Review ~ Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Things We Never Got Over (Knockemout, #1)Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things We Never Got Over was a read that I quickly got lost in! It was amusing watching Naomi sweep into this small town from one difficult situation, straight into a bigger and crazier one, with Knox in her face through every moment. The banter between them was entertaining as they were trying to fight off their attraction to one another. I enjoyed getting to know all their family and friends, and I really hope we get to see more of them in the future. The only downside was that suspense element towards the end felt a little rushed, but overall it was a good read!

Title: Things We Never Got Over
Author: Lucy Score
Series: Knockemout #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 13, 2022

Bearded, bad-boy barber Knox prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Unless you count his basset hound, Waylon. Knox doesn’t tolerate drama, even when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride.

Naomi wasn’t just running away from her wedding. She was riding to the rescue of her estranged twin to Knockemout, Virginia, a rough-around-the-edges town where disputes are settled the old-fashioned way…with fists and beer. Usually in that order.

Too bad for Naomi her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Now she’s stuck in town with no car, no job, no plan, and no home with an 11-year-old going on thirty to take care of.

There’s a reason Knox doesn’t do complications or high-maintenance women, especially not the romantic ones. But since Naomi’s life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help her out of her jam. And just as soon as she stops getting into new trouble he can leave her alone and get back to his peaceful, solitary life.

At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.

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Review ~ Beckett Pearce by Nina Levine

Beckett Pearce (Escape With An Alpha #3)Beckett Pearce by Nina Levine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up Beckett Pearce after reading the blurb and was excited to see how this story unfolded. I was drawn into the opening chapters and surprised that Beckett had what seemed to be a little crush on Jenna. Bennett and Jenna had known each other for some time, however she seemed to dislike Bennett due to how forward and abrupt he was towards her. Now that they were both single, Bennett wanted to get to know Jenna better, and did all he could to change her opinion of him.

This was an ok read for me. I felt there was a lot of inner dialogue that wasn't overly exciting. Jennas ex was a real jerk and I could see there was more to his involvement in both Bennett and Jenna lives. It's a shame that this wasn't my kind of book.

Title: Beckett Pearce
Author: Nina Levine
Series: Escape With an Alpha #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 29, 2021

My ex’s best friend just paid a million dollars for a date with me.

I’ve known Beckett Pearce for two years.
I’ve disliked him for just as long.
He’s been voted New York’s most eligible bachelor twice.
And it’s not just his billions they want him for.
He’s an eleven in a ten world, but I can’t imagine anything worse than dating him.
He may have money, power, and good looks, but he’s also arrogant and infuriating.
Yet here I am.
On a million-dollar date with my ex’s best friend.

Beckett Pearce is a standalone frenemies-to-lovers, billionaire romance featuring opposites who most definitely do attract, a hilarious bachelorette auction, crazy family antics, and the kind of steam that might make your e-reader self-combust. All the feels, laughter, and a HEA you’ll be swooning over.

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Review ~ Fallen Empire by K.A. Tucker

Fallen Empire (Empire Nightclub #4)Fallen Empire by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fallen Empire was a good conclusion to the Empire Nightclub series. There was plenty of suspense right from the beginning. I liked the change in Mercy - she didn’t want to be in this world, and she fought hard to get herself out. I could see how much Gabriel loved Mercy and would do anything for her. My favourite character has to be Caleb, and I hope to see more of him! The only disappointment for me was how rushed the end of the book felt, and I didn't get real closure to their story.

Title: Fallen Empire
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Empire Nightclub #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 15, 2021

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker comes the thrilling conclusion to the dark and steamy Empire Nightclub series.

Mercy Wheeler and Gabriel Easton’s sordid tale ends in Fallen Empire as Gabriel must save Mercy and escape his father’s grip once and for all.

Fallen Empire is the fourth book in the Empire Nightclub series and should be read after Sweet Mercy, Gabriel Fallen, and Dirty Empire.

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Review ~ The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the first book in this series, I was excited to get back into this world to see more of Gianna. She was such a strong and fiesty woman in the first book, so I knew I would enjoy getting to know her better. She was good at putting on her brave face and appearing unflustered, but underneath she was a woman who was a little damaged and wanted to be loved.

Christian had eyes for Gianna, but in his line of work she wasn't an option for him. He enjoyed getting under her skin and pushed her buttons. Considering how he preferred everything to be in order, he didn't expect Gianna to effect him like she did. I could see that he loved everything about Gianna and would not change her at all. This was such a good read and I'm looking forward to coming back to this world again.

Title: The Maddest Obsession
Author: Danielle Lori
Series: Made #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Published: April 15, 2019

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.

Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.

All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.

His maddest obsession.

