Review // Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

February 28, 2023

Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

Have fun. Party hard. Spend the night in our loved ones' arms.
I couldn't ask for a better life.
Hell, I couldn't even dream one.
- Cassius

────── ♔ ──────

Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

Release - February 28, 2023
Genre - Contemporary Romance / enemies to lovers
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - eARC provided by Uplifting Authors Services
Length - 244 pages
Publisher - Indie

The first time Cassius Ulysses Costas met Alice Paradis, she was in a string bikini and filling up a long line of boats that were there just to see her. She was eighteen and every man’s wet dream.

Even his.

For the longest time, he went out of his way to stay as far away from her as he could get without actually taking his eyes off of her. For years, he was the better person. He played his hand close, and not a single person would know just how obsessed he was with her.

Then he goes to prison and comes out a man that couldn’t care less about anyone or anything, least of all what someone thought of him and his actions. But not one second while he was behind bars did he forget about Alice.

He tries to stay away. For a few long months, he fights his every instinct to make her his. But, as if the universe is conspiring against him, Alice is thrown into his path time after time, instance after instance.

And his resolve is waning. Fast.

In one last ditch effort to stay away, he walks away, hoping making her mad enough will force her to do the work for him.
However, when Alice is attacked, it isn’t Cassius’s harsh words she remembers, but the way he makes her feel safe.

Soon, the very last thing he’ll do is let her walk away. He did the right thing, and that didn’t work out. Now, it’s time for him to embrace the wrong.

Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

My Two Cents

4 "Someone to Love" stars

After losing most of his family too soon, Cassius swore off making a romantic connection. You can't lose what you don't have, right? Aside from his brothers of the MC, he didn't need anyone. So why was he still so enchanted by Alice?

She was impossible to resist and not even his stint in prison made him forget her.

And he wasn't the only one trying to fight the pull. Alice believed he hated her and thought it best to save herself from a broken heart. Too bad she found it so hard to stay away.

Add in some terrible circumstances and there was no one she'd rather turn to than Cassius. There was no more hiding and no more denying what they shared.

I'm in love with all of the characters from this series. These stories have some strange turns, a few surprises, and I'm excited to see what's next.

Annoyed At First Sight by Lani Lynn Vale

The Author

Lani Lynn Vale is married to the love of her life that she met in high school. She fell in love with him because he was wearing baseball pants. Ten years later they have three perfectly crazy children and a cat named Demon who likes to wake her up at ungodly times in the night. They live in the greatest state in the world, Texas. She writes contemporary and romantic suspense, and has a love for all things romance. You can find Lani in front of her computer writing away in her fictional characters world...that is until her husband and kids demand sustenance in the form of food and drink.

Visit for more information!

Review // One Insatiable, Hard Mated, and The Virgin Blood Bundle

February 27, 2023

One Insatiable by Tia Louise

Genre - Paranormal Romance / instalove
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 301 pages

One wounded panther, one restless lynx, one insatiable hunger.

Koa "Stitch" Raiden is picking up what's left of his broken life.
Exiled from his black panther clan, he's running from Princeton to Seattle when a ley line draws him to Woodland Creek...

Mercy Quinlan is a whip-smart lynx and the youngest in her wealthy shifter clan.
She's tough and independent and dreams of escaping her alpha sister's control and living life on her own terms.

When a lone black panther shows up in her hometown, Mercy is intrigued. He's just passing through, which makes him perfect... Along with his broad shoulders, defined muscles, and sexy fighter moves.

Koa is aware Mercy is watching him. What he doesn't know is when the sexy little vixen who sneaks through his window each night is threatened, he'll face the forces of hell to save her life and bring her back...

My Review ~ 3 stars
I really enjoyed the connection between Koa and Mercy. In their animal forms, they met... as humans they merged... and it was all so lovely!

For the most part, the paranormal elements were pretty straightforward. There were some original components, which made this story stand apart from the rest, but the plot was a bit wonky. It was like the author was trying to set up the mystery surrounding the characters, to make readers discover answers. However, when the answers came, I was left feeling like I was missing something.

