Series: Loveless, Texas, #3
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a doctor who plays by the rules and the outlaw who breaks them in order to protect her.
Dr. Presley Baskin has always lived a quiet, calm life. Unfortunately, nothing about her life in Loveless, Texas—especially not the wild, rowdy, and impossibly close-knit Lawton family who’ve claimed her—is quiet or calm. Which is how loner Presley finds herself roped into patching up local bad boy Shot Caldwell against her better judgment. Presley wants nothing to do with the dangerous, brooding leader of the local outlaw motorcycle club. But when someone starts stalking her, Shot is the only person she trusts to help. Plus he owes her one…
Palmer ‘Shot’ Caldwell has always known his life isn’t made for relationships. At least until shy, secretive, Presley reluctantly pulled a bullet out of him. He’s oddly protective of the pretty doctor, so when she comes to him for help, hard-hearted Shot suddenly realizes there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.
Blacklisted picked up right where Unforgiven left off in the Loveless, Texas series. I loved where things picked up with Presley and Shot. They were such an interesting couple. Plus, I was really excited to find out where everything was going since the entire series had been building up to this point.
I hate to say it, but this books had some ups and downs for me. I wanted to love it so badly, but ended up just liking it in the end. I’m normally a fan of Crownover’s writing style, but it didn’t work well for me in Blacklisted. It was too wordy. That might sound weird since books are made up of words and the book itself wasn’t too long. There was just too much description and not enough dialog. I was being told too many things instead of experiencing them. It bogged the book down for me. I thought it might have been my mood, so I put the book aside for a few days. Things were a little better when I picked it back up, but I am attributing that more to being at about 50% where the action finally started to pick up and I started enjoying the book a lot more.
What about the ups? Well, the ups were great. I loved Presley and Shot. They had such different personalities and jobs. It was truly a case of opposites attract for them. I loved their chemistry and the way their relationship built. I would have loved to spend more time with them as a couple with a lesser suspense plot. Which is feels funny to say because I actually enjoyed the suspense plot in this book.
Another thing I enjoyed was the Lawton family and how they supported Presley. They showed up for her not only when she needed it, but in general. It was fun to see where they were in life and how Presley fit in. I also liked Shot’s right hand man, Top. He was interesting. I can only imagine what a book with him as the main character would be like.
In the end I truly ended up liking this book. Like I said before, I started enjoying it more once it hit that 50% mark. The characters’ relationship went placed I loved. The suspense plot came together in a way that fit the series and made for a good ending to it. I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I’m excited to find out what’s next from Jay Crownover.
From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker, writing as Nina West, comes the dark and sexy Dirty Empire series.
Dirty Empire Series: Dirty Empire, #3 Author: Nina West Publication Date: September 15, 2020 Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Mercy Wheeler and Gabriel Easton’s sordid tale continues in Dirty Empire as Mercy finds her loyalties tested and Gabriel’s attempt to break free of his family’s legacy comes with unexpected consequences.
Dirty Empire is the third book in the Dirty Empire series and should be read after Sweet Mercy and Gabriel Fallen.
One word for Dirty Empire: EXPLOSIVE.
Why explosive? If I gave away Gideon’s secrets he would kill me, so this review is going to be a little sparse. Here’s what you need to know:
Things started where they left off. The drama and suspense continued and actually heightened in this third book.
Gideon and Mercy’s relationship went next level and got hotter, if that was possible.
There were some revelations I guessed but still managed to be a little shocked by.
Dirty Empire was supposed to be the end of Gideon and Mercy’s story, but IT’S NOT!!! There was another crazy cliffhanger and there will be a FOURTH book. I can’t decide if I love or hate that.
Dirty Empire was a fabulous addition to this series and I can’t wait for the fourth book!
Always Crew Series: Crew, #3 Author: Tijan Publication Date: August 25, 2020 Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For the longest time, I was Bren Monroe. I lived in Roussou, California. I had no parents, no brother, but I had a crew.
Then things started to change. I never planned for any of it. I didn’t think I’d fall in love. I didn’t think I’d have a relationship with my brother again. I didn’t think that he’d come back.
Now I’m in Cain. My crew is in college. They’re growing, going through their own things. And here I am, figuring out my life.
There’s always hurdles and obstacles to overcome. That was never my hardship. That was my regular. But living? Being content? Being happy? Those were my challenges now.
Everything was going well… Until it wasn’t. Again.
