Showing posts with label Best of 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of 2021. Show all posts

Unspoken by Ari Reavis // ARC Review

March 08, 2021

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

I feel myself losing control again. Feel the magic churning in my gut like it wants to completely overtake me and burn this palace to the ground. I have never felt so desperate, so reckless. And even with so much power, more than I've ever felt before, I have never flt more powerless. I have magic I cannot use. A title that offers me no protection here. And a father who is feeding me to a monster piece by piece, and all with a smile because he thinks it will save him from the very same fate.

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

Standalone - Nur Series #1
Release - April 12, 2021
Genre - Fantasy Romance
Single POV - Ameera (heroine)
Heat Level - 3.5 (a couple of scenes)
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 295 pages
Publisher - Indie

The Unspoken One has been banished for many years, his very existence erased. Ameera must find his true name and summon him if she has any hope of saving her kingdom from war, and herself from marriage to a ruthless king.

The Kingdom of Nur has been suffering for years under Ameera’s father’s rule. She's bid her time, carefully keeping her secret hidden and waiting to become queen so she can repair what her father has broken. Then an unwanted marriage to the brutal king of Nur’s enemy threatens everything she’s worked towards.

With her wedding drawing near and the future of her kingdom in peril, she finds the forbidden name. She knows The Unspoken One is her last chance to save Nur, but she risks much in summoning him. His magic is not understood, the crime he was banished for is unknown, and speaking his name carries an unbearable punishment.

For Nur, for herself, she must risk it all. Or lose everything she holds dear.

She speaks the name too many have paid a painful price for uttering. Nothing, not the kingdom, their lives, or her heart, will ever be the same.

Amazon US:
Amazon CA:

Unspoken by Ari Reavis

I have read every book that Ari Reavis has published and Unspoken is unlike anything that I've read from her before. And it's not just because it's a fantasy romance, something new the author has done. It's the story's tone. At once somber and hopeful. Dark and light. It had an optimistic lean to it that got me through its darkest moments. This author's voice is beautiful and needs to be heard!!

Ameera is the last living child of a ruthless and tyrannical king. Desperate to save himself from impending war, he promises his daughter's hand to an equally devious, if not murderous, king to unite the kingdoms. Too bad Ameera has no intention of tying herself to man who cares only for himself, imposing death, conquering lands, and starving his people.

She has hopes that when it is her turn to rule, she can fix what her father has broken. She can begin to rebuild her once glorious home. But she cannot accomplish all she hopes for alone. She must invoke the name of the man who was banished from Nur. A man who is called upon to right wrongs, to fight for justice. A man who could bring about her end before she's even started.

I found it impossible not to want to join in on Ameera's fight. This woman, who has been beaten down by her father since her birth. This woman, who has been humiliated before the entire kingdom. This woman, who only wants to bring prosperity and success to her people. This woman, who is absolutely deserving of the greatest of loves... How could I not want her to triumph?

And the love story that developed? I couldn't have asked for more. So much can be said without saying a word and the author did an incredible job of capturing that. The tension between Ameera and Hamza... their chemistry... I lived for their every interaction!

With Unspoken, I was lost to the magic and the wonder that was created. I was easily able to picture the halls of Ameera's palace. I believed I could feel Nur's cool autumn breeze or the bitter cold of Sameer. From the downtrodden and the oppressed to a princess who was treated as a pauper, this story made the fantastical seem real.

Ari Reavis is a wife and mother of five. Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, she enjoys staying in, devouring books and watching movies. Her kids are running around, her husband is trying to show her martial arts moves, and she's trying to write. Her day in a nutshell.

Find more about Ari and her books on her site:

Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale // ARC Review

February 13, 2021

Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale

"There won't be anyone else. You're..."
"You're it for me, too," I interrupted her thoughts. "There won't be anyone else."
How could there be, when I was so in love with Beckham Spurlock that I couldn't even think about being with anyone else?

Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale

Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale

Standalone - Souls Chapel Revenants MC #2
Release - February 23, 2021
Genre - Contemporary Romance/second chance
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5/frequent
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 236 pages
Publisher - Indie

Don’t ever, ever, ever go near that boy. Not unless you want to be a single mother at seventeen. That boy is Bad with a capital B.

The words that my father spoke to me when it came to Trouper Aoki didn’t scare me like they probably should.

In fact, they only made me intrigued all the more.

When it came to Troup, there was just no resisting fate when it came to the two of us.

Even at eighteen, when we went our separate ways with the promise to come back to each other once we were done pursuing our careers, I knew he would always be it for me.

And color me surprised when eight years after making that pact with Trouper, we were once again reunited. Only this time in an undercover FBI investigation—me, the FBI officer, and Troup call sign ‘State’ as a military liaison.

