Review // Scarred by Emily McIntire

April 19, 2023

Scarred by Emily McIntire

Sara Beatreaux is not my problem.
Normally, I wouldn't care.
I shouldn't care.
But I do.

────── ♔ ──────

Scarred by Emily McIntire

Scarred by Emily McIntire

Standalone - Never After #2
Release - January 4, 2022
Genre - Dark Romance / enemies to lovers / vengeance / retelling / royals
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook from Kindle Unlimited
Length - 348 pages

She doesn't belong to him...she belongs to the crown.

Prince Tristan Faasa was never destined for the throne. That was always his brother, Michael. The same brother responsible for both Tristan's tormented childhood and the scar that mars his face. When their father dies, Michael is set to assume the throne, and Tristan is set to steal it. The leader of a secret rebellion, Tristan will stop at nothing to end his brother's reign. But when Michael's new betrothed, Lady Sara Beatreaux arrives, Tristan finds himself in the middle of a new kind of war. The kind that begs the question of what's more important, the crown or the woman about to wear it.

Sara has one plan. Marry the King and eradicate the Faasa line, even at the risk of her own peril. But she never expects the Scarred Prince. He's dangerous. Forbidden. And one of the men she's been sent to kill. But the line between hatred and passion has never seemed so thin, and as secrets come to light, Sara grows unsure of whom she can trust—torn between vengeance and the villain she was never supposed to love.

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Scarred by Emily McIntire

My Two Cents

3.5 "Burn it all down" stars

Not quite a retelling, but it did have a lot in common with The Lion King. A scarred prince, some nefarious goings on, and a love story. I guess a villain deserves a happy ending too!

When his father dies, Tristan is alone in the world. His brother has the throne, the council is corrupt, and their people are starving. Tristan is determined to change things. His goals are dangerous, but he seems to laugh in the face of danger. << see what I did there?

When Sara's father dies, she vows revenge. She means to kill every member of the Faasa family, hopefully bringing back prosperity to her beloved lands. While her family schemed for her to be chosen as the King's future wife, she plotted and planned. And when she finally meets her future family, it's easy for her to imagine them all dying from her blades.

But then she gets to know Tristan, the outcast, the man in the shadows. He's nothing like what she thought he was and everything she needed in her life. With her conviction waning, can she find a new passion with him?

"The truth is, I am yours. Wholly. Inexplicably. Painfully. Unconditionally." He moves my hand until the dagger presses against his throat. "And if you need to sacrifice my soul so you're able to live with yours, then do it."

While I enjoyed this story, I wish someone had warned me that it was a slow build on the filth. I loved Tristan's obsessive, possessive self and his dirty mouth, but I wanted more. I know I'm greedy, but so much of this book was about these two fighting against their growing feelings that I wanted to spend time with them as a couple.

And yes, the author does offer an epilogue, but I would have to sign up for the newsletter and I'm not about to do that. No offense, but I'm on a newsletter cleanse. So I'm here, at the end of the book, happy that this couple gets to actually be a couple, but hopelessly wanting more. I'm good with all of the murder-y mayhem that happened, I was gleeful whenever Tristan's madness appeared, I'll never look at hash the same way again, and I liked everything in between. I'll be checking out the next book in the series for sure.

The Author

Emily McIntire is an Amazon Top 15 and Publishers Weekly best selling author known for her Never After Series, where she gives our favorite villains their happily ever afters. With books that range from small town to dark romance, she doesn’t like to box herself into one type of story, but at the core of all her novels is soul deep love. When she’s not writing you can find her enjoying her family, or lost between the pages of a good book.

Find more information at

Books That Didn't Make the Cut Pt.11

April 18, 2023

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

He Wants It All by Marilena Barbagallo ~ DNF

Genre - Contemporary Romance / enemies to lovers
POV - Dual
Length - 399 pages

Krum Botev has never had anything in life apart from himself. He knows only what he has been taught. Hard, selfish, insensitive, but faithful to the Father, the one who raised and educated him according to the values of the secret society he is part of. No one has ever succeeded in knocking down his armor. No one can touch him outside or inside; no-one except her, who is part of that past Krum cannot forget. Ambra Livori, a beautiful and wealthy heiress, has always had everything. But nightmares don’t give her a break. They go on showing her the man who ruined her life when she was only sixteen. The memory of him, over time, has become a perverse feeling she cannot tolerate. Just when Ambra decides to learn how to control her emotions, she receives a strange call. Her origins will be questioned and the past will become a terrible present from which she won’t be able to escape. Fighting for herself will be the only solution. What links Ambra and Krum? But most of all, can two different souls be able to touch each other outside and inside? A secret organization, an uncontrollable passion, a man and a woman destined to clash.