A/N: Always Crew is the conclusion of the Crew Series, and a 106k novel.
Ever get a book that you couldn’t wait to start but also didn’t want to start because you weren’t ready to part with the characters inside? That’s how I felt before starting Always Crew. I’ve been waiting for this book since the end of Crew Princess. I just wasn’t sure how Tijan would be able to wrap up a series this epic in three books. I mean, Fallen Crest High took seven books and I am not complaining about that AT ALL. I was scared three books wasn’t enough to do Bren and the boys justice. I didn’t need to worry. Always Crew was action packed and tidied things up in a way I completely approved of.
Always Crew was a smart conclusion to the Wolf Crew’s journey. Bren had already started to mature and grow through the first two books, but she accepted herself and moved forward in this final installment. Bren was smarter and more even in this book. Her inner, negative thoughts didn’t feel as redundant. I loved how that affected her relationships with Cross, Jordan, Zellman, and even Channing.
Cross, Jordan, and Zellman truly shined in this one. I felt like I got to know them better than I ever had before. I definitely appreciated their characters more than I have. Well, maybe not Cross. I’ve liked that guy from book one. The stuff going through Cross’ mind in relationship to Bren was even more swoony, though.
Moving the story from Roussou to Cain U brought some new characters to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the people who ended up surrounding Bren. Her man Cross and their friends Jordan and Zellman were just as close as always, but the new additions added more excitement. Bren’s budding friendship with Aspen (as in Blaise’s girlfriend from Rich Prick) was fun because not only do I love Aspen, but Aspen’s college friends were entertaining. Then, there was Bren’s new co-workers. Hawk was badass and Bonbon… Well, Bonbon was one of a kind goodness.
The drama was also perfect in this book. The bad guys (because you know there have be some) and their badness made for some interesting twists and turns. I want to say more about it, but I can’t.
So…This would probably be time to end things and say how sad I am that this series is over. I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we’re going to see of the Wolf Crew. Maybe they will pop up in other places and stories like Tijan is known to do with her other characters from time to time? Maybe some of the characters from this book will get their own story? I can surely hope.
About Tijan: Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.
Boss Man Bridegroom
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: January 23, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Will you do me the greatest honor of all time and be my bridegroom?” she asks, hope in her eyes . . .
How did I get here? My assistant, bent on one knee, holding my hand, her expectant face waiting for an answer.
Just . . . how?
How did I go from being insulted by Charlee Cox to hiring her to be my assistant? How is it that she’s chaos in color – making me crazy and my life better at the same time?
I never thought I would be staring down at her bright blue eyes begging me to go along with this ridiculous scheme I suggested.
Yes, I suggested. Like the idiot I am, I thought hey, why not start an HR nightmare and have my assistant ask me to marry her?
Confused? Don’t worry, so am I.
But try to follow along, because this is how I became Boss Man Bridegroom.
Boss Man Bridegroom was absolutely adorable. It had the humor and romance I have come to expect from Meghan Quinn. Rath was uptight, but also super sweet. Charlie was extra in the best way. I loved every minute of them falling in love. If you love fake relationships that turn real or office romances, this book is for you. If you’re unfamiliar with Meghan Quinn’s writing, but love a good romantic comedy, you could start with this book. Or you could do yourself a favor and start with Diary of a Bad Boy and then read The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister before reading this one. Each book is a ton of fun and they feature three male best friends finding love.
Series: Tin Gypsies, #2
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Genevieve Daylee didn’t expect to be standing in front of a judge on her twenty-seventh birthday. But ever since her life became entangled with a former motorcycle gang, she’s learned not to expect anything but trouble.
Her mother, a woman she once admired and adored, is gone, leaving behind a trail of secrets and lies. She’s living in a tiny apartment above a garage owned by her brother, a man who loathes her very existence. And the father she met beside her mother’s grave is as much of a stranger as Isaiah Reynolds, the broken man with soulless eyes standing beside her in front of the judge.
Isaiah is her protector from the murderer at large in Clifton Forge. Though he’s more like a riven knight in dented armor than a prince on a white stallion. She knows next to nothing about him, other than he works as a mechanic. As of tonight, he’ll be sharing her bathroom.
And, according to the judge, Isaiah is now her husband.
