another layer to this already action-packed story, but in my opinion, they were just as irritating (if not more) than the actual antagonists! Ugh. And to be honest, I was expecting better from them. I’m just glad Dash wasn’t having any of it! ✊😅

Halfway through the storyline took a surprising twist that I admit was a little out there. Whilst all the plot points interconnected in the end, I wasn’t completely sold on this particular part of the storyline, and in all honesty the book lost some of its appeal on me.

But in saying that, I thought both protagonists were brilliant characters, and I was completely gripped by their angsty relationship. I’m fist pumping air that the heroine is no pushover and that she’s a firecracker of a character! I liked that Dash is a flawed character with insecurities, but he’s also one full of heart and understanding. I respect his willingness to not only make adjustments, but once he sets his mind to something, he’s committed.

There were a lot of things happening in this story but it wasn’t overwhelming in the slightest. I liked the fact that there were a variety of settings within the story which only made the world-building all the more appealing.

Seeing the different group dynamics within, especially where Dash, his heroine, and their families were concerned was some of my favourite scenes to read (besides all the banter between the protagonists). 😜😄

As I mentioned earlier, this is a dark, suspenseful MC romance. It contains certain subject matters that may be triggering for some readers. Not only does it contain mature sexual content, it has strong, graphic violence, domestic abuse, kidnapping, and it also broaches the topic of suicide. Audiences 18+ only.

From my experiences with Osborn’s other books, I’ve always found her writing style to be consistently effortless to follow, with stories and characters I can easily get into— Seeking Shadows is no different. This book was unputdownable and an addictive MC romance that I would recommend to fellow dark romance readers. There’s a nice balance of romance and MC elements throughout. The character growth, the romance, and seeing the family dynamics were the absolute highlights in my opinion. You’ll find unpredictability and some gripping, hold-your-breath type scenes in this book that I always hoped to see in my MC romance books.

Although this is part of a series, the ending concluded in way where you’re not left with unanswered questions (at least not where Dash and his heroine are concerned). I know I was left feeling quite content with the way things ended in this book. It’s a swoony, taking-chances romance story weaved through a twisted, gritty underworld.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you K.E. Osborn and the RBMC team for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙


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

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I’ll Be Your Wolf by Darcy Rose

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

As a lone wolf, I’ve been out on my own for a long time.
I keep my distance from humans and stay hidden in the woods, making sure I never get too close.

Until the day I find her lying on the forest floor, beaten, broken, alone.
I never expected my mate to be a human, or so beautiful. Everything about her makes me want to mark her and claim her as mine. But I can’t, I won’t. Not yet.

Things get worse when she tries to escape, and the wolf in me breaks free, revealing the beast beneath. My mate can run, but she can never hide.

This is a short and steamy novella including dark elements. Story ends in a HEA.

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• MY REVIEW •

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As the blurb mentions, this was a short dark romance story. What it doesn’t mention is it contains serious subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as kidnapping, sexual abuse (including non-consensual sex), and violence.

I have not read anything by Darcy Rose before. It was the blurb (along with the pretty cover) that had me intrigued with wanting to read this story. But I’m not going to lie, after having read it, there were a lot things I hadn’t expected from the storyline that ultimately made me rate this book the way I did.

Both the main characters; Emma and Cole were likable on some level but a lot of their mindset and reasoning behind their actions didn’t quite make sense or was just off-putting for my taste. I get that this is a fated mates romance but Cole’s human mentality wavered on several occasions throughout that had me cringing. Same went for Emma. There were moments when I thought her feelings were relatable and authentic for the ordeal she’s been forced into but then out of nowhere her actions would contradict it and she’d be okay with what was happening. 🤔

I’ve read plenty of romance novellas but despite their short length still managed to create world-building, set a gripping atmosphere, a flowing storyline, and gradual character growth. Unfortunately I’ll Be Your Wolf fell a little short in my opinion in all those elements. It had a good start, getting you a little curious about Emma and her life— even Emma’s and Cole’s first encounter was interesting… but it quickly headed in a direction I just wasn’t feeling.

