Lord of London Town by Tillie Cole ~ Review & Teaser (@tillie_cole)

I haven't read anything by Tillie Cole before, so I was quite surprised by this one! So much happened... I really don't know where to begin!
Lord of London Town (Adley Firm #1)
Title: Lord of London Town
Author: Tillie Cole
Series: Adley Firm #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Published: October 10th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

Cheska Harlow-Wright was born into a life of luxury and privilege. She has never wanted for anything. A comfortable future as a married London socialite ⁣awaits her. But since the age of thirteen, Cheska has harboured a secret—an unshakeable fixation on a boy who could never offer her anything close to ⁣comfort. A boy steeped in sin and draped in depravity. A boy born into the possessive embrace of darkness. ⁣ ⁣

When Cheska’s seemingly perfect world is ripped apart by an unknown but deadly enemy, there’s only one person she can run to. One person in the world ⁣who has the power to keep her safe. The one person her weak and shattered heart craves. ⁣ ⁣

Arthur Adley. The new head of the most feared crime family in London. ⁣ ⁣

Forced too young to take the helm of the Adley firm, Arthur has become even more ruthless, formidable, and cold than ever before. His enemies are circling, and he must fight—and kill—to maintain his family’s place at the top of the London crime underworld. There is no room for weakness, emotion, or loss of control.⁣ ⁣

But then Cheska smashes back into his life with the force of a wrecking ball. She has no place in this dark, vicious, and bloodthirsty world. And worse, she is the solitary chink in his impenetrable armour. He’s already pushed her away once, but this time she desperately needs him. She’s broken, lost, and in danger, and he is the only one who can help.⁣ ⁣

Arthur must protect her. He must destroy those who dare to threaten her, hunt down those who would take what is his. He would raze all of London to the ⁣ground to keep her safe… but can he also protect himself?⁣ ⁣

The infamous Dark Lord of London Town faces his most brutal battle yet—the crippling weight of the past, the unrelenting enemies lurking in the shadows… and the havoc that Cheska’s presence is wreaking on the granite fortress that was once his heart.⁣

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but I tell you it had it all... so much action, blood baths, chemistry and heartache! I was introduced to some unusual characters and a crazy dark world that left me gasping!

Cheska and Authur had a connection from the opening chapters, and over the years they had an unusual relationship... it wasn't conventional and some people may not be happy with certain events, but I could understand the dark world that they were part of.

When some gruesome situations brought Cheska back to Authur, it became apparent that he would do everything that he could to protect her and seek revenge. I liked that his close group of friends would do everything that they could for him too, as they were practically family!

I really did enjoy how this story unfolded and was left gasping at the end! I can see that there are going to be more books for Aurthur's friends! I just hope that they come soon.

This was a big moment for Cheska and Authur... the moment that secured their future!

“I am your queen. And you are my king. Your dark kingdom is now ours.”
I removed my bloodied hand from his chest and drew a cross over my heart with my finger. “Forever.”
And that was when he broke. My world shook as Arthur smashed his mouth to mine. He wasn’t gentle—but I had never expected him to be. He was savage and cursed with a wickedness that was born from loss at a young age and a father who saw violence and death and the suppression of feelings as a form of bonding.

Kindle Page 202

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

After several years living in Italy, Canada and the USA, Tillie has now settled back in her hometown in England, with her husband and new son.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than spending time with her little family, curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, and convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that last square of chocolate.

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Blood to Dust by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)

I do enjoy each read that I pick up by L.J. Shen, as she introduces new characters and unique worlds that you can get lost in! Blood to Dust had some dark moments, but there was no mistaking the bond between them.
Blood to Dust
Title: Blood to Dust
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Dark Romance
Published: July 17th 2016

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

His name is Beat, and I should hate him.

Bound, blindfolded and bruised, I'm tied in his basement, waiting for the men who stripped me from clothes and humanity to collect his debt to them. Me.

His name is Nate and I should hate him, but I don't.

I'm not supposed to know his real name, even worse, I'm not supposed to care. He is nothing to me but means to an end. The plan is simple: break free, collect the pieces of my broken soul, kill the bastards and run away.

His name is Nathaniel Thomas Vela, and I've never seen his face, though I hear that it's beautiful.

Behind the rugged and handsome exterior, there's a quiet murderer, a killer who thinks guns are for pussies and ends people with his bare hands.

His name doesn't matter, neither does his face, but what does matter is my heart. And right now, sadly, it's his.

Blood to Dust is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

This was quite a raw and gritty read as we learn about Prescott and the demons in her past that landed her into the situation that she was in. She had quite the horror past, but she was a strong and determined girl that would do anything to get her revenge on those who made her life hell.

Nate made a mistake that landed him behind bars, and in the end, under the protection of an evil man. Doing a job for him is how he managed to be Prescott’s captor, and the connection would grow between them.