So there's Hades/Hayden. He was a mystery. For most of this book, I couldn't understand his importance. When it was all revealed, it happened so quickly that I still don't know how to feel. I had sympathy for his character, even though he was set up to be the bad guy. I guess I'm truly a sucker for bad boys!

There wasn't much depth to either Mercy or Koa, but it didn't stop me from liking them. I felt their yearning for each other and I think the author did a great job depicting how deep their bond was.

Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley

Genre - Paranormal Romance / forced proximity
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 200 pages

Spike, a wildcat Shifter and the champion fighter of Shiftertown, is stunned when Myka, the best friend of a dying human woman, announces that Spike has fathered a cub. What's more, the mother is giving the boy to Spike to protect and raise.

Myka is not sure that a wild fighter named Spike is the best man to bring up the cute little jaguar cub. She goes to Shiftertown to check out Spike, and finds that the man behind the name is a lonely Shifter who's lost most of his family and is a fierce caretaker to those he has left.

Spike is torn between the cub and his duties as tracker to the Shiftertown leader, and begs Myka, the only person who understands, to help him. He starts to like the sassy Myka, a horse trainer who's not afraid of working with animals, even if they're wildcats who turn into humans.

When Spike's job puts his cub and Myka in danger, Spike is forced to choose between those to whom he's pledged his loyalty and his need to protect the woman and cub he's come to love.

My Review ~ 3 stars
As an intro to the Shifters Unbound series, this book was great. There was action and connection and a unique setting for shifters. I wasn't a fan of how shifters were treated, but as this was a novella in the series, I'm hoping the other books will give me more insight. And yes, I'll be getting to those because I fell in love with these characters. Spike was so much more than he appeared and after Myka gave herself the chance to get to know him, she discovered his greatness too. I'm also intrigued by all of the side characters who popped up throughout this story and I'm looking forward to getting to know them.

The Virgin Blood Bundle: Complete Series by Alexa Riley

Genre - Paranormal Romance / fated mates
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 306 pages

Welcome to the Virgin Blood Bundle!

This book includes all four stories from our Virgin Blood Series! Bitten by the Beast, Bitten by the Virgin, Twice Bitten, and Bitten by the King are all together with EPILOGUES! That’s right! Check-in on your favorite vamps with brand new sexy, epilogues!

Warning: This bundle is everything you’ve been dying for and more. Roll around with your old faves and get that feeling all over again! Can’t get enough of our Virgin Blood? We can’t either! Make sure you listen to Mated to the Reaper for FREE on the Read Me Romance podcast.

My Review ~ 3 stars
I really enjoyed the unique lives of these vampires. They didn't go out sucking blood. They lived for two hundred years unless they found their mates, then they'd live forever. And they definitely found their mates in these books. It was instalove, it was sexy, it was lovely. There were bits of suspense mixed in, but for the most part, these stories were dirty and light and fun. I really need to know more about the Grim Reaper!

Review // Reasonable Doubt Series by Whitney G.

February 18, 2023

Casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing Less.
That line wasn't there for decoration.

────── ♔ ──────

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1

Reasonable Doubt #1
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 78 pages

My cock has an appetite.

A huge and very particular appetite: Blonde, curvy, and preferably not a fucking liar... (Although, that's a story for another day.)

As a high profile lawyer, I don't have time to waste on relationships, so I fulfill my needs by anonymously chatting and sleeping with women I meet online.

My rules are simple: One dinner. One night. No repeats.

This is only casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.

At least it was , until "Alyssa"...

She was supposed to be a 27 year old lawyer, a book hoarder, and completely unattractive. She was supposed to be someone I shared law advice with late at night, someone I could trust with details of my weekly escapades.

But then she came into my firm for an interview—a college-intern interview, and everything fucking changed...

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 2

Reasonable Doubt #2
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 67 pages

She lied to me...
She betrayed the one rule that I'm most adamant about: Honesty. Complete and utter fucking honesty.
I really wish she was someone else—someone who didn't have the ability to make me feel, someone I could easily discard like the hundreds of women before her.
She isn't.
I'm drawn to her like I've never been drawn to a woman before—completely captivated by the very sight of her. But unfortunately, with my past slowly re-surfacing for all of the world to see, I'll have to find a way to let her go.
She can never be mine.