I don’t mind captor/ captive romance storylines. I can believe the heroine when she starts developing feelings for her captor without it seeming like a case of Stockholm Syndrome. I think it has a lot to do with how well the author has developed her characters and their journey. In this case, it was difficult to believe any in-depth feelings between Emma and Cole because there wasn’t enough development in their relationship. It didn’t come off genuine despite them being mates.

The overall storytelling was choppy that I had a hard time really sinking into the story and connecting with it all. I do still like the overall premise of it— the push and pull of being in a situation where you’re stuck with a stranger that you never would’ve guessed to be your destined mate. It’s told from dual POVs so I at least was able to get an insight to both Emma’s and Cole’s (along with his wolf’s) thoughts about the situation they both found themselves in with one another.

Emma’s personal story is shared relatively early but I thought Cole’s was delved into a little late, so by the end it all seemed to wrap-up a little too abruptly. Putting the storyline aside there is a lot of lust and steamy scenes, and plenty of chasing. If you’re not too fussed with story development and enjoy an occasional bit of smut/ erotica, then this dark little shifter novella might be right up your alley.

You get a good chunk of the wolf shifter elements in this novella, there’s no lacking in Cole shifting from human to wolf and back again, even seeing how Cole and his wolf co-exist. There were a couple of attention-grabbing moments between Emma and Cole that kept me reading to see where their twisted affair would lead to.

Overall, I thought it was an okay read. Some pros and cons. I do enjoy shifter/ fated-mates type romance stories, but I just wasn’t fond of how this particular story played out (especially with all the non-consensual acts included). Not a bad read, it just didn’t end up being my cup of tea. And it hasn’t put me off from possibly reading any more of Darcy Rose’s work in the future! 🙂

A story you can definitely read in one sitting. If you’re a fan of dark shifter romances and have no issues with triggering content, you might like this one.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank to Darcy Rose and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading I’ll Be You Wolf? Grab your copy here: Amazon


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

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Private Property by Skye Warren

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• 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!


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

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Replay by Amy Daws

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

Not all players deserve a second chance… no matter how hot their first chance was. Football club lawyer, Santino Rossi is known in the locker room as the two-month chump. For years he’s been on a mission to find someone he can share his basil plant with and cure him of his former playboy ways.

Tilly Logan is a fiery, Scottish lass who didn’t bat an eye five years ago when a smoldering Italian pulled her into a nightclub bathroom. He was dark, dangerous, and exactly the good time Tilly was looking for—even if he worked for her over-protective brother’s team.

But a lot has changed and when Tilly returns to London five years later only to find herself trapped in an elevator with the smoldering Italian, it isn’t a happy reunion. Especially because her brother blames Santino for her high tailing it back to Scotland in the first place.

Tilly doesn’t want a replay of past mistakes and reconnecting with Santino is playing with fire. But if they keep their relationship a secret, it could be worth the burn.

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• MY REVIEW •

This book was a much anticipated read for me as I adore the Harris Brothers series. After having read Blindsided (Freya and Tilly’s older brother Mac’s story), I knew I couldn’t miss out on Tilly’s and Santino’s story… and what an intense story it was!

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A second chance romance storyline that was full of character development, personal growth, and a need for these characters to let go of their pasts in order to move on. Both Tilly and Santino have experienced heartbreak and certain struggles that they needed to work through, and coincidentally, having reunited after five years, they’ve become each others’ support system.

Please note, this book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. It contains substance abuse, non-consensual sexual relations and certain experiences that resulted from it. There’s also detailed sexual content suitable for readers 18+ only!

Replay is not to be missed for fans of the Harris Brothers series and sports romance fans in general! Although it can definitely be read as a standalone, I still highly recommend you read the entire series as the world-building is grand and ever-expanding, and a lot of that has to do with the characters themselves. You’ll get a better understanding of everyone’s relationships with one another too.