Honestly, the writing was a bit all over the place and I think that's because this was translated from Italian. I really wish I could read it in the original language. I believe a lot of what the author was trying to convey was lost in translation. The concept of this story is so intriguing that I wish I could have continued.

Hammered by Jasinda Wilder ~ DNF

Genre - Contemporary Romance / a bit of forced proximity
POV - Heroine 1st person
Length - 342 pages

Dad Bod Contracting—for ALL your domestic contracting needs. Have a leaky faucet or clogged disposal? Need a new patio with intricate brickpaving designs? Want your garage transformed into a yoga studio? Dad Bod Contracting has you COVERED. Our clean, well-mannered, and friendly professionals pride themselves on attention to detail. Every job comes with a 100% customer SATISFACTION guarantee. No job is too small. Hand us your “honey-do” list and we’ll get it done, and we’ll look good doing it! A good job well done is one phone call away, so call Dad Bod Contracting today! It started with a window that was jammed shut. Pretty simple, right? All I wanted was to open the windows while I tidied the house. I’d been after my no-good husband to do it for months, but he never did. And then he shacked up with his secretary, leaving me with a pile of bills, husband-free for the first time in ten years, and with a house that was falling apart. The ad popped up on the side of my social media feed—a local contracting agency willing to do pretty much anything. Since I don’t really know a screwdriver from a ratchet, I gave them a call. And let me tell you, the ad was NOT lying. Jesse O’Neill can do it ALL…and looks amazing doing it. He fixed my window, so I called him back to fix the sagging, splintery front steps. Which led to him fixing my kitchen sink. And then he recarpeted my stairs. And then fixed the squeak in my bed. He was supposed to fix my house, not my rusty, sputtering libido. And certainly not my broken heart.

You know those books you REALLY wanna like? Hammered was one of those books. It should have checked many of my boxes, but it somehow failed to do that. It could have been the fact that it was told from only Imogen's perspective (and you know how I hate that). I was more interested in the side characters than the ones this story was about. I even liked the little I got to know of Jesse (the MMC). It just fell flat, I'm afraid. It's too bad because I know that a lot of people enjoyed the heck out of this story. I've really liked other books by this author so I'll be giving her another try.

Balls in Play Box Set by Kate Stewart ~ DNF

Genre - Contemporary Romance / sports
POV - Dual 1st person
Length - 273 pages (for Anything but Minor)

“She’s a nerd.”
“Okay, she’s a flight instructor.”
“He’s a ballplayer.”
“The best that ever was.”
“Technically, you aren’t according to MLB stats.”
“See? Total nerd. She also has no filter.”
“He’s no southern gentlemen.”
“I had one last season to prove my worth.”
“I’d never seen a game.”
“He told me he was a player.”
“She told me she was a lesbian.”
“But you fell in love with me anyway.”
“Yeah, baby, I totally did.”

I know it's a "me" problem. I've seen so many 4-and-5-star reviews for this series and I couldn't even get through book one with ease. I was infinitely bored and the heroine, Alice, annoyed me. I can't even pinpoint why she irked me, but aggravate me she did. So I'm one of the few that didn't love this supposedly laugh-out-loud novel.

Review // Tattered by Devney Perry

April 16, 2023

Tattered by Devney Perry

What could I say that would convince Thea I'd be back?

────── ♔ ──────

Tattered by Devney Perry

Tattered by Devney Perry

Standalone - Lark Cove #1
Release - June 19, 2018
Genre - Contemporary Romance / secret baby
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook from Kindle Unlimited
Length - 372 pages

Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Tattered by Devney Perry

My Two Cents

4 "I'll be there" stars

Thea and Logan shared an instant connection. After a one-night stand, they couldn't quite figure out how to forget. He remembered her while he was engaged to someone else. And she remembered him because... well, she was pregnant with his child.

Years later, Logan just happens to be in the neighborhood and the sparks between them are just as hot as they remembered. After the initial awkwardness, anger and regret once he found out that she had his child, all Logan wanted was to be with Thea. If only she could get out of the way of her own happiness.