I liked Riven Knight even more than Gypsy King. It started out much quicker for me and I immediately bonded with the characters. Genevieve and Isaiah’s story was kind of a slow burn filled with all sorts of sexual tension. I loved how they navigated their new situation. I liked the mystery aspect of things. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was probably one of the biggest twists because I didn’t think it needed to go there…but that’s my personal opinion. Overall, a great addition to this new series.
Series: Tin Gypsy, #1
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Devney Perry LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.
As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.
Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.
Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.
One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.
Devney Perry is one of my favorite new-to-me authors of 2019. I love her writing style and the emotion she infuses in her words and stories. I was really excited to read her newest release, Gypsy King. Here are my quick thoughts on it.
What I didn’t like:
There’s only one thing, really. It took me a few chapters or so to get into the book. It wasn’t love at first word. The only reason I can give you for this was that I didn’t immediately bond with Bryce’s character. Her actions made me mad at first because she didn’t give any thought to how what she was investigating would do to the people it impacted. Luckily, Bryce grew on me.
What I loved:
The writing, of course.
Dash. He should have been someone I didn’t like because of things he had done in the past, but he was a good guy.
The mystery behind the murder and how that all played out.
Dash and Bryce’s relationship. I loved them together.
Bryce once she and Dash became involved and her priorities shifted. I loved how she interacted with his friends, too.
By the end of Gypsy King, I was enjoying the story so much I didn’t want it to end. I’m so excited for the rest of the series.
Better Than This
Series: A Nine Minutes Trilogy Spin-Off, #3
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: July 8, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Mystery
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Sometimes they just scab over.
Haunted by memories of a failed marriage, trauma surgeon Barbie Anderson escapes to her hometown for a fresh start. But the quaint community of Pumpkin Rest has memories and failures of its own that should stay buried.
When Barbie runs into ex-con biker Jake Chambers, he stirs up anger and resentment in her that she doesn’t want to face. He reminds her of the one man she’s never gotten over and dredges up decades-old heartache. With his rugged criminal exterior and gentlemanly demeanor, the silver fox may have the other women in Pumpkin Rest falling at his feet, but not Barbie.
She refuses to let her guard down and have her heart broken again. When a series of revelations come tumbling forth, Barbie is forced to confront her past and trust Pumpkin Rest’s most sought-after bachelor where she’ll soon learn that love wears many faces.
Will secrets from the past destroy their future or will old wounds finally heal, allowing her to love again?
Before I begin my review of Better Than This, I feel the need to point people in the right direction if they are not familiar with Beth Flynn’s writing. Beth Flynn has an insanely good dark romance / psychological thriller trilogy called Nine Minutes. It’s really the place you need to start when reading her books. Every book that comes after the original Nine Minutes has been slowly revealing itself since then. Better Than This doesn’t exactly continue storylines from the original trilogy, but there are some surprise references to people and events from it that build to make this book what it is. I highly recommend starting with Nine Minutes and reading Ms. Flynn’s books in the order they were released. If you’re interested in my review for the first book, you can find it here. Now for my review…
Better Than This had a slightly different feel than Beth Flynn’s other novels. This one didn’t jump around in time as much. There were a few scenes that took us to the past, but the majority of the book was in the present and focused on Barbie and Jake’s romance. Barbie and Jake’s romance differed from others in this series because it was a more mature romance. The characters are in their 50’s. It’s not very often I come across a romance with characters this age that feels fresh and not antiquated. The characters had moments where they felt the things you feel when you grow older, but they also had a youthfulness to their thoughts. Getting older myself, I liked this because you still feel like you’re young at heart even when your body isn’t. Barbie and Jake’s romance was also more of a slow burn than the other novels in this series. Given their age, that was surprising. I liked the reasoning behind it.
Now that I’ve said Better Than This was mostly romance based, I need to backtrack a little on that statement. If you have read Beth Flynn’s books, you know that it’s not all about the romance. I probably shouldn’t have said it was. There’s always a gigantic mystery to unravel. That’s another thing that made this book (and all of her others) so special. I was constantly playing detective. Each little hint had me thinking back to things that had been said or done. Usually it just left me with more questions than answers, but it was so much fun and kept me glued to this book.
When I started reading Better Than This I was very curious to find out how Barbie and Jake tied into the original Nine Minutes Trilogy. They weren’t characters I remembered, but there are so many characters I could have easily forgotten them. I kept waiting for some clue to connect them. In true Beth Flynn fashion, things took a while to come together. That’s what’s so amazing about her writing, though. Every little twist, turn, and revelation gives you some new piece of information to fit together. The result is a fabulous puzzle and a huge pay off. I definitely got one of those with this book. Some of my lingering questions from previous books were answered and it was utterly satisfying. There are still more questions now, but I’m hoping Beth Flynn will keep the spin-offs coming and the next book will answer them.