Tilly’s story was very much in the forefront. Despite her reluctance to discuss details, you still get the gist of what went down and how she’s coping with it. Over time she starts opening up more and more, and a lot of that confidence and courage to do so was Santino’s doing. He’s a constant support for her even before any intimacy came about and I honestly think he can give the rest of the men in this series a run for their money with how charming, protective, and loving he can be! Tilly’s journey of growth and maturity is evident. You’ll see how much she’s changed as a person and the changes she’s made to her lifestyle since her troublesome years.

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Daws has included very real-life situations within this story, and although it’s a work of fiction, the events that occurred and the effects its had on the people involved mirrors reality so well. It’s not hard to get invested in Tilly and Santino’s story. Tilly went from a downward spiral to gradual buildup of positive changes. I may not relate to her situation but I can definitely imagine the pain and darkness she must’ve felt during that period in her life.       

Santino’s insecurities and shifty past on the other hand was something that lingered throughout the story but wasn’t completely revealed until towards the end. By then I had a pretty good idea at what he was hiding, so when he did finally share it with Tilly, it felt a little anti-climactic. I would’ve liked to have seen him open up a lot earlier. In my opinion, his story wasn’t as developed and because of that, I couldn’t fully connect with it as I had with Tilly’s. It felt like once his personal story was out in the open, it was wrapped up quickly despite Santino having had struggles throughout the book with opening up about his past to Tilly.

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But in saying that, despite Santino’s own issues, he was always willing to be there for Tilly. If anything, he almost pushed aside his own problems to ensure Tilly was on track with her new life and that their relationship could stand a chance. Based on his history and his closed off persona, he’s misjudged by his peers especially by Tilly’s older brother Mac, but you’ll see quite early on in this book that there’s more than meets the eye with him.

Also, if you love tall, dark, handsome Italian men, then get ready to see some good ol’ sexy Italian charm out of Santino. Ooh-wee! He can speak in Italian to me any. damn. time. he wants! 🤭😍

They are likable characters. Through their flaws and insecurities they have strength and a willingness to become better people. Their relationship was far from perfect or easy but that’s the beauty of it. It was very much a one step forward, two steps back type of relationship but you get to see them work through it and put the effort in. Tilly and Santino are so relatable (along with the rest of the characters from this series who make an appearance). They have a presence about them that’s so authentic that you almost imagine that they could be a couple of your own friends.

If you’re all caught up with the series, then you will be happy to know that past couples are secondary characters in this book and will definitely catch you up on the latest in their lives. They never fail at making situations crazy fun, hectic, and full of life! There’s also a few new secondary characters that play vital roles in both Tilly and Santino’s lives. But all in all, every single one of these people bring in a different dynamic and such contrast to the group.

It’s told from both Tilly and Santino’s points of view, and I found it to be slower-paced storytelling but as their entire story unravels, the pacing was actually well-suited. Their relationship was tentative and full of drama but it also made their journey all the more worthwhile to see through.

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A truly uplifting second-chance romance, that’ll have you either relating and/or sympathizing with what Tilly and Santino have gone and are still going through in their lives. Their turbulent rollercoaster of emotions are realistically understandable, their slow yet gradual developing relationship read genuine, and it was gripping from start to finish. Daws’ writing style has a nice flow to it. You can count on detailed world-building, mood setting atmosphere, and a storyline that is effortless to follow with protagonists that’ll have you curious right off the bat.

What I enjoyed reading the most about Tilly and Santino’s journey was that they could reminisce about certain good memories from their past together and somehow replicate those moments and feelings now but a hundred times better. I found myself either cheesy-grinning or happy sighing seeing them happy and open to seeing where their attraction will lead to. The banter here and there was also a nice little addition that had me giggling.

✔ Contemporary

✔ Second Chance

✔ Sports Romance

✔ Fiery Scottish Heroine

✔ Mysterious Italian Hero

✔ London Backdrop

Whilst their story had an open-ended happily ever after, I was chuffed to see an extended epilogue. Not only did it conclude the side story that was happening alongside Tilly and Santino’s, it also provided us readers with a more concrete direction to where their relationship was heading next.