While Logan was planning a happy ending for his family, I felt like Thea kept sabotaging things. She had secrets and would act out without explaining herself to the man she loved. Her reasons were valid—abandoned as a baby, growing up in a neglectful orphanage, never feeling like she belonged anywhere—and I understood. But she kept hurting Logan and I needed her to stop.

I also needed Logan to listen to her. He was making all of these plans in his head, not really considering her aversion to his ideas.

But that's what angst is all about, right? Misunderstandings... miscommunication... missed signals.

I wanted these characters to see what they could have together and compromise. I did not want Logan to do all of the bending. It was a bit unfair. He spent the entire story bending and almost breaking to please and appease Thea. I needed her to give too.

That was my only gripe with this story. I enjoyed everything else about it, from the pacing, the connection these people shared, their connections to the secondary characters, and the lives they were making. If all Devney Perry books read like this one, I'll be reading them all!

The Author

Devney is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author.

Born and raised in Montana, she loves writing books set in her treasured home state.

After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her husband and two sons.

Writing one book, let alone many, was not something she ever expected to do. But now that she’s discovered her true passion for writing romance, she has no plans to ever stop.

Find out more here:

Review // Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

April 14, 2023

Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

I still want you a little afraid.
It's the most natural aphrodisiac.

────── ♔ ──────

Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

Release - March 30, 2023
Genre - Dark Romance / mafia
Multiple POV - 3rd person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - eARC provided by the author
Length - 452 pages

When Danielle Stone learns of her brother’s crippling debt to crime boss Salvatore Carlino, her first instinct is to help. Carlino makes her a one-time offer to wipe the debt clean and let her brother walk away with his life; her.

So she reluctantly agrees to be his plaything. At his beck and call, day or night.

As Danielle falls deeper into a world of violence and excess, the man she hates unleashes a craving she's never experienced before. And slowly, the closer they get, the line between Carlino’s most depraved desires and her own begin to blur.

While her brother hatches a plan to free her, an enemy watches from the shadows, biding their time. Waiting for not only an opportunity to strike, but for Carlino to show a chink in his armour, and the fate of New Haven hangs in the balance as Danielle just might be that chink.

Desperate to keep control of his empire and his senses, the previously untouchable Carlino is destined to lose. The only question is, will it be his heart, or his life?

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

My Two Cents

3.5 "Do two wrongs make a right?" stars

I've read quite a bit of mafia romance in my time, but I can honestly admit that reading Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer is an experience I won't soon forget.

There's an edginess to his writing style that instantly grabs me and I never really know where the story is going. This time was no different. With so much going on, I had no idea if a happy ending of any sort was even possible (don't worry, it totally was).

First, there's Salvatore Carlino...
❥ he's the top man in town. He's got it all and everyone wants him and/or wants to be him
❥ when a man owes him money, he's usually taught a lesson. But this man has a sister and it's lust at first sight. An exception has to be made.

Then we've got Danielle Stone...
❥ she thinks she's got life right where she wants it until her brother screws up and she's left holding the bag
❥ she's with Carlino to work off her brother's debt. However, pesky emotions have her questioning why she's really staying

And then there's Paulie...
❥ he was a henchman of sorts and he had me cracking up. He took things quite literally and completed his jobs in over-the-top ways. Thanks for the laughs, my dude!

I'm being intentionally vague because any tidbit I add will potentially spoil it for you. There's a romance wrapped in mystery. Betrayal, death, and mafia mayhem were all around. So just read the book. Fall in love with Salvatore. Get a bit annoyed by Danielle. And love the ish out of the way this author plays with words.

────── ♔ ──────

I have to admit that there was one part of this book that I couldn't shake. Something that bothered me and tainted my feelings for this story a bit.
Salvatore was dominant and had Danielle guessing about their status, her place in his life, etc.
When she got jealous without admitting that she was jealous and feeling possessive, she said some things that had Sal reacting in a bad way. He screwed another woman in front of her. Like she's tied up in the bed, watching him have sex with this woman in the same bed. YUCK!! Lesson learned, I guess.
So be warned!!

Owned by the Mafia by Aaron L Speer

The Author

Welcome to the Speerverse. Aaron L Speer has been publishing since 2014 and has won 4 Book of the Year Awards* and the Golden Stake Award at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival held in Transylvania**.