Anthony Bear and Christy Chapman are from two completely different worlds.Anthony’s the leader of a motorcycle gang that terrorizes Florida’s West Coast. As a child, he ran away from his family and the Cherokee Indian Reservation to enter a life of crime. As an adult, he leads a multifaceted life managing his two businesses—his legitimate landscaping venture, and his loan shark and underworld dealings. Driven by anger and betrayal, Anthony begins the hunt for Christy’s father, Van Chapman, after he runs out on a loan.
Christy’s privileged life is not as it seems. She has kept painful family secrets and hidden some of her own. She’s determined to find out the truth and expose Van, but her search delivers her right into Anthony Bear’s hands, adding kidnapping to his list of crimes.
Their worlds are as contrasting as the color of their skin. The only thing they seem to have in common is their mutual disdain for Van Chapman…and each other.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
The Iron Tiara is a spin-off novel from The Minutes Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone, and does not contain a cliffhanger.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Note: I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.
The Iron Tiara is one of my most highly anticipated book releases of the summer. I’m a HUGE fan of the Nine Minutes trilogy, and I was so happy that Beth Flynn decided to grace her readers with a spin-off. I could read a book about any of the supporting characters from the original series. They had so much life and personality!
Fans of Nine Minutes will want to know how The Iron Tiara compares to it. The Iron Tiara is a more straight forward story than any of the books in the original series. That doesn’t mean that it’s without its own twists and surprises. There are definitely some of those in store. It reminded me of both Nine Minutes and Out of Time. It started out and ended by jumping around in time and perspective like Out of Time did, but the middle was all continuous story like Nine Minutes.
The majority of The Iron Tiara is told from Anthony and Christy’s points of view. There are a few other points of view strategically placed throughout the book that help explain the plot to the reader. The entire book is written in third person narration that can change from chapter to chapter or sometimes back and forth within a chapter. The latter was a little weird at first, but it gave me the feel of knowing what each character was thinking during a conversation or event. I ended up appreciating it.
Anthony and Christy’s story was engrossing. Their lives somewhat paralleled Grizz and Kit’s, and the two couples’ stories intersected at times. I remembered Anthony and Christy from the original series, but this book helped make sense of their roles in Nine Minutes. It also made me fall in love with them. Their story was just as interesting and eye-opening. I never thought I would fall for another character like Grizz, but Beth Flynn had me shamefully falling for Anthony Bear.
Overall, I loved The Iron Tiara. I loved the characters. I loved the twisted story line. I loved being back in the world of Nine Minutes. Like I said before, I would read a book about any of the characters from that series and now this book. I’m invested, so I’m crossing my fingers for more spin-offs and more pieces of the puzzle.
I know this review doesn’t really tell you anything about Anthony and Christy’s relationship, but it’s a book you’re going to have to experience for yourself. I don’t want to ruin the surprises for anyone. 😉
ABOUT BETH FLYNN
Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Beth and her husband, Jim, have spent the last 19 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction company. They have been married 33 years and have two daughters and a temperamental pit bull named Lady , Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a seven-year breast cancer survivor.
Izzie Rinaldi has everything going for her. All she has to do is make it through her senior year of college, and then she’ll be off to law school, one step closer to assuming her position at the head of her family’s empire. After a chance encounter with the campus bad boy, Izzie can’t get him out of her head.
Luca Marchese, the smooth-talking son of the most notorious man in Philadelphia, is used to getting what he wants. He hasn’t forgotten the girl he knew as a child, and now that he has Izzie’s attention, Luca will stop at nothing to have her.
Luca’s defiance of the law turns Izzie on more than she cares to admit. She wants Luca to corrupt her in every way possible, despite his reputation as the king of one-night stands. Their attraction is undeniable, but their desire for one another isn’t enough for Izzie to overlook visits from federal agents and the potential ruin of her family.
Linked to Luca and a criminal underworld, Izzie discovers she’s more like him than she thought. But a future with Luca could mean swapping her diamond bracelets for a pair of handcuffs.
*Corrupt Me is a standalone novel that is the first book in the Philly Corruption series.
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.