Another incredible addition to the world of the Harris brothers! Whilst Tilly and Santino’s story was deep, heartbreaking, and traumatic, there were moments in between that were lighthearted and funny to keep it from being overly depressing and gloomy. If you love a hearty second chance romance and enjoy a bit of sports in your contemporary romance reads, then make sure to add this one to your TBR. *whispers* This book also contains some major jaw-dropping developments set in this world and a sneak peek at Daws next book that you won’t want to miss out on! 😉

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Amy Daws for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

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


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Read my review for Mac and Freya’s book!

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📙 Blindsided by Amy Daws

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

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Kiss To Forget by Anna B. Doe

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

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•••

— MY REVIEW —

This was a much anticipated read for me. I immensely enjoyed the first book in the series, and the way Yasmin and Nixon were first introduced in it gave me such a buzz for their story. They had such electricity between them in the little interaction they had in that book that I could only imagine the level they would reach when it was their turn to be in the forefront.

Kiss To Forget does not disappoint. I was invested and deep within the world of Blairwood University right from the very first chapter. This is only my second book of Doe’s but I feel like I’ve been missing out on all her addictive storylines and effortless writing style.

Omigosh. This book is a gradual build-up of pure excellence. I loved every minute of it. There is such sorrow and heartbreak throughout that it was difficult not to get affected by these characters and their lives. When I think about the emotions I went through reading this book, the one that stands out to me the most is gut-wrenching sadness. I was constantly teary-eyed. I think Doe has scored a touchdown with this one! There’s such layers, world-building, character development, and constant growth within all the relationships. It’s hard to fault when there’s so much depth and substance exhibited.

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Kiss to Forget is now one of my favourite contemporary romances read this year and one I am sure to read over and over again. Yes, I am willing to break out more tears over Nixon and Yasmin!

Steadily paced and told from both their points of view. Nixon and Yasmin may very well be dealing with separate issues in their lives but they work at it together seamlessly. I don’t know how else to say it… it just works! The way they share, listen, and simply provide any kind of support they can is what truly makes their relationship one you can’t help but dreamily sigh over. What started out as an entertaining battle of glares, snarky comments, and heated arguments, gradually turns into a slow realization that they may actually have more in common then they initially thought. It’s a sight to see! 😍 An organically developed relationship formed from understanding and acceptance — to friendship — to blossoming love.

I was instantly enveloped in the world-building that was introduced in the first book — the friendships, the different dynamics, and the overall campus atmosphere. This book just expanded that world into so many more layers and possibilities — not only with the current secondary characters, but with new ones introduced that leaves you just as intrigued. Not only are you excited to read Nixon and Yasmin’s story, but in the back of your mind you’re anticipating the next set of characters to be featured.

But let’s go back to Nixon and Yasmin for a minute here…

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I can’t put into words worthy enough to describe how much chemistry and zing these two have with one another. It didn’t matter if they were throwing hateful words back and forth or if they’re doing a complete 180 and being supportive, no questions asked. Their connection’s just palpable, swoony, and so relatable.

It’ll be tough to top this couple and their relationship off in my books. They physically, emotionally and mentally went through a roller coaster. Whilst there was a shit ton of heartbreak, Doe has wonderfully added enough lightness in between to keep this book from going too dark and depressing.

The dynamic between Nixon and Yasmin is one that goes so well with the enemies to lovers/ hate to love romance trope. It may be a stereotypical story of the popular jock and the overachieving nerd who eventually fall in love, but it damn well works!

But in saying that, these characters are so much more than their status quo. For one thing, Nixon isn’t all about sports, parties and hookups. You’ll see a different side to him here. One that’ll have you falling for him. Hard! But what got to me most was his imperfectness. He has flaws and makes mistakes, but what is so endearing about him is his willingness to try, his reliability, and most importantly his heart. You won’t always agree with his decisions, but you’ll sympathize because you know overall his heart is in the right place.

Yasmin on the other hand comes off as a no-nonsense young woman, who’s ambitious and goal-oriented. She practically has her future all planned out, but what happens when unexpected events get in the way of all those plans? The way Yasmin grows and evolves throughout this journey is just as emotional. You’ll feel for her and her vulnerability.