It’s the dark parts of this story that sucked me in and I had to know how these two would break away and seek their revenge. They had a strong connection and grew more attached to one another the longer they were on their quest.

Some parts of the story felt a little odd and I was left confused as to why it happened, or how easy things worked for them. One show- down was quite peculiar, and I was left bewildered by the events, considering the soul searching reasons they had to be there.

Although this was not my favourite L.J. Shen read, but it will not stop me from reading her work again. She creates characters that have you wanting more and a world so addictive you cannot help but get lost in.

THese two had quite the unusual relationship, but you can't mistake the connection between them!!

“You’re beautiful,” I say breathlessly.
“You’re safe,” he answers reassuringly. Exactly what I needed to hear.
“Make peace to me, Beat.” I call him by his nickname purposely, my smile sly and cunning.
“Make fucking storm to me, Pea,” he says, doing the same.

Kindle Page 121

L.J. ShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and 
never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Other reviews featuring L.J. Shen
Boston Belles series
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Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas ~ Review & Teaser (@PenDouglas)

I always love a read that will get under your skin, and that is exactly what Birthday Girl did to me. It was a touch forbidden, but that always makes it the best kind of read for me! 
Birthday Girl
Title: Birthday Girl
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: April 15th 2018

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

From New York Times Bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new forbidden love story...

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.
He doesn't use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn't treat me like I'm nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.
He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can't happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he's probably unavailable.
Only Pike Lawson isn't the unavailable one.
I am.

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.
She'd cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.
As the days go by, though, it's becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can't touch her, and I shouldn't want to.
The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she's becoming a part of me.
But we're not free to give into this. She's nineteen, and I'm thirty-eight.
And her boyfriend's father.
Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

I loved this book so much. I know it is a bit taboo, younger girl falling for an older guy, but this was done so beautifully. Jordan didn’t seem happy with Cole, he seemed quite lazy and would forget about her often, so I could see she was lonely.

Pike was running through the motions, and didn’t realise he wanted something more until he met Jordan. She was witty, worked hard and had a focus, unlike his flaky son.

It was beautiful to watch their connection grow and the respect they had for one another. They looked out for one another and they never crossed the line. Even when they had the chance, Pike tried so hard to maintain distance, despite the connection that they had.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read Penelope Douglas, but I loved being in this world. It wasn’t smooth sailing, but I could see these two were destined for one another. The age difference was an issue, but there was no denying the love they had for one another.

This was such a sweet and tender moment between Jordan and Pike! I just needed more!

“I knew you were out there somewhere,” I tell her, quirking a sad smile. “The girlfriends, women I dated, Cole’s mother…. I never wanted to marry anyone, because they weren’t what I was looking for. I had started to think I had my sights set too high, and you didn’t exist.” I clasp the back of her neck and run my thumbs down her throat. “Turns out my dream girl belongs to the one person it would kill me to hurt.”
Tears well in her eyes, and I bring her in, my lips meeting her forehead.
“I don’t mean to scare you,” I go on. “But you kind of scare me, because I want you like I need air, and…”
She nods. “And complications,” she finishes for me.

Kindle Page 295

Penelope DouglasPenelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author living in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter. When she's not writing, you'll find her cleaning or trolling the IMDb message boards, arguing with other Star Wars fanatics. Her books include the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame). Please look for her recent standalones, Corrupt and Misconduct. Available now. 

Other reviews featuring Penelope Douglas
Punk 57
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Sparrow by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)

L.J. Shen has become one of my favourite authors! She always writes stories that suck me in and I'm left thinking about them long after I am done. Sparrow is not for everyone, but I sure did devour it!
Title: Sparrow
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Dark Romance
Published: March 8th 2016

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

Troy Brennan
Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city.
Oh, and my new husband.
Sparrow Raynes
That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.
I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'd ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he'd decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

Sparrow is the kind of read that will either either love or hate, and you better believe that I was hooked! Being forced into a marriage in the opening chapters, unsure as to why Troy picked Sparrow would have every girl baffled. But the more I read, the more I could see that these two were perfect for one another, and I had hope that they would see it too!

Their relationship began quite rocky; there was chemistry between them, but the connection wasn't right. Troy was closed off and at times rude to Sparrow, and he had secrets that he was keeping from her. He wasn't a stand up guy, far from it, but over time he began to see Sparrow and changed his ways.

Sparrow wanted to be the right wife for Troy, but she was going to make him work for it. She was independent, strong willed and sometimes too eager to please. She soon learned that she wasn't just Troy's wife, and that he would do anything to protect what was his.

I love the way L.J. Shen delivers a darker read, they are my favourite books that I read of hers. Sparrow was everything that I would expect from an underworld read... infidelity, manipulation and corruption. There was suspense to keep me hooked and an intense relationship that I could not get enough of!!