The Undeadly Secrets (Paranormal Romance) spans six books so far, with the latest Peace Keeper: Part Two released in 2021. Heart Breaker is scheduled for some time in 2023.

Fans of MMA romance welcomed the hard hitting Championship Collection; Undisputed, Unbroken and Unbroken 2 into the world.

2022 will see the release of his first MC offerings as part of the Rebel Souls shared world; Rebel Sacrifice and Rebel Savage

2023 will not only see the release of Heart Breaker but also his first Mafia Romance: Owned By The Mafia

Find out more here:

March 2023 Bookish Recap

April 13, 2023

Hello hello and welcome to another recap!

I'm so sorry that I've been so absent. I took a mental break and forgot to share that with anyone. My bad entirely.
But I'm back.
Some of you may have already noticed by my comments on your blogs or my likes on your posts, etc.

So as you can guess, March wasn't the greatest month for me, at least bookwise, but here's what I've got...


Total Books Read: 6
Total Pages Read: 1886
Genres: Contemporary (2), Fantasy (1), Paranormal (1), Dark Romance (2)
From my TBR: 2
Avg. Rating: 4.46

All the Books

There were actually a few standouts in March:

In fact, all of the books I read in March were really good. The others I read and would definitely recommend were:

Code Name: Genesis by Sawyer Bennett
Hooked by Emily McIntire
Soul Eater by Lily Mayne

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 // The Voices Are Back by Lani Lynn Vale

April 11, 2023

The Voices Are Back by Lani Lynn Vale

I'll love you until my lungs give out, even if you're the one stabbing them.
~ Morrigan to Aodhan

────── ♔ ──────

The Voices Are Back by Lani Lynn Vale

The Voices Are Back by Lani Lynn Vale

Standalone - Gator Bait MC #5
Release - April 11, 2023
Genre - Contemporary Romance / second chance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - eARC provided by the author
Length - 253 pages

Her: Just a word, yet one person came to mind.

Morrigan St. Pete.

The woman that’d been hounding my every step since the day she was born. From the moment we first comforted each other in the hospital, to the day that I left her to follow her dreams, I knew that she was my one.

Through marriage, divorce, and a prison sentence, I had low expectations when it came to her ever coming around to my way of life. What kind of woman wanted a man that’d been to prison, had a child that disliked him and everything he stood for, and had zero prospects in life?

But then she popped into my life again, and that feeling of suffocation slacked off for the first time since I let her go.
The first time I tried to come back to Aodhan, I found him married with a kid on the way.

The second time I tried, he was heading to jail.

As one would say, the third time is the charm, right? Wrong.

The third time, he was divorced, fresh from prison, had a kid, and was again with his ex-wife.

That was the final nail in my coffin. I decided to give up.

I would do anything and everything I could to avoid him. Hiding wasn’t beneath me.

I only wish he’d stuck with my plan, because the moment he sees me again, it’s like he’s seen the light. Avoiding him is impossible when he goes out of his way to insinuate himself into every aspect of my life.

If only life was as perfect as my dreams.

The Voices Are Back by Lani Lynn Vale

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

My Two Cents

3.5 "Never Gonna Give You Up" stars

Aodhan and Morrigan knew of each other since birth. Born out of tragedy, they were linked for life. At least, Morrigan thought so until Aodhan decided he had to let her go so she could realize her dreams. He didn't know at the time that her dreams were impossible and the only one that mattered was him.

Years later, Aodhan was divorced with a son that hated him, Morrigan was back in town, and I was excited to see these two get their ish together. STOP STANDING IN YOUR OWN WAY is what I yelled from the beginning! But don't worry, they figure things out pretty quickly. Unfortunately it wasn't smooth sailing until they got their happy ending. The author put them through the wringer, but that ending... so worth it.

I love this author and will never turn down an opportunity to read from her. She puts a lot of heart into her stories, creating characters you want to love and cheer for. I fell for Aodhan and Morrigan and hope to see them again in the books to come!

────── ♔ ──────

I do have to write a note because I wasn't completely satisfied with this book. My copy was full of holes. There were way too many errors and discrepancies. And I feel like the author put a bunch of little details in there that in no way affected the story and those details kept getting messed up. Just delete them LOL.

The Voices Are Back 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!