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It’s amazing how two very different people from different backgrounds, who are dealing with completely different life changing matters, together find peace and common ground.

I can’t tell you guys enough how much this story unexpectedly blew me away. I already found it at such a high level of quality storytelling in the first half of the book, but once things escalated further in the second half, it reached an entirely new level. Everything from the atmosphere, to the relationships, to the build-up of their emotions was intense. You’ll discover relatively early that not everyone comes away from this story unscathed, yet there’s such suspense to see how things will unravel.

Kiss to Forget is new adult contemporary romance, that consists of an uphill journey, complex characters, a spectrum of feels, and one that’ll leave you both exhausted yet soothe at the same time. As Nixon is a college football player, there’s somewhat of a sports (American football) theme in the background but very minimal.

The story mirrors real life situations with certain subject matters that can be triggering for some readers. But it’s also an eye opener to the struggles some people go through in their lives. Beautifully told with all the highs and lows. It may be a work of fiction but I felt like it was portrayed with such realism that you cannot help but connect with these characters and go through their journey right alongside them.

I am all in for the secondary characters too! The support system they’ve created for one another, and the overall vibe of each personality that gives their group such diversity. All I can say is I hope we get a chance to see a lot more of them in the future!

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You will get invested fairly quickly. It’ll break you (even if it’s only a little bit) but it will be well worth it. Have tissues at hand — you’ll need them! I highly recommend this series and especially this book! It can technically be read as standalone but you’ll be doing yourself a favor by reading Kiss To Conquer first to get this world and the characters in all its entirety.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you so much to Anna B. Doe for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💗

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Read my review for Kiss To Conquer!

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Blairwood University (Book One)

📔 Kiss To Conquer by Anna B. Doe


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Sending out good vibes to you guys! Happy reading and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

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• BLURB •

She was never supposed to walk into my club.
But she did.

I shouldn’t have looked twice at her.
But I did.

The criminal underworld is no place for a girl like her.

One night with Katerina isn’t enough, but men like me can’t afford to be weak.
So, I tell her to leave me behind.

She does, but not before she sees something she shouldn’t.

When she goes into hiding, it’s my duty to hunt her down.
I have a job to do, and she needs to disappear for good.

But four years later, Kat isn’t alone anymore.
And the little boy right beside her looks just like me.

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• MY REVIEW •

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Can I just start off by saying how much I miss reading Zavarelli’s mafia romances!? And that Mine brought all of the emotions back in full force. I wasn’t expecting to see an old character from her Boston Underworld series in this book and the second the little 💡 flicked on in my head with the realisation of who it was, I tell ya… it was fun-fucking A!

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It almost felt like an extension of her series, or a spin off. So I’m telling you guys right off the bat — if you ❤ the Boston Underworld series, then I can guarantee Mine is a must read! Save the date. Set an alarm. Add to your TBR. Because this one will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

It’s a very well-paced storyline (if anything, I think it went by too quickly). There was so much suspense and build-up, it felt like I was plummeting down a massive roller coaster loop, with my stomach in my mouth. Kat and Lev had sparks coming out of the bazoo the instant they laid eyes on each other, and I was sitting there reading (and surely looking like a creeper) wanting to see their interactions. 😍😍

I’ve only discovered a handful of authors who can get me invested in not only their characters, but in their stories within the first few pages — where we barely know anything about the characters yet, or where the story is heading (other than what the blurb has already revealed).. yet Knight and Zavarelli did it with ease (and such finesse!) I can usually tell straight away whether or not I’m going to like a character, and that’s a big tell on whether or not I’m going to enjoy my current read.

Both Katerina and Levka came onto the scene quite mysteriously. So, naturally I was damn curious to see who they were.


If you’re a fan of “heroines” who are smart, has heart, struggling at life but who doesn’t throw in the towel; a kitty with claws, if you will  — then Kat (no pun intended) is your girl!

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“I let out a violent scream and fight.