Corrupt Me is a novel by one of my fellow bloggers, Jillian from Rant and Rave About Books. I love her blog, so I was very excited to read her novel. I was especially interested because it fell into my favorite romance genre, new adult.
I was very impressed with Jillian’s writing in Corrupt Me. Corrupt Me was a romance filled with deep layers. It wasn’t all about Izzie and Luca getting in bed together. Each had their own issues to deal with. The way their histories and futures overlapped was well done. Not all bloggers would be able to make the switch to writer so easily and well.
Izzie was a fierce character who had complete confidence in herself. She knew she had everything going to for herself, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she wanted. Izzie had a plan for her life and she was doing everything she could to stick to it. Her only “fault” was giving into her attraction to Luca. The connection they shared was too hard to break…if even she had truly wanted to break it.
Luca was a typical fraternity womanizer — until he reconnected with the one woman he couldn’t live with out. He was willing to do anything to get her to let go with him. He wasn’t perfect, but he tried to be the perfect guy for Izzie.
Izzie and Luca’s relationship was a volatile one. There was a lot of “were they going to do this thing or weren’t they” throughout the story. It gave their relationship a slow burn feel, and cemented their bond to each other. There was only one moment in the story I was surprised their bond could survive. I wouldn’t have been as forgiving or lenient as Izzie was, not matter what their relationship status was. I didn’t quite believe her subdued reaction.
My favorite part of Corrupt Me was the game of cat and mouse that Izzie played with Luca before she was ready to give in to her feelings. Her hot and cold attitude was so much fun to read. I loved her feisty attitude when she turned it at the male members of the population. It was so much fun to read.
Corrupt Me was an interesting and fun multi-layered romance. Readers who are looking for a fun romance that delves into the mob life and family obligations are sure to be entertained by Corrupt Me.
About the Author:
Jillian Quinn was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently lives in sunny Cape Coral, Florida where she still pretends it’s okay to drink hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with a good book, even when it’s ninety degrees outside. From an early age, writing and storytelling have been her passion. In her spare time, she loves creating fictional worlds and living inside the minds of her characters as well as reading, art, and watching basketball and hockey.
Jillian is also a successful book blogger, dubbed by her followers as The Queen of Rants after making her blog, Rant and Rave About Books, a popular destination in the bookish community because of her honesty and passion for books.
Corrupt Me is her first novel with other young adult and new adult titles to follow.
Synopsis:BLACKIE My name is Blackie, I’m the vice president of the Satan’s Knights MC and I’m an addict. I’ve been trading one addiction for another for as long as I can remember. I make no apologies for my addictions, nor do I try to hide them. Until my latest addiction threatens to destroy not just me but her. For the first time I want to fight the need and not gravitate towards it. I try to deny it and not succumb to it but I’m a prisoner to her purity. I’m Satan’s soldier, a demon dressed in leather. She’s an angel, innocent and full of light, she’s my lace. Leather. Lace. Me. Her. A temptation so lethal neither of us may survive but, every demon craves an angel. Guide me to the light. Take me from the dark. Give me back my life. Let me share yours. They are the selfish words of an addict and they are my truth.
LACEY PARRISH My name is Lacey Parrish and I have a secret, one I’ve tried to deny for a long time, one I’ve tried to spare the world from. I am a manic-depressive. Just like my dad. Some days I’m high on life. Most days I try to escape it. People think they know me, they think they see me but the truth is no one knows who I really am. No one sees the real me… a broken girl with a mind that betrays her. Except Blackie. He’s my savior, the man who silences my maker. He’s my knight in shining armor, the man who puts my life before his. He’s my leather and I’m his lace. Two broken souls that have the power to heal one another. This is our story, an unapologetic tale full of temptations. A love story called Leather and Lace.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Tempted series had me on the edge again with its newest book, Lethal Temptations. In this book, we get Blackie’s story.
Blackie is not just any member of the Knights MC family. He’s the VP and the President Bulldog’s right hand man. He’s had his problems with drugs, but the loss of his wife has kept him clean for years — all until a business deal gone wrong sends him spiraling back down into a haze of drugs. On his way down, he makes an incredibly bad decision. He sleeps with the one woman who’s off-limits to him: Bulldog’s daughter. One time with Lacey just isn’t enough. She’s like the drugs he can’t quite quit.