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 3

Reasonable Doubt #3
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 183 pages

I hate him…

I hate that I fell in love with him, I hate that he didn’t love me back, and I hate the fact that I just made a life-altering decision just so I could get the hell away from him.

He’d always said that he was unchangeable, heartless, and cold…

I really should’ve believed him…

My Review ~ 4 stars

I originally read this series years ago, and what I've realized... Andrew is still the same dick I remember.

Reasonable Doubt is a series that had me questioning my own stance of what’s good for me. From the start, we know that Andrew has been through something. Something that causes him nightmares. Something that has him reluctant to form connections. Something that prompted him to create the whole ‘One dinner. One night. No repeats’ mandate he follows. Aubrey is the woman who changes it all. There are lies. There are secrets. Hot sex on top of hot sex on top of hot sex. There’s also doubts and insecurities and flaws and fights. Andrew and Aubrey were vulnerable humans. They hurt. They felt deeply. They made dumb mistakes.

They also grew. Together and apart, they learned from their silly errors. They became better people for each other.

I only wish there was more to them as a couple. The truth comes out, there's a five second conversation, and there's an epilogue. Ah well, at least they ended up happy together.

Review // Tragic, Manic & Panic by JA Huss

February 17, 2023

Rook & Ronin by JA Huss

She's a blackbird sitting in a tree staring out at the world, daring the wind to come and knock her off the swaying bough.

────── ♔ ──────

Tragic by JA Huss

Tragic by JA Huss

Rook & Ronin #1
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 280 pages

Rook Walsh is TRAGIC

Because life so far – just sucks. Some girls get parents. Rook got the foster care system. Some girls get Prince Charming. Rook got an abusive frog. Some girls get lucky…

Rook got a second chance.

And she took it. Because when fate throws you a bone – you grab it with both hands and run.

Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his photography studio that she’s got The Look. The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract.

Rook is paired up with top model, Ronin, and he’s everything her abusive ex-boyfriend wasn’t. Patient, gentle, happy, attentive, and sexy! He knows exactly what to do to make Rook blush for Antoine’s camera.

Rook’s luck changes in an instant and suddenly she’s the darling of the modeling world. It’s a dream job to go with a dream guy and all she has to do is look pretty and follow directions. But there’s always a price to pay – and Rook is about to get the bill.

MY REVIEW ~ 4 stars
In Tragic we meet Rook and Ronin. Rook’s a damaged girl who is more bent than broken. Running from a tragic past, she finds new hope and new beginnings with a new family. Elise is the mama bear who recognizes Rook’s pain and takes her in under her wing. Antoine is the papa bear who recognizes Rook’s beauty and offers her a chance to come out of her shell. And Ronin… well he’s the guy who’s all heart. The guy who gets her to try again. The guy who makes her feel warm, and good, and safe. The guy who makes her smile.

Based on first impressions, I decided to hold judgment on Rook. I felt like there was a lot more to her than had been revealed already. So when I get that story, I'll have my say. So far, it's Ronin who's making me keep reading. He's just so darned sweet!

Manic by JA Huss

Manic by JA Huss

Rook & Ronin #2
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 300 pages

TRAGIC is over and Rook is ready for the future—Spencer Shrike and the STURGIS contract!

It’s three months of body art modeling! That means three months of Spencer Shrike’s paintbrush all over her body, three months in front of Antoine’s camera, and three months of twenty-four-hour filming for Spencer’s Biker Channel reality show.

Wait a minute… what reality show? Maybe she should’ve read that STURGIS contract a little closer? ;)

Sure, Rook’s bank account is overflowing, but Ronin is angry, Clare is trying to escape rehab, Antoine is a worried mess, and Elise is just trying to hold everyone together. Rook’s new family is about to fall apart before she even gets the chance to enjoy it.

Add in a mysterious man from her past, a road trip to the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and a final show in front of the entire world where all her goods are on display, and you’ve got Manic.

