Review ~ Stone Cold by Winter Renshaw

Stone ColdStone Cold by Winter Renshaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stone Cold was a good read, but not one that blew me away. I found it difficult to connect to the characters and their story wasn’t overly exciting. The story alternated between the past and present, so that we could understand the connection between Stone and Jovie.

Stone had lost everything and was lucky to have Jude and his friendship. They were like brothers. However, Stone hid his feelings for Jude's ex Jovie, despite their common interests. I liked seeing the relationship between Stone and Jovie grow and that they realised that there were real feelings between them.

I thought Jude was selfish, and Stone should’ve stood up to him years ago. Jude really was a bit of a jerk, and tried to make everything about himself. The story seemed unfinished, ending pretty abruptly and that a thread wasn’t closed properly. But overall it was a nice relationship and the ending was sweet.
Title: Stone Cold
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 14, 2022

The most humiliating moment of my life begins with an early morning message from my ex’s notoriously heartless best friend.

Jovie—

In no way does this mean my opinion of you has changed.

I’m reaching out because sometime in the middle of last night you tagged yourself in Jude and Stassi’s engagement photo.

I don’t care if you were drunk or it was unintentional. I suggest you remove it immediately since the wedding is in two months (which I’m sure you know since you were clearly FB stalking them). The damage is done, but no reason to make things more awkward.

You’re welcome.

Stone

I waste no time removing my accidental tag before the sharp-tongued novelist in me fires off a response to the man who harbored extreme and inexplicable hatred of me during the three years I dated his best friend in college.

Only I didn’t expect him to respond.

And nothing could have prepared me for what he would say …

… or for all the ways this gorgeous villain with cruel icy blues would become the biggest plot twist my life had ever known.

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Review ~ The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

The Darkest Temptation (Made, #3)The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I read the first two books in the Made series, and I thought it was about time that I dived into Ronan’s book. I'm so excited to say that it was exactly what I hoped! I was sucked into the story and Milas adventure to Russia. Oh my ... The danger, the lust and the twists! It wasn't long before Mila realised her world was not what she thought it was and that she’d been sheltered her whole life.

I liked the change in Ronan through the story and how Mila got under his skin. Mila was defiant at times and it really pushed Ronan’s buttons. Mila was able to build a strong relationship with Albert, one of Ronan's trustworthy men, which was nice to see. I liked seeing Christian and Gianna again too. The ending of Ronan and Mila's story felt a little rushed, but overall I loved it.

Title: The Darkest Temptation
Author: Danielle Lori
Series: Made #3
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Published: December 10, 2020

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia.


Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

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Review ~ Because I Need You by Claire Contreras

Because I Need YouBecause I Need You by Claire Contreras
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've read a few of Claire Contreras' books in the past, so I was keen to get into Because I Need You. It really wasn't a bad read, but didn't hook me like previous books by this author. I enjoyed meeting both Gio and Isabel - they were kind of thrusted together and had chemistry from the beginning. They had a lot in common despite being from different worlds. Both had parental issues and I could see they were willing to make an effort to understand one another. I felt that the suspense element seemed rushed, that there were threads left open and the whole book could do with another round of editing.
Title: Because I Need You
Author: Claire Contreras
Series: Because #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: June 8, 2022

From New York Times best-seller Claire Contreras comes a new, sexy stand-alone mafia romance novel . . .

Isabel Bonetti –

One minute I’m mourning the sudden death of my father, and the next, I’m getting calls from a lawyer saying they needed to read me my father’s will.

As far as I know, my father didn’t have much to leave. He was a blue-collar worker, through and through.

Or so I thought.

Everything topples down at once, the inheritance I’m left with and the truth about what my father did, but the biggest shock of all was finding out he’d married me off to a complete stranger without my consent.

By the time I show up at my supposed husband’s nightclub, I’m determined to leave with divorce papers signed, but nothing can prepare me for the man that awaits me on the other side of those doors.

Giovanni Masseria –

My father has done a lot of messed up stuff, but marrying me off to Charles Bonetti’s daughter, a complete stranger, may take the cake. I didn’t even know old Bonetti had a daughter and I want nothing to do with her or this marriage, until I’m told what staying married to her would mean for the empire I’m slowly trying to build. There’s no harm in staying married a little longer if it means I’ll cash out on those promises. I decide that I’ll cut ties with her as soon as that’s done.