I fight like this is the fight of my life because it is.” — Kat


If you’re a fan of “heroes” who tips the moral scale all the way to grey (maybe even black), who’s pure alpha, both a hunter and protector, knows what he wants in life, and who can picture an end game — then Lev is most definitely your man!

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“You are safe with me tonight.” — Lev


I haven’t read an intense, romantic suspense book in a while and my gosh this is one of those books you wish would be an introduction to a new series instead of just a duet. There’s always something about a really great mafia romance that you get so completely sucked into the world and wish it would never end.

Mine had all the right elements in it that not only made it one helluva mafia romance read, but also the type of book that’ll have you wanting to read over and over again. It was effortless, pure and simple. The way Lev and Kat’s world was able to pull me in immediately. There was enough details revealed to lure you in and keep you engaged, but not enough that you can predict what would happen next.

ZacEfron_CheckListIt ticked all the boxes for me. Not just within the mafia romance genre, but romance fiction as a whole.

  • Diverse range of characters ✔
  • Plot twists ✔
  • World-building ✔
  • Chemistry ✔
  • Leaves you hanging with questions ✔
  • Leaves you emotionally wrecked ✔
  • Strong candidate for book hangover status! ✔

Before writing this review I was contemplating whether to rate this book full star rating or a little less based on my reading preferences. I’m sure everyone has things they’re not necessarily a fan of seeing in books — whether it’s violence, profanity, certain character traits, kinky shit.. whatevs! And whilst there was a little something in this book I’m not usually big on, in no way did it ruin the storyline or characters for me. It wasn’t my favourite scene, I admit, but it wasn’t a big enough moment to warrant a lowered rating in my books.

🤐 Without giving away any spoilers, and I know this won’t make any sense to you folks, and for some of you guys, this detail may not even be an issue for you at all. If you’re a fan of the Boston Underworld series, then this particular scene won’t surprise you all.

I don’t want to put anyone off from reading this book because it’s frickin’ magnificent and I would recommend it to any reader who’s a fan of dark romance, but I know a few who’ve said to me that they found the Boston Underworld series a little too dark and graphic for their liking, and I figured I should add this: As I mentioned earlier, Mine brought back all the same feels I had when I read that series. But in saying that, I also think it was less dark and gritty, nowhere near as graphic, and if you’ve just started reading dark romances or thinking of taking the plunge, I think this is the perfect book to ease you in.

These two fierce authors have portrayed their Mafia world exceptionally. Brutal. Unforgiving. Swift. The world Lev is wrapped in since birth and the family he’s obliged to makes his story both saddening and frustrating.

As is Kat’s. You don’t realise the trauma she’s been through until she’s back in a similar deadly situation and needing to survive. But even more now that she has someone else depending on her.

Lev and Kat may come from different worlds, but they both have a lot in common. And that’s one of the reasons I couldn’t put this book down. The way they connected (even in such a short period of time), you can’t miss the way they just gravitate towards each other. Ugh.

BIG SWOONINESS!!        

Mine technically hasn’t been released yet, and I know I’m lucky to have scored an early copy but damn… I needs me His like yesterday!! The way this book ended made my heart drop. It’s so climactic and panic-ridden, that you won’t know what to do with yourself when you realize it’s over and will have to wait for book two to see what happens! 🤯

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I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed reading this book. Whilst Zavarelli is one of my holy-grail romance authors, Natasha Knight was a new-to-me author. But after having read this one and loved it to death… I’ll definitely be checking out Knight’s books as well! 🙌

Escapism at its best! (Even if it is to a dark and deadly mafia world)

Please note: As this is part of a duet, Mine ends on a cliffhanger. Readers 18+ only!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to Natasha Knight, A. Zavarelli, and Candi Kane PR for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

🔔 Interested in reading Mine? Grab your copy here: Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (Universal Link)  |  Apple Books  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

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📚 Read more of my reviews for A. Zavarelli’s books!

Crow by A. Zavarelli

Confess by A. Zavarelli

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli

📚 Read more of my reviews for Natasha Knight’s books!

The Swan Princess by Natasha Knight

The Benedetti Brothers by Natasha Knight


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

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