MY REVIEW ~ 4 stars
Manic is where all the magic happens. Spencer and Ford are both Ronin’s worst enemies… and his best friends. While Spencer is a master at body art, capturing Rook in such stunning and beautiful masterpieces, Ford is the man behind the camera. He captures all of Rook’s vulnerabilities and her strengths. And Ronin… he’s the magic, baby. He makes everything alright. And while I could have done without the back and forth between Rook and Ronin in this book, her constant doubts and push and pull, I guess it was necessary. She’s young, and despite how the author tries to capture her in ways to make her appear older, with the experience of a more mature individual, she’s still very young. Anyway, everyone helps Rook confront her recent past and it was wrapped up pretty quickly. I’m wondering if there will be any fallout in the book to come.

Panic by JA Huss

Panic by JA Huss

Rook & Ronin #3
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance
POV - Dual 1st person (primarily)
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 312 pages

Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she ran from six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind.

Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together.

Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?

MY REVIEW ~ 4 stars
While I was really sick of Rook's back and forth, push and pull, immature thoughts, and just about everything else about her, by the end, I was her friend. She finally stood up for herself and for her person. Ronin finally got the woman he deserved. I only wish there was more to the story. The end felt very unfinished, but knowing there are other books (spinoffs), I'm looking forward to getting some closure.

I love Spencer and wouldn't mind reading more about him and Ford... that man's mind... I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to get a peek inside.

Books That Didn't Make the Cut Pt. 10

February 12, 2023

Hello hello! I'm back with some more books that didn't really work for me, but might be winners for you.

Tap by Georgia Cates ~ 2 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / brother's best friend
POV - Dual 1st person

Craft beer and the sexy men who brew it.
A faceless name. That’s all she was when I agreed to play a part in deceiving her. But then the unplanned happened.
We met. And all I wanted from her was a dirty weekend... until that wasn’t enough and I longed for so much more.
Lawrence Thorn suddenly means the world to me. And that’s a problem. She’s my business partner’s sister. Forbidden fruit. Pursuing her can mean trouble for me at Lovibond Brewery. But I don’t care.
I yearn for her skin against mine. I crave her smell on my body. I want to make her laugh and then hear her moan my name. And she does for a brief moment in time.
But Lawrence wants more than I’m able to give. And it’s a damn shame because there’s no one on earth I want more than her.
An epic love.
A miserable ending.
Unless it’s not.

It wasn’t the most interesting story, but I was still reading.
I felt like Lawrence was supposed to be super likable with her hippy-ish ways.. She’s vegan people. So tired of it. Anyway, I didn’t really feel her. Nickname Lawry should have given me a clue, right?
Lucas was also hard to like. I just didn’t like any of the characters in this book.
However, I absolutely loved the epilogue. Both stars go to that ending. It almost made everything I read in this story worthwhile.

A Dark Kiss of Rapture by Sylvia Day ~ 2.5 stars

Genre - Paranormal Romance / forbidden
POV - Dual 3rd person

Of all the Fallen, Raze’s hungers are some of the darkest and most insatiable. His brazen seductions cost him his wings, leaving him soulless and immortal, the most dangerous of seducers. He has roamed the earth for eons, hunting the rogues of his kind and protecting the humans who provide him with blood and sex. He is content with his life and the transient pleasures that flow through it... until one night and one woman change everything.

Kimberly McAdams is smart, beautiful, and wealthy. She can have any man she wants, but the moment she sets eyes on the lethally stunning Raze she knows he’s the man she needs. As one searingly erotic night burns into something deeper and far more vital than either of them expected, an adversary from Raze’s past sees a chance for revenge. Twisted by hatred, she will take from Raze what was taken from her—the precious gift of love.

The absolute seduction of this story played me for a fool. What was up with the fade to black sex???
Kimberly was hard to understand. She came from a family of cops so understood the need for someone in law enforcement to keep secrets, but she’s supposedly wealthy. Where did the money come from?
Raze and his fellow fallen were interesting, however, it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a story when it came to their origins and connection.

Sol by Leslie McAdam ~ 2 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / brother's best friend
POV - Dual 1st person

I kissed her, then I left her. My best friend’s sister. The only girl I ever loved.
And that kiss? Gave new meaning to the words, “pinball machine.”
But the army called. No matter what, I am a man of honor. I’ll always do my duty. Even at great personal cost.
Now, four years later, I’m back. A little older. A little wiser. And unfortunately, the bearer of horrifically tragic news.
There’s no one else to do it.
I’ll go to the ends of the earth to find her.
But I don’t know what will happen after I hand her that letter.

Dani was delusional, self-centered, and way too cavalier about life. I didn’t like how she expected everyone to conform to her beliefs about life, especially when she was so vehemently opposed to conformity.
Trent was this great guy who blinded himself to obvious things. He allowed Dani to walk all over him and it was pitiful. Here was this big, strong man who allowed himself to be swallowed up by Dani and her bullshit.
A painfully boring read with bits of color.

Review // Lucifer by Ava Martell

February 11, 2023

Lucifer by Ava Martell

The Devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and horns. He comes as everything you've ever wished for.

────── ♔ ──────

Lucifer by Ava Martell

Release - December 24, 2017
Genre - Paranormal Romance
POV - Primarily Dual 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook
Length - 232 pages
Publisher - Indie

Eons ago, the Devil fell from grace.
Now, he might be falling for her.

Grace Celestin is no stranger to sin. Working in a dive bar on Bourbon Street will expose a girl to a lot of nastiness. But when a disturbing prophecy leaves her with more questions than answers, the only man who can provide them is more than just a little sinful. He’s Lucifer, the Devil himself.

Luckily, the Devil’s in New Orleans—Hell’s on hiatus and the tide of damned souls has dried up, leaving him between jobs. From the moment he bumps into Grace Celestin, however, he thinks he may have found a new one. She’s being hunted, and not even voodoo can keep rogue angels off her trail.

More intriguing still is the fact that Grace isn’t just beautiful—it’s that unlike every other human who’s ever lived, Lucifer can’t read her soul. And if he wants answers, and his throne back, he’s going to have to help her get some answers of her own.

For the first time since he fell, the Devil has been drawn to the light. And Grace, despite all she knows, finds herself tempted by the darkness.

My Two Cents

3 "The Devil's in the Details" stars

Lucifer: a male who finally grew tired of the status quo when a human woman made him feel for the very first time.

Grace: a woman who didn’t know her own worth until she was being hunted by someone intent on killing her. For years she was numb to everything, until Lucifer lit the spark to break her heart wide open.

I think I would have enjoyed it more if there was more in the way of character depth. While I liked what I was given, I knew there was so much more below the surface. And with the way this author writes, I know she could have brought it through.

Very well-written and descriptive with dynamic characters and steamy beginnings.

The Author

I was born on Friday the 13th, but I always believed in making my own luck and writing my own story. I'm a firm believer that love really does conquer all, but sometimes you have to take the long way around to get there.

I love a good gin and tonic to wind me down or wind me up, depending on the occasion.

If you’d like to get in touch, I'm always plugged in!

Review // Fuse Series by E.L. Todd

February 10, 2023

The Fuse series by E.L. Todd is an action-packed fantasy adventure with a taste of adventure, romance, magic, and dragons!

Fuse by EL Todd

Fuse by E.L. Todd

Fuse #1
Release - December 18, 2020
Genre - Fantasy
POV - 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 315 pages

Growing up in a small village, Cora was destined for an ordinary life.

But fate had other plans.

The shamans, dark servants of the empire, invade her village, searching for something…or someone. Before they can feed on the soul of an innocent boy, she stabs them with her blade. It’s a dire mistake—because they’re invincible.

She flees into the wildlands until a voice commands her attention.

Come to me.

Her curiosity too great, she follows the voice inside her head…and comes across a fiery red dragon. Every free dragon has been enslaved by King Lux, forced into a nonconsensual fuse between man and dragon.

Except this one.

As the last free dragon in Anastille, he’s also on the run.

They realize they need to work together to overthrow the empire…or neither will be free.

Ashe by EL Todd

Ashe by E.L. Todd

Fuse #2
Release - July 6, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - None
Format - ebook
Length - 548 pages

Cora's visit with the elves proves to be more than she bargained for.
She learns her parentage, but it's the last thing she ever expected to hear.
She came to the elves for help to defeat King Lux, to free the dragons still trapped in captivity, but she discovers a timeless place, where outside matters mean nothing.
There's little chance to convince them of anything, especially when her human heritage has permanently marked her as an outsider.
Rush returns to Bridge to begin their plans, but there's also a fear in the back of his mind.
Is she safe?
Flare shares the same concern. Will they hurt Pretty?
Elven magic separates their borders, but perhaps the connection between Rush and Cora is enough to keep the channel open between them, to exchange thoughts and feelings, until she departs the forest and reunites with him once more.
Forces are moving in the world, and they have to move quickly before King Lux finds them both--and destroys them.

Fury by EL Todd

Fury by E.L. Todd

Fuse #3
Release - October 26, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 568 pages

Cora and her allies must defeat the most vile king in Anastille's history.
Will they find victory?
Or lose everything they have left?

Slay by EL Todd

Slay by E.L. Todd

Fuse #4
Release - April 25, 2022
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 740 pages

The events of Anastille have unfolded in the most unexpected ways, and with the odds stacked against them, victory is merely a hope. But our heroes will do what they can to free the imprisoned dragons, to overthrow King Lux from his throne, and heal the divided factions of a war-torn country.

My review of the series ~ 3 stars

Book One
The world these characters inhabited was very easy to visualize. The forests were lush, the deserts were arid, and the wonders beyond Cora’s village were just that… wondrous.

The mystery surrounding Flare’s character... I had a feeling I knew exactly who he was and I was curious to see how it would affect the story to come. I wasn’t wrong.

I have a strange fascination with Flare and the process of dragons fusing with humans. This is such a unique take on the supernatural. The bond they share, becoming one, seems like something so special.

While Cora was nosy (or inquisitive if you want to romanticize it), I found her a bit annoying. People don’t have to share everything about themselves just because you have. It doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of trust. It could just be an individual’s preference.

Orcs, giant frogs, evil men in power, elves, dwarves, dragons, shamans (shadow-like figures who can suck the soul right out of you, can fly, and are impossible to kill… or are they?). I'm on edge and can't wait to dive into the next book!

Book Two
Is it wrong that when Rush and Cora finally ‘got together’ I wanted it to be somewhat descriptive? I thought this was an adult fantasy novel, especially with all of the cussing. I’m grown. Screw the fade to black theatrics!

I’m in awe of Ashe and everything he’s been through, what he’s accomplished, and what he has yet to do.

Finding out Cora’s parentage, at least who her father was, was a tough blow. I knew it was going to wreck whatever she and Ashe could have. And why does Cora try so hard to stand in her own way of happiness?

I’m still very much in love with Flare and Rush. Their connection is hilarious, sweet, and so touching.

Book Three
I’m all for Rush’s road to redemption. I only wish that this journey changes his mind about sacrificing himself at the end.

I’m still pretty blown away by the imagery this author has created. Once they were stuck in the mountain, I could feel the walls closing in around me. I could sense the dampness in the air.

The action scenes were fantastic. Whether it was Rush chopping off heads and not bothering to take names, or Cora using her magic to surprise attack the previously undefeatable, it was exciting and so entertaining.

Book Four
Favorite character: Callon. Dude, this man was everything. I did get frustrated a bit because his hate game was so strong, but I understood his reasons.

Understanding Cora’s parentage explained a lot about her powers and her innate nature. I was tired of her always being right, even when she was wrong. I was tired of people defending her when it was obvious she needed to be corrected. She got away with way too much and I needed her to come down a peg. She wasn’t better than anybody.

The final battle: better than expected. It was so well written, so intense, so terror-inducing. I didn't know who would even be alive in the end.

Rush was still a phenomenal character, with his horrific past, his attempts to right all of his wrongs, his redemption. He just needs people to see the great strides he’s made and the hero he has turned out to be.

January 2023 Bookish Recap

February 05, 2023

Hello hello and Happy Black History Month!

I can't believe we're in February already. Right now, my reading is at an all-time low. I'm not sure what's happening, but I can only hope things get better. Aren't reading slumps the freaking worst???