That is, until barges into my office demanding a divorce.

I wasn’t sure what I’d expected her to be like, but it certainly wasn’t . . . this.

A week ago, I didn’t know of her existence, and now, I can’t seem to escape her presence anywhere I go.

She doesn’t belong in this world and I know this won’t end well for either of us, but I can’t seem to stop reminding her who I am.

Her husband.

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Review ~ Empire of Lust by Rina Kent

Empire of Lust (Empire, #4)Empire of Lust by Rina Kent
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Empire of Lust was a really enjoyable read. I loved getting to know both Kingsley and Aspen; understanding the type of characters they were, being able to delve into their pasts and realising how much they both had suffered. These two were destined to be together, despite the hate/love relationship they had. Their connection grew deep, the chemistry was strong and the passion between the sheets was scorching! Kingsley was definitely the domineering type, however Aspen loved it. Aspen was such a kind and patient woman, who had lost so much and was trying he best to make up for the years she had lost.

I was easily swept away with Empire of Lust. I had read another book in this series which I found hard to connect to the characters, but this read hooked me - both the characters and storyline!! I felt that Rina Kent did a fabulous job of building this world and the characters. I definitely want to read more from this series!

Title: Empire of Lust
Author: Rina Kent
Series: Empire #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 5, 2022

My Boss. My hell.

When I slept with a faceless jock as a teen, I didn’t think I would become pregnant.
I also didn’t think I would lose that child.
Several years later, I find out that my daughter is alive and I’m given a second chance.
One problem, though.
The faceless jock isn’t so faceless anymore.
He has a name everyone fears; Kingsley Shaw.
A ruthless bastard. A heartless devil. And most importantly, my daughter’s father.
Oh, and he hates me as much as I hate him.
We’re out to destroy one another with all methods available.
Including a dangerous game of lust that might lead to our downfall.

Empire of Lust is a complete STANDALONE. No book should be read prior to this.

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Review ~ Sidecar Crush by Claire Kingsley and Lucy Score

Sidecar Crush (Bootleg Springs, #2)Sidecar Crush by Claire Kingsley and Lucy Score
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I jumped into Sidecar Crush immediately after finishing Whiskey Chaser. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first book. I actually found Jameson and Leah Mae’s story a bit boring. We were told a lot of details instead of getting to experience them. There was alot of inner dialogue from both characters too. I did like how passionate Jameson was in regards to his art and that Leah was at a crossroads in her life and was unsure what she wanted to do next.

Although this read wasn't as good as the first, I will definitely continue the series. This book still slightly touched on the series story arc, so I am keen to see where it goes from here.
Title: Sidecar Crush
Author: Claire Kingsley and Lucy Score
Series: Bootleg Springs #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 11, 2018

“I tried to think of something—anything—to calm my raging hard-on. One wrong move and Leah Mae would rub up against it and that was liable to kill me dead on the spot.” — Jameson Bodine

Model turned disgraced reality TV starlet, Leah Mae Larkin, crash lands in her hometown of Bootleg Springs to lay low while a scandal threatens her career. She can’t shake the feeling that her agent—and supposed fiancĂ©—manipulated her into the role of made-for-TV homewrecker. Connecting with her roots is just what she needs, and Bootleg Springs is home to her father, moonshine, and her childhood best friend, Jameson Bodine.

Only there’s nothing childlike about Jameson—a man who turns scrap metal into art and isn’t afraid to throw down on a rowdy Friday night with his brothers and hellcat sister. He might not say much, but still waters run deep. Seeing the ring on his crush’s finger? He doesn’t like it, but he can’t wish it away. No more than he can wish away the trouble his family is in, with evidence pointing to his late father in the cold case disappearance of Callie Kendall.

Jameson and Leah Mae are just two friends reliving their summers together, blowing off steam, and having fun for the first time in a long time. But Leah Mae is realizing what’s really important in her life, and it isn’t what she thought.

And sometimes steam turns into sparks—hot as molten steel—and friends aren’t just friends.

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