I loved when Troy finally got his crap together and realised that he needed Sparrow!

“I’m an asshole, was an asshole, and have every intention of staying an asshole. It’s the makeup of my fucking DNA. But I want to be your asshole. To you, I can be good. Maybe even great. For you, I’ll stop the rain from falling and the thunder from cracking and the wind from fucking blowing. And yes, I sure as hell knew you’d come back. You came straight back into my arms, flew back to your nest, lovebird. Now why would you do that if you didn’t love the shit out of me?”

Kindle Loc 4232

L.J. ShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and 
never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Other reviews featuring L.J. Shen
Midnight Blue
Boston Belles series
read more "Sparrow by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)"

Body of Trust by Jeannine Colette ~ Review & Teaser (@jeannineColett)

I've read a number of books by Jeannine Colette, but it has been a little while since I've read her work. When I came across Body of Trust, I just had to grab it! Unfortunately, when I looked on it at the time I posted this review, it wasn't on Amazon, but I do hope it comes back!!
Body of Trust
Title: Body of Trust
Author: Jeannine Colette
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: October 10th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon US

In the dark, winding hills overlooking the New York Harbor lay the city’s most exclusive club. A mansion that offered a glimpse back to the days when the mob had ruled New York.

I took my seat at the bar and flirted with the man behind it—the one who made me weak in the knees yet kept his personal life a veiled secret.

It started off like any other, except, that night, Jesse Grant and I shared a moment.

And then all hell broke loose.

As gunfire rained down, I fell to the floor in fear, only to be shielded by a man who was risking his own life to save mine.

Jesse led me away from danger that night. While traipsing through the underground tunnels of the city, I learned my family wasn’t who I’d thought they were and no one could be trusted … including Jesse.

He devoured my body and stole my heart. Then, he left in the shadows of the night, leaving me to wonder if he was really who he had said he was.

Discovering dark secrets, intense attraction, and a plot where everyone’s life was on the line … my once-boring life morphed into that of a crime drama.

And there was only one man I was willing to give my trust to. I just prayed that he was worth the risk.

I've read a number of books by Jeannine Colette, and I was really excited that she had decided to write a romantic suspense. After I read the description, you know that I grabbed this book and jumped right into it!

Right from the opening chapters I was pulled into the action packed world that Amelia was unaware of. Jesse was doing everything that he could to protect her and it wasn't long that the adrenalin and the chemistry was pulling them together.

I liked how fierce Jesse was and that he would do anything for Amelia to make sure that she was delivered back to her family in one piece. However, he was keeping secrets that threatened to keep them apart. I couldn't quite understand why Amelia was so sheltered and unaware of her family's involvement in the underworld. She seemed to look past all the whispers and secret meetings and functioned in her perfect world until it all fell apart. I did like seeing her grow throughout the read and adapt to everything that she learned.

Body of Trust had quite a lot of suspense and exciting elements entwined throughout the read. I enjoyed seeing the characters work together and do what they could to figure out who the culprits were. I liked the way Colette built the story up, and the ending left me quite happy. I really do hope to see more of these reads by Colette in the future!

This was a sweet and tender moment between Jesse and Amelia.

“Jesse,” I breathe as his hand rises to my cheek and caresses it. I fall into his palm and bask in the feel of his soft touch.
“Tell me to stop, Amelia. There are a thousand reasons why this is wrong, but I can’t help myself.”
“Don’t stop,” I say urgently. “You have to know that I feel it too. Whatever this thing is, I want it.”
I run my fingers over his abdomen, and his stomach tightens at the touch.
“You’re just saying that because of tonight. Tomorrow, when the rush is over, you’ll come to your senses.”
“No. I’ve wanted you for so long. I need you, Jesse. Badly. Desperately,” I plead.

Kindle Page 37

Jeannine ColetteJeannine Colette is the author of the Abandon Collection - a series of stand-alone novels featuring dynamic heroines who have to abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way. Each book features a new couple, exciting new city and a rose of a different color.

A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She left the television industry to focus on her children and pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the three tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.

Jeannine and her family are active supporters of The March of Dimes and Strivright The Auditory-Oral School of New York.

Other reviews featuring Jeannine Colette
Abandon Collection 
Pure Abandon #1
Reckless Abandon #2
Wild Abandon #3 
Sinful Abandon #4 

Other reviews featuring Lauren Runow & Jeannine Colette
Sexton Brothers series
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Resist by K. Bromberg ~ Review & Teaser (@KBrombergDriven)

I hate to admit it, but Resist by K. Bromberg was not the read for me, I was left disappointed in the characters and how the story unfolded...
Resist (Wicked Ways, #1)
Title: Resist
Author: K. Bromberg
Series: Wicked Ways #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 30th 2019

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Driven series comes a powerful romance about reaching great heights through low depths.

Who says you have to play by the rules to get what you want?

Agreeing to meet Ryker Lockhart is my first mistake. Rich, handsome, and more than intriguing, he thinks blackmail will bend me to his will.

But he’s wrong.

I may have done a few things that weren’t exactly legal, but I have my own reasons for that. The last thing I’m going to do is let some high-powered divorce attorney come into my life, have my body, and rule my heart. Not to mention ruin everything that I have carefully built in just a short amount of time.

But as much as I try to resist him, and against my better judgment, there is something about him that has me agreeing to his proposal.

I’m putting everything on the line for him. I just hope I won’t lose everything when this is all over.

Once again, I didn’t do enough research and picked up the first book in a duet, and spent most of my time being disappointed with it!

I spent a lot of time being frustrated with Vaughan. She started quite strong, holding her own against an angry Senator, but seemed to dumb up a bit, especially around Ryker.

There was a lot of back on forth between Vaughn and Ryker, hot and coldness between them. I just wanted them to get on the same wave length. At one stage, Ryker took Vaughn to the Hamptons for some alone time, only to have a party. I was like WTF?!

This book, unfortunately, was not for me. I didn't really like the characters and the way the book unfolded. I won't be going out of my way to read the next one. I do hope to try another Bromberg read in the future, just to see if it was this particular story that didn't work for me.
A couple of teasers from moments that I did enjoy through the book.

“You do know if someone throws a punch at you for rooting for the Sox, I won’t defend you.”
“I do believe those are the most romantic words I’ve ever heard.”

Kindle Page 190

She’s like goddamn lightning—that’s what she is.
She strikes without warning and is going to singe every damn part of me no matter what kind of shelter I try to hide under.

Kindle Page 210

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in 2018.

With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.

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Fragile Longing by Cora Reilly ~ Review & Teaser (#CoraReilly)

Cora Reilly is not an author I've tried before, but I'm so glad that I did. This was a pretty good introduction to her work, and I am certain I will pick more up from her in the future.
Fragile Longing
Title: Fragile Longing
Author: Cora Reilly
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 28th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

Sofia knows how it feels to be the consolation prize.
Too young.
Not blond.
And definitely not an ice princess.
Her sister is—was all those things. Perfection. Until she wasn’t. Until she ran off to be with the enemy and left her fiancĂ© behind.
Now Sofia is given to Danilo in her sister’s stead, knowing she’ll never be more than second best. Yet, she can’t stop longing for the love of the man she’s been crushing on even when he was still her sister’s.

Danilo is a man who’s used to getting what he wants.
The sought-after ice princess.
Until another man steals his bride-to-be. Danilo knows that for a man in his position losing his woman can lead to a loss of face.
Wounded pride.
Thirst for revenge.
A dangerous combination—one Danilo can’t leave behind, not even when a girl just as precious takes her sister’s place to placate him. Yet, she’s got one flaw: she’s not her sister.
Unable to forget what he’s lost, Danilo might lose what he’s been given.

I have read a few Mafia reads over the years, and this was quite a pleasant read for my first Cora Reilly book. She built a world that was a bit complex, and created characters with their own issues and thrust them together, and some how they fell for one another.

I liked seeing both sides to their developing relationship and how difficult it was for both of them over the years that they knew one another. Sofia always like Danilo, but he had eyes for someone else when they were young. Over time, the circumstances changed and the more time they were around one another the easier it become.

I liked that this read wasn't too heavy on the Mafia side, so it wasn't as dark as some books that I have read. There were a couple of unpleasant moments, but Sofia and Danilo eventually built a connection and their passion for one another was undeniable.

This was a good read, but I felt that I was missing something. After a bit of research, I realised that Sofia's sister had her own book in the Camorra Chronicles. If I had read this book, some of the story might have made a little more sense.

When these two finally got on the same wave-length, they had some series chemistry!! 

“... I can’t think about anything else than the taste of your lips, Sofia. I can’t wait to kiss you again.”
I squeezed his shoulder, pressing a bit closer. “What are you waiting for?” Surprised by my own courage, I laughed.
“If I kissed you the way I want to kiss you right here on the dancefloor that’ll cause the scandal of the year,” Danilo said dryly.

Kindle Page 219

Cora Reilly is the author of the Born in Blood Mafia Series, The Camorra Chronicles and many other books, most of them featuring dangerously sexy bad boys. Before she found her passion in romance books, she was a traditionally published author of young adult literature.

Cora lives in Germany with a cute but crazy Bearded Collie, as well as the cute but crazy man at her side. When she doesn't spend her days dreaming up sexy books, she plans her next travel adventure or cooks too spicy dishes from all over the world.

Despite her law degree, Cora prefers to talk books to laws any day.

Cora Reilly

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