Total Books Read: 20
Total Pages Read: 5050
DNFS or No Ratings: 6
From my TBR: 17
Avg. Rating: 2.34

All the Books

There weren't any real standouts this month, but the my recommendations this month include:

Broken Angel by Cynthia Eden
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
Cute But Psycho by Lani Lynn Vale
Marcus by Anna Hackett
Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters
Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn
Priest by Sierra Simone

Added to my tbr

Book Haul

I got nada. I'm doing so well at this!!

I hope you find only the best reads!

Talk soon,

xo, Natalie

Review // Crossroads, Love & Ink, and King of Code

I've been doing a lot of reading, but I'm finding it hard to come up with words to review what I've read. So here I am again, taking inspiration from the wonderful Deanna from A Novel Glimpse, with some mini reviews.

King of Code by CD Reiss

King of Code by CD Reiss ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / Enemies to lovers
POV - Hero 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 470 pages

Taylor Harden's on the edge of fame and untold wealth, until a hacker freezes his company and holds it hostage.
Life as he know it is ruined unless he find out what he wants...or what she wants.

Harper doesn't want much from Taylor.
All he has to do to get his company back is teach her how to please a man. Step by step, and for every step she'll unlock a piece of his system.

Kissing unlocks a partition.
Touching unlocks another.
Using your mouth to...

How far is this crazy woman going to go?

They hate each other. They can't keep away from each other. They're decoding each other with every step, until all Harper's secrets are revealed, and Taylor risks losing his heart as well as his company.

REVIEW ~ It took me 9 days to finish this book. It was hard to read and hard to follow. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that a romance was supposed to bloom out of the mess that was made. The writing was awkward and I guess that suits because the characters were very awkward. I'm oddly intrigued by Keaton, however, I didn't like either protagonist for a list of reasons.

If someone were to jack up my life, try to ruin everything I was working towards, there is no way, no matter how hot or sexy or attractive I found them to be… there’s no way I would get involved with them aside from exacting some swift justice. Taylor was a freaking punk for allowing Harper to get away with what she did. And she came off as a callous, inconsiderate, rude person who didn’t deserve the least bit of compassion.

I did feel bad for the folks of Barrington though.

Love & Ink by JD Hawkins

Love & Ink by JD Hawkins ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / second chance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 246 pages

The only thing more permanent than tattoos is love--and she's inked all over my heart.

I've spent the last seven years screwing half the women in the northern hemisphere, but nobody comes close to the girl I left behind. In the meantime, I've built my reputation as a world-renowned tattoo artist with a six-month waitlist.

All of LA is begging me to put my mark on them.

The last thing I expect is for Ash Carter to walk into my shop and blow me off.

She doesn't know I left her to protect her. That she was my entire world, and that was my only choice. That it was a mistake I've regretted every day for seven years.

Now she's back, and she's everything I remember--stubborn, feisty, sexy as hell. And I'll do anything to make her mine again.

But how can I convince Ash to forgive and forget when I can't even forgive myself?

REVIEW - This was a sweet second chance romance about a yummy tattoo artist (Teo) and a bubble gum heroine (Ash). I loved the idea that seven years apart hadn't lessened or cheapened the connection these two shared. I did wish Ash had a bit more faith in Teo, but I guess her doubts were necessary to drive the plot.

There was a great cast of secondary characters as well and they were very easy to enjoy, even Candace. I find there to be a certain kind of charm to Hawkins's writing that I always find appealing. I'm certainly always entertained.

Crossroads by Riley Hart

Crossroads by Riley Hart ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / MM
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 341 pages

After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…

Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.

Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that's determined to trip them up at every turn.

REVIEW - There wasn't too much as far as depth, but I sure enjoyed the heck out of it. Nick and Bryce were both very easy to like and I loved everything they became together.

Aside from Try by Ella Frank, I haven't come across a story about a straight man realizing he was attracted to a man. And once again, I had to suspend belief. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, because I really don't know, but the circumstances surrounding the reveals just seem really bizarre. Entertaining and bizarre.

I liked how these men were so real with each other. And how they loved each other, warts and all. They both had insecurities and helped each other conquer their fears. It was them against the world.

They were hot together. Super freaking hot!