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Review ~ The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori

The Sweetest Oblivion (Made, #1)The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I’ve read by Danielle Lori and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was immediately caught up in this darker world and enjoyed the chemistry between both Nico and Elena. There was always a connection between them, but neither were able to act on it due to plans that were put in place. I enjoyed seeing Elena grow, and she wasn't the quiet wallflower that everyone thought she was. When a twist was thrown in and Nico and Elena were thrust together, I was so excited to see their chemistry combust! Nico knew what he wanted and it was exciting to see him once he got her!

For a mafia read, The Sweetest Oblivion wasn’t as dark and intense as other mafia books that I’ve read. I enjoyed the lighter moments and the bickering between Mamma and Nona. It was interesting to see how these particular mafia families worked, as well. But what I enjoyed most was how perfect Nico and Elena were for one another!

Title: The Sweetest Oblivion
Author: Danielle Lori
Series: Made #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Published: June 20, 2018

She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .

Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.

Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.

They say first impressions are everything . . .

In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.

She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.

And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.

Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?

This is a standalone forbidden romance.

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Review ~ Destructive King by Rachel Van Dyken

Destructive King (Mafia Royals, #3)Destructive King by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was exciting to get back into this world once again and to get to know Ash better. He was hard on himself over what happened in the previous book and took some anger out on Annie. It was interesting to understand why Annie had to leave. She hadn’t had an easy life, and did everything she could to fit into this unusual family.

I didn’t feel that this book was so much of a bully book, it felt like Ash had to make decisions to draw out the bad people, and Annie just happened to cop his anger. She had a big crush on Ash and was willing to take whatever she could from Ash. There were a few twists thrown in that I wasn’t expecting, and I felt that the end of the book was a little rushed. But overall, it was not a bad read.

Title: Destructive King
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Mafia Royals #3
Genre: NA Romance
Published: January 12, 2021

A mafia romance about love and loss by Rachel Van Dyken, the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Eagle Elite series.

…When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
— Mary Elizabeth Fyre

"I'm sorry for your loss." I would rather be tortured for an eternity than hear those damn words from one more person, as if Claire, my dead fiancé, was a cell phone or car keys.
How about, I'm sorry your life is over.
I'm sorry you want to die too.
I'm sorry you see her in your dreams and wake up only to relive the nightmare.
I'm supposed to be the strongest of them all. Ash Abandonato, ruler, assassin, made man, brother, friend—instead, I hurt everyone I touch in hopes that they'll feel even a sliver of the pain that bears down on my shoulders.
I didn't lose.
It was taken from me.
And it's all her fault, Annie Smith.
I daydream about her death.
And then I close my eyes, and I see her soft smile. I feel her touch, her kiss—it was a mistake what we did that night, but I can't take it back, and now she's under my father's protection—my protection.
My worst enemy.
The woman I'm the most attracted to.
I can't decide if I want to strangle her or kiss her, and now that she's stuck in my life, my only goal is to make her feel the same loss I do and destroy her in the process.
I'll trick her with my touch.
Seduce her with my kiss.
And in the end, when my enemy is at her most vulnerable—I'll bring down an entire Empire and continue my reign as King.
Bow down, I'll say as I bring the Five Families to their knees.
Blood in.
Never out.

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Review ~ Bittersweet Always by Ella Fields

Bittersweet Always (Gray Springs University, #2)Bittersweet Always by Ella Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bittersweet Always began as a cheerful read. I enjoyed watching how quickly that Toby and Pippa fell for one another and how well they got along. Pippa was a strong and caring girl, who was drawn to the fun and easygoing, Toby.

However, things weren’t always easy and for Toby especially, and he had to work hard to get back into Pippa’s heart once again. I was glad to see Toby deal with his demons, but sad that he pushed Pippa away so easily.

It was good to see the characters that I met in the first book again and how both storyline’s ran parallel with one another. I thought that the way the author dealt with the mental health issue throughout this read was well written and how it can affect the people they are those close to. This story was pieced together perfectly and I cannot wait to come back to this world again!

Title: Bittersweet Always
Author: Ella Fields
Series: Gray Springs University #2
Genre: New Adult Romance
Published: May 2, 2018

From bestselling author Ella Fields comes an all new standalone. An emotional new adult romance that proves love is worth fighting your demons for.

Toby Hawthorne was an enigma.
One I didn’t factor into my college plans.

I wasn’t looking for love.
I wasn’t not looking for it either.
And in that state of in-between, he found me.

Unaware of the battle he fought everyday, I fell fast.
By the time I found out, it was too late.
Because I wanted everything.
Every broken, lost part of him.

I knew I couldn’t fix him.
I could only love him.
But I should’ve known better than to think that was enough.

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Review ~ Twisted Circles by Claire Contreras

Twisted Circles (Secret Society, #2)Twisted Circles by Claire Contreras
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading Half Truths, the first book in the Secret Society series, I knew I had to continue with Twisted Circles. This read jumps into a different Secret Society to the one we were shown in first book. Here we meet Eva, a girl who lost her memory and has to figure out what happened to Stella - a sister she doesn't remember. We head into the manor where we meet Adam, the head of the Swords and into the most tight-lipped of the Secret Societies at Ellis University.