Trouble always finds him. You’d do better to run far, far away.

Truer words had never been spoken.

From the time Troup was a young boy, he’d been in some kind of trouble.

So it only goes to show when he winds up in the FBI investigation with none other than Beckham Spurlock, his high school sweetheart, things are bound to go wrong.

Only, he has no idea how wrong until things go bad. Really, really bad.

All it takes is saving her by hurting another for him to see the wrong side of a jail cell.

To make matters worse, he has to live the next fifteen years in prison knowing that his son will grow up without him. And the woman he loves will likely move on to a man that isn’t so much trouble.

Trouper Aoki and Beckham Spurlock are endgame! They know it, I know it, and pretty soon, you'll all know it. Why? Because no matter the distance, the obstacles, the interfering, or the years, they belonged together. It was so obvious to anyone who reads about them and the author did an incredible job of showcasing their bond.
She was it for me, and I was it for her.
Troup was literally the bad boy next door. The one Beckham's father (Foster) wanted her to have nothing to do with. The one who didn't quite fit in but fit so well with her. From high school and beyond, what they had is what everyone should aspire to have. Shoot, not even prison could keep these two apart. They needed each other like one needs air, food and water. What they had was so freaking beautiful and their love, their story, deserves all of the stars!!


I flipped on the lights when she paused about halfway into the living and she gasped.
I knew what she was seeing.
The entire place was bare.
Sure, there was furniture, but there was no real 'life' to the space.
When you moved around a lot, you didn't really like to gather a lot of extra 'crap'.
Extra crap just meant that you would have to pack it and move it.
But there were a few personal items over my mantle, right underneath where I'd mounted the television.
Sometimes, during commercials, or hell, even during my shows, I'd find myself looking at the photos and not the television.
She walked to the photos and stopped in front of the most recent one that we had taken together.
The photo of us on Easton's graduation night.
Easton had taken it for us outside the restaurant that we'd gone to with his mother.
Even after an awkward as hell dinner, we still managed to have a good time.
And I knew that the woman that was the love of my life was the reason for that.
She could make any situation, good or bad, better just by being there.
That particular night it's been windy.
Beckham's hair had been flying all over the place.
The photo was of her hair flying, and her hands at her hair to try to hold it in place. Her eyes were shut, and there was a huge smile on her face as she laughed openly.
Then there was me, staring down at her in awe.
Love was plain to see on my face, and it was more than obvious that she was it for me.
She was my one and only.

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.

You can find out more about her and her amazing books on her website:

Forbidden Flame by Alison Aimes // ARC Review

February 08, 2021

Forbidden Flame by Alison Aimes

When he'd intercepted that package, he'd been searching for revenge.
He'd been delivered salvation instead.

Forbidden Flame by Alison Aimes

Forbidden Flame by Alison Aimes

Standalone - Ruthless Warlords #1.5
Release - February 8, 2021
Genre - SciFi Omegaverse Romance/revenge plot
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 4.5 out of 5
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 138 pages
Publisher - Indie

He's out for revenge. She's out to escape. Neither intends to fall in love.

His instructions are simple: do not open the bag. To escape exile and enact revenge, crime boss Magnus Avitus agrees to play the part of errand boy. But when the volatile package he’s been tasked with delivering begins to squirm, he has to take a peek. He never expects to come face-to-face with her. Or to have everything inside him roar "mine."

Her plans are simple: escape the bag and those intent on using her. But when omega Amora Rose's prison is unpacked before she can free herself, she is claimed by ferocious, scarred warlord who makes her heart whisper "mine."

Except she has a secret that’s about to send all their simple plans up in flames.

I know I'm not the only one who loves a good revenge plot. When it's paired with an irresistible couple, set in an omegaverse, I'm gobbling it up! In Forbidden Flame, both Magnus and Amora have experienced their share of pain and betrayal. With each other, they found the unexpected - compassion, understanding, and fated love. He was determined to exact his vengeance on the traitors who exiled him and she was the perfect weapon. Together, they were fierce and powerful. Together, they could finally have it all.

I'm seriously in love with everything I've come across from this author. And again, Alison Aimes has delivered a must-read romance I have to recommend! I was in a huge book slump and this story was not only unputdownable, but easy and fun to read... oh and it was very, very hot!


During all her abductions -- and there'd been plenty -- she'd never encountered an Alpha like this one before. He was bigger and stronger than any she'd ever come across. More savage and wild too. He could really hurt her.
But it was hard to hold on to that worry when each of his rumbled commands only made her burn hotter.
Because he was also the most mouthwatering, sexy Alpha she'd ever seen.
Too much more of his scent and dirty promises, and she'd be in heat.
Then they'd both be in real trouble.

Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy sci-fi romance series the Condemned as well as the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaire Bad Boys collection. A sci-fi fanatic with a PhD in Modern history, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, listening to a fabulous TED talk, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.

Find all of her information and other books on her site:

Ruthless King by Alison Aimes // ARC Review

January 11, 2021

Alphas dominated while betas served, and omegas submitted.

Ruthless King by Alison Aimes

Standalone - Ruthless Warlords #1
Release - January 11, 2021
Genre - SciFi Omegaverse Dark Mafia Romance
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 4.5 out of 5/frequent
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author
Length - 367 pages

He's the most brutal Alpha crime boss in the galaxy—and she belongs to him now. Payment for a debt owed. Pawn for an act of vengeance. Property to be used, knotted, and bred.

Irresistibly gorgeous mafia king Nikolai Skolov is dominant, hard, possessive—and determined to bend innocent omega Dahlia Lundin to his will. But she is equally determined to resist. The lives of those she loves depends upon it.

Except Dahlia isn't prepared for the insatiable hunger the Alpha's discipline awakens. Or her soul's recognition that her new master is also her fated-mate.

As dangers mount and betrayals loom, all Dahlia knows is turned on its head. Allegiances are tested. Secrets exposed. Until Dahlia is not sure if her ruthless enemy is the monster who will destroy her or the only one left who can save her...

Amazon * Kobo * iBooks * Nook

I have never read from Alison Aimes before, but after reading Ruthless King, I'm definitely adding her to my must-read list!

Here are the reasons why you should read this and why it got five stars...
❤️ fated mates
❤️ organized crime shenanigans
❤️ fierce warrior who was insanely hot
❤️ strong and stubborn omega who tried to give as good as she got
❤️ revenge plot
❤️ brilliant storytelling and incredible world building. I could feel the cold of ice planet Abzal.
❤️ tons of hot sex. TONS!!
❤️ enemies-to-lovers trope that blossomed into something truly beautiful
❤️ redeemable characters and huge hints to what's to come...

Nikolai Skolov is an Alpha - dominant, fearless, gorgeous - and he was the glue that held the Skolovs together. A horror from the past has gone unavenged and unanswered, and now's the time for justice. For truth. And Dahlia Lundin, daughter of his greatest enemy, is the key. Traded to pay her father's debts, she expects abuse, unkindness, and unending punishment. Nikolai wants to use her gift to make her family pay. She is willing to sacrifice anything to keep her family safe. They're at odds until she realizes she's fighting the wrong thing and the wrong person.
Every filthy, arrogant pronouncement only made her wetter.
She fought it as best she could.
"This isn't me. You're triggering my heat. You're using my weakness against me."
"Weakness? It's not some flaw inside you. It's all you are, omega. This is what you were made for. Your body knows exactly what it was designed to do. Give."
While she grew up treated as trash, Nikolai treated her as his treasure. They were supposed to be on opposite sides, enemies, but with his every move, every thought, every touch, Nikolai proved to Dahlia that everything she knew was wrong. And she gave him the most ultimate prize - her heart. With her, he found all that he was missing.
With Dahlia, he was reborn.
He was content.
It was more, in fact, than anyone had ever given him before.
I fell in love with these characters so easily. I loved when they fought, I loved when they bantered, and I loved when they loved. Most of the bad guys got just what they deserved, the good guys kinda won, and I'm looking forward to the next hunt.

Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy sci-fi romance series the Condemned as well as the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaire Bad Boys collection. A sci-fi fanatic with a PhD in Modern history, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, listening to a fabulous TED talk, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.

Find all of her information and other books on her site:

Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters // Review + Excerpt

January 03, 2021

Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters

The moment Tess walked into my life she owned me.
I would never be free again.
I never wanted to be free again.

Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters

Monsters in the Dark #2
Release - December 11, 2013
Genre - Dark Romance
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat level - 5 out of 5/a few scenes
Format/Source - ebook purchase (I own the signed paperback)
Length - 392 pages

“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… screwed up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs do make a right."

Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocably. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.

He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.

This is a story of eroticism, horror, and sweet tragedy. It contains graphic scenes, but there’s always light in the darkness.