Lacey may still be a virgin, but she’s all grown up now. And what she wants more than anything is Blackie. He may be a couple of decades older than her and her dad’s best friends, but he’s the one who makes her world better. He makes her happy. She’s willing to do anything to have him, even if it means hiding her relationship from her father.
Janine Bosco Infante sets up her stories in a very cool way. I always love how she lays out her plot for the reader. Rather than just another biker love story, you get a look into the Knights MC’s inner workings. Equal time is spent on both the romance and what’s going on with the gang. It makes the story so intense and fun to read.
Blackie was a very interesting character. His demons ran deep and he had a very hard time dealing with them. He also had a ton of guilt he held onto over his dead wife, Bulldog and Lacey. The guilt helped feed his addiction. It made me sad to see how much he let drugs take over his life. Without them, he was such a nice guy. He would have done anything to protect Lacey. I loved reading about him and all of his experiences.
Lacey, on the other hand, wasn’t my favorite character. I think it was her self talk. I know it was supposed to help the reader to understand her mental health issues, but it fell a little flat for me. I couldn’t stand how she referred to “her maker”. I do have to applaud Infante Bosco for doing a great job dealing with depression, drugs and mental illness in her story.
Even though Lacey wasn’t my favorite character, I did like her relationship with Blackie. They truly brought out the best in each other. And, dang!, the sex was hot! Their relationship made for a very entertaining plot.
I would recommend Lethal Temptations to readers who like a romance with a lot of intensity and don’t mind violence.
**I received an ARC of Lethal Temptations from IndieSage in exchange for an honest review.
A LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR
Blackie and Lacey’s love is not an easy story. It’s not about fluff and if you’re looking to escape the reality of the world, this book is not for you. Lethal Temptations is true to its title and while there is a love story between the hero and heroine there is an individual story being told about each character.
Blackie is a drug addict.
Lacey is mentally ill.
They each suffer with the demons that haunt them.
Both issues are very much alive in our world and most of us will experience the torment of addiction and, or, mental illness. If not in ourselves than possibly through the people we love.
The smiling person beside you who appears perfect may be suffering in silence, afraid of what society will say or more than that, afraid of admitting their truth.
If you or someone you love suffers from addiction or mental illness, it’s never too late to find your voice and seek help.
My wish for those in need is that they find hope within the pages of Lethal Temptations because, you’re temptations are only lethal if you allow them to be.
Your voice is your weapon against the things that drag you down.
May is mental health awareness month, let’s turn society around and make it our bitch and save the fractured souls that struggle on a daily basis.
Below you will find links on both addiction and mental health.
Thank you for reading,
The Keith Milano Memorial Fund was established to help raise awareness about the devastating and deadly disease that is mental illness. Keith’s spirit and laughter is kept alive through our efforts to increase awareness about mental illness and to raise money for education and imperative research. Keith often struggled with society’s perception of mental illness. Our hope is that by having the strength to say that Keith was “Bipolar” we can strip away the stigma and help others to be more open about their disease.
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Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.
Note: I received an ARC of Ride Hard from Harper Collins through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.
A shy and distrustful woman running from a controlling ex-fiance seeks shelter with an outlaw motorcycle club with a tradition of protecting those who can’t defend themselves, and falls under the watchful eye of the club’s mysterious and intense leader who’s intent on discovering all her secrets
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders . . .
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
It seems like ever since Sons of Anarchy became a big hit, motorcycle club/gang romances have been everywhere. I’ve read my fair share of them. When I started Ride Hard, I wondered what would make it stand out from the rest. The answer was the tone of the story.
Ride Hard puta more positive spin on the motorcycle club theme. While most motorcycle clubs are into smuggling drugs and guns, the Raven Riders were all about helping women and children in need. This gave the story a lighter, more upbeat feel than most of the MC romances I’ve read before. It wasn’t angsty or dark. It was fun and sexy, which is exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up a contemporary romance. Not that there weren’t any intense or violent moments in Ride Hard, there were. They just weren’t the main focus of the story. That was left to the budding romance between Dare and Haven.
Speaking of the romance, it was pretty dang sweet. I love it when a strong, commanding leader falls for a shy, wholesome young woman. It was fun to experience Dare’s resolve slowly weaken when it came to Haven. I also loved how Haven became a strong, independent woman who could ask for what she needed and wanted from Dare. The chemistry between them was super sexy.
Ride Hard was a very enjoyable read. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Contemporary readers who are looking for a lighter MC romance are sure to love this one.