I enjoyed seeing another side to the society's and getting to know some secondary characters from the first read a little better. The story was intense at times and I enjoyed watching the mstery unfold. The realtionship between Eva and Adam was sweet and I liked how respectful Adam was. I really hope we do get more from this world!

Title: Twisted Circles
Author: Claire Contreras
Series: Secret Society #2
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Published: July 13, 2020

When someone tells you who you are, do you believe them?

The first question the cops asked me was if anything out of the ordinary happened to me lately.

When I woke up this morning in the room of a mental institution I couldn’t remember a thing – not my name nor how I got there. Not how I left or how I ended up in that interrogation room.

The only thing I knew came from the contents inside my bag. A wallet, a student ID, a key that opened an unknown door, and two notebooks.

They tell me my name. It matches my IDs.

They tell me my story. I shut my eyes and try to piece it together, but can’t.

They tell me why they picked me up in the first place. They thought I was my sister. My brain stays stuck there. I try to rewind and fast-forward, as if my memories were on a videotape, but it’s no use. I can’t recall having a sister.

They put me back in the car and drop me off in front of a mansion they call The Manor and I discover what the mysterious key in my backpack opens the front door, and just as quickly wish I’d never unlocked it at all.

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Review ~ Half Truths by Claire Contreras

Half Truths (Secret Society, #1)Half Truths by Claire Contreras
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Claire Contreras is an author that I picked up a long time ago, and I felt like I needed to jump into one of her wrlds once again. I must admit, I really enjoyed everything about Half Truths - the mystery, the intensity and the romance! Every aspect had me glued to the pages and constantly eager for more.

I enjoyed Logan and Amelia’s story and how invested Logan was right from the beginning. The Secret Society thread was interesting, and I would like to see more. Some parts had me a little confused, or needed more depth, but overall, I really enjoyed it.

Title: Half Truths
Author: Claire Contreras
Series: Secret Society #1
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Published: October 21, 2019

You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.
They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.

I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.
I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgment or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.
It’s a game I’m willing to play.

I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

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Review ~ Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington

Darling VenomDarling Venom by Parker S. Huntington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darling Venom was a fantastic read and the storyline was pieced together beautifully! It tugged on all my emotions and bought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions. I enjoyed seeing moments from the past so that we could understand the story fully. Watching Charlie grow into a more confident was sweet. Tate needed to deal with his hate and it took time for him to face the issues from his past.

I liked the way that all characters needed one another to heal, although it wasn’t as easy as it could’ve been as they found it hard to face their demons. However over time it got easier and things between Tate and Charlie became easier. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and could not get enough!

Title: Darling Venom
Author: Parker S. Huntington
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: December 11, 2021

My first love ended in tragedy.
My second began with his brother.

From Wall Street Journal bestseller Parker S. Huntington comes a broken love story laced with angst and forbidden romance.

I wasn’t supposed to be on that roof on Valentine’s Day.

Neither was Kellan Marchetti, the school’s designated freak.

We met on the verge of ending our lives.

Somehow, the tattered strings of our tragedies tangled and tightened into an unlikely bond.

We decided not to take the plunge and agreed to check on each other every Valentine’s Day until school ended.

Same time.

One roof.

Two restless souls.

We kept our promise for three years.

On the fourth, Kellan made a decision, and I was left to deal with the consequences.

Just when I thought our story ended, another one began.

They say all love stories look the same and taste different.

Mine was venomous, disgraceful, and written in scarlet scars.

My name is Charlotte Richards, but you can call me Venom.

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Review ~ Mr. Garcia by T.L. Swan

Mr. Garcia (Mr. Series, #3)Mr. Garcia by T.L. Swan

What can I say about Mr. Garcia ... I tried … I really did, but after 44% of the book, a twist and another fight, I just couldn't read it anymore.

April and Sebastian are 31 and 43, and act like teenagers. I didn't really like either character and the drama annoyed the hell out of me too. So, unfortunately, I didn't even waste my time on finishing this book.

Title: Mr. Garcia
Author: T.L. Swan
Series: Mr. Series #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 29, 2021

He was gorgeous, older and guarded.
I knew he was trouble from the moment we locked eyes.

We met at work, on my first day as a barista.
He smiled, I melted …. then he tasted my coffee and threw it away.

Again, the next day, and the next.
He hated the coffee, yet still came back.
I knew his game.

He called my coffee death in a cup.
I called him god’s gift to women.
I wasn’t lying.

Then we ran into each other outside of the coffee house, and that’s when things got interesting.

No longer suave and sweet with impeccable manners.
Mr Garcia had a darker side, his appetite, thick and heavy.
He set me on fire.

Unable to help it, we fell hopelessly in love.
The highest of highs.

But his demons are dark, as are mine.

I’m not sure if we can make it and I know that I have two choices.
Walk away now to save myself.
Or try and hold on and let love be the light.

I choose option two.

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