Find my review of book 1, Tears of Tess, HERE

Is there a better man out there than Q? Someone who is willing to do anything, give anything, sacrifice everything for the woman he loves? I'm blown away with the many facets to this man and the ways that the author gave him such depth. While this story featured many characters, it was clear that Q was the star of the show.
I fucking shouldn't want to beat the ever-living daylights out of her, but I did. Oh, shit how I did.
Tess... little miss nothing... finally had everything she could possibly want... until the day when it was all ripped away. Her stupid mistake led to her second kidnapping and the horrors that awaited her. And I couldn't have been more delighted! The way the author captured the brutalization of Tess and how broken she became... juste fabuleux!
You told me you were strong enough
You told me you were brave
Yet now you lie next to me and all I can do is save
I'm here for you. I'm there for you
I'll help you with every fight
But no matter what I do for you, I see no end in sight
And then I came to hate Tess. I mean, I detested this girl with a fierce and fiery passion. Even here, at the end of this book, I still hate her. She hasn't redeemed herself and I'm hoping the next book gives her a chance at redemption. However, my deep disgust with her character can't take away from the absolute pleasure I experienced reading everything she and Q went through. Even at the lowest point, I found something to smile about. I know that says a lot about me, but I don't even care. Pepper Winters is freaking amazing when it comes to creating the darkest and most tormented reads.

It's simple really. If I can adore the hero, hate the heroine, and feel and enjoy the passion of this story... then this book deserves all the stars. And if you're someone who enjoys revelling in depravity, destruction, pain, blood and love, you need to embark on this dark journey yourself!

Side Notes:
- I'm bilingual (English/French) and some of the translations in this book didn't work for me. I'm not sure if they were taken from someone who spoke some version of French or straight from Google Translate (or an equivalent).
- There was this sentence in the book - The penthouse was five hundred square feet of pure decadence. - Do you know how small 500 sq ft is? There is no way a 'penthouse' would be that tiny. And something that tiny would never be referred to as 'decadent'. I'm going to assume it meant to say 5000 sq ft.

Find it on Amazon ➤ FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited

With nerves lodged in my throat, I pulled out ropes, cuffs, bondage of all types.
Tess watched remotely as I piled my arms full of things and headed back to the bed. Placing them on the towel at the foot of the four poster, I looked at Tess. “Tie me up.”
I never thought I’d ever say those words. But I needed her to bind me. I wouldn’t be able to go through with this if she didn’t. I’d run like a fucking coward, or lash out and hurt her.
She picked up the leather cuffs, the buckles clinking. “Where?”
Trying to curb the terror and anger and so many fucking things, I forced myself to sit on the mattress and lie down.
My heart was a fucking crazy thing going a billion miles an hour; I couldn’t look at Tess. I couldn’t look anywhere but at the large canopy above my head. The four posters were sturdy—half a fucking tree sturdy—once she bound me, I wouldn’t be able to get free.
My stomach rolled and I swore I would be sick. Shit. Oh, shit. What the fuck am I doing?
Tess glided closer to the bed, looking like a malnourished ghost. She eyed the cuff, then my limbs. My fists pressed against my thighs, every muscle locked tight.
I hadn’t undressed. The element of having jeans and a T-shirt on was my only armament; I wanted to keep it that way.
I gritted my teeth, spreading my legs for her.
She swallowed and obediently looped the soft leather around my ankle.
Black spots appeared in my vision as she tightened the buckle around the bedpost. She fastened it and I wriggled.
“You need to do it tighter. I can get free.” I hated every word. I wanted to chop out my tongue for being such a traitor, but I wasn’t doing this for me. I was doing this for Tess. To somehow break the barrier she’d fortified. If it took dynamite in the form of making me shatter, then so be it.
Tess nodded, tightening the buckle until it bit into my skin. Heat travelled up my leg, causing me to shiver with helplessness.
Torturing me with fluttering touches and slowness, Tess secured my other ankle before sighing heavily. She looked at me with a thousand wishes in her eyes and no hope. Moving toward the head of the bed, she chose a length of silk rope.
Our eyes never left each other as she bent and captured my hand with hers. The moment her delicate fingers touched my trembling skin, I bucked. My cock roared to life and all I wanted to do was kiss her, fuck her, never let her fucking go again.
She bit her lip, her eyes darkening just a little.
“Embrasse moi!” Kiss me, I demanded, capturing her hand with mine.
We stared so long, so hard, I wondered if I’d die waiting for her to obey. Finally, she bent in half, lowering herself toward me. My legs might be bound, but my arms and torso weren’t. The moment she was in grabbing distance, I wrapped my arms around her, dragging her hard against me.
Pepper currently has thirty-one books released in nine languages. She’s hit best-seller lists (USA Today, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal) thirty-seven times. She dabbles in multiple genres, ranging from Dark Romance to Coming of Age.

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestseller.

After releasing two books with Grand Central, Hachette (Ruin & Rule and Sin & Suffer) Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work.

Find all of her books and contact info on her website: