Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by J.M. Darhower

Series:
Narrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Title: Menace by J.M. Darhower
Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 51 mins)
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: • Tantor Audio
 

three-stars

J.M. Darhower is my one of my favorite writers when it comes to Mob stories so I was so stoked when this audiobook was released. I may have had Sempre in the back of my mind, or something similar in plot. This was far from it and this one didn’t grip me like that story. J.M Darhower is a great storyteller so I knew if I hung in there, I would be rewarded.
The story starts with dancer/hooker Scarlet (Morgan Myer) selling herself for protection and information from powerful underworld bosses. I couldn’t figure out the significance of the information other than she was hiding from another boss. But it was clear most of her actions were motivated out of an extreme amount of fear.
The hero Lorenzo Gambino vacillated between being a sociopath to a moody/angry mobster. You can’t be unfeeling if you are in a constant state of rage. Just sayin’. Anyway, I am unclear of Scarlet really sought him out as a protector or just picked the pocket of the wrong dude. But that moment seemed to bind them and despite several attempts to pull away from each other, they always drawn back to the other. The sex scenes were definitely the best part of this book because they were steamy, fascinating and provocative.
I couldn’t decide if Lorenzo’s curiosity was based on the great sex or the Russian monster that scared Scarlet more than him. It was like a pissing contest because Lorenzo wanted to meet the Russian who thought he was thought his game was gangsta than Lorenzo’s.
Honestly, the author took her time in getting to the heart of the plot. I prefer faster paced stories or at least great character development to compensate for slower paced yet suspenseful accounts. I didn’t feel that the characters were fleshed out that well but the author did enough to get me to like them.
I was hoping the book would get better and the last two chapters were probably the best in the book and made everything make more sense. It made Scarlet make more sense to me and then I felt empathy for her plight. Lorenzo remains an enigma for me so the jury is out on his character. The writing and the narrators kept my attention and I really need book 2 to be released as this one ended on a cliff hanger.

Ezi

Standalone Sunday: Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list
My Standalone Pick this week is: Sparrow by L.J. Shen. 

BLURB:
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.

ADD TO GOODREADS 

I’m currently listening to this audiobook narrated by Michael Pauley. I chose this book after discussions with Geybie at Geybies Book Blog and TJ at TJ Loves Books Blog . We both enjoy Mafia romances and people have been recommending this book to us. Have you read or listened to this book? Did you enjoy it?

Enjoy wonderful Mother’s Day with your loved ones 💕!

The Russian Obsession (Foreign Affairs #3) by Nikki Navarre

Series:

 

To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. 

The battle of hearts between them.  

 THE RUSSIAN OBSESSION

Foreign Affairs #3

Nikki Navarre

Releasing Feb 21, 2017

 

Christabel Orlova remembers nothing before the night she woke in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her shadowy past. Armed only with keen wits, survival instincts and mad skills in the research lab, Christa has three goals. Stay alive. Stay one step ahead of her hunters. And find a cure for the Ebola bioweapon whose secret is locked in her brainbox—before it wipes out the human race. Gypsy, loner and wild child, her first rule of survival is never to trust.

Ex-Russian fighter pilot Max Vasylko is a gun-for-hire smuggler who’ll fly contraband cargo anywhere in the world, no questions asked. But he can’t fly far enough to forget the wife and daughter who died in an Ebola outbreak. When a bioweapon from a rogue U.S. program is to blame, Max’s mission turns personal. Find the scientist responsible for designing the super virus—and make her pay. The last villain he expects is Christa: a smart, sexy, scrappy survivor in hiking boots who’s lost her own brother to the virus.

Now Max is flying high above the African jungle with enemy agents in his six and a sweet redhead he’ll risk his backside to protect. Christa’s tempted to trust this hot-as-hell jet jockey with his wildcat courage and Mafia past. But the vaccine isn’t the only secret locked in her head. To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. The battle of hearts between them.

Top Five Facts about Author Nikki Navarre

Subject under Surveillance:

                                           

Nikki Navarre          Alias: Laura Navarre

Globetrotting author of sexy spy romance with a dangerous past.

Warning:  State secrets have never been this sexy.

Character Briefing:

  • In her other life, Nikki Navarre is a diplomat who works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.
  • Nikki lived in Moscow, Russia for five years and is a fluent Russian speaker.
  • Nikki’s real-life bodyguard was the inspiration for Nikolai “The Maestro” Markov, ex-KGB hit man turned protector in The Russian Temptation, Book Two in Nikki’s Foreign Affairs series.
  • Nikki’s innocent twin, Laura Navarre, writes historical and paranormal romance set in the Tudor period for Harlequin/Carina. Laura’s Tudor fallen angel romance Magick by Moonrise won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association romance award. Still, she’s secretly jealous of Nikki’s success!
  • Nikki’s Foreign Affairs series is under consideration for episodic television in Holllywood.

Audio Tour: Deathless & Divided (Chicago War #1) by Bethany-Kris

Series:
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndieSage PR

Deathless & Divided

by Bethany-Kris
Chicago War #1
Narrator: Roberto Scarlato
Publication Date: December 2016 (Audio Edition)
Genres: Audiobook, Mafia Romance, Organized Crime

BUY:

Amazon Audible: http://amzn.to/2jUBxum

Synopsis: Lies and love. This is how a war starts.A life for a life. That’s the mafia way. Damian Rossi owes his life to a man who is ready to collect. That payment comes in the form of an arranged marriage to the daughter of another leading family in the Chicago Outfit. He’s ready to follow through, even if that means making sure Lily knows she’s his.

Lily DeLuca isn’t being given a choice. Forced home to marry a man she doesn’t know and back into a life she’d rather forget, her world is full of half-truths, buried pain, and uncertainty. But Damian is nothing like she expects. His motives aren’t clear. Her beliefs are being tested.

When it comes to this world, no man can be trusted. Someone is ready to flip the Chicago Outfit on its side all for the promise of something better. But no one runs a clean game and these men play for keeps. When blood begins to paint Chicago red, four families will be divided by loyalty, hatred, and revenge. There is no hiding. There is no safety.

No one is deathless.

No one.

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REVIEW:

This was one of the lowest angst Mafia romance stories I’ve listened to in a while. The plot was just as front and center as the romance. Bethany-Kris did a really good at intertwining the character’s plight with the Outfit (the mafia) with the love story. The narrator Robert Scarlato did a great job with the various voices. His accent and intonation was authentic and entertaining. I felt eased into the story by the way he chronicled the character’s journey.

Lily DeLuca had been kept out of the mafia spotlight by her brothers Dino and Theo. Unfortunately, Lily was born into the family and eventually had to take her place as a mafia princess. Lily was so resentful when she discovered that her brother Dino has arranged for her to marry The Outfit’s enforcer Damian Rossi.

Damien was an orphan like Lily, but his allegiance was to the outfit. This marriage was just another task he was willing to accomplish for the outfit…or was it?
I liked Damian the most in the story. He worked and kept his head down. He wasn’t overly ambitious and he was loyal. Though he was a deadly assassin, he had a soft spot that was hidden to almost all. He was sexy, faithful and steadfast.

I love that the author allowed Damian to win Lily’s heart. He didn’t just go all alpha male and insist Lily will marry him to fulfill the contract. Bethany-Kris added a layer of cultivation to Damian by making him appear more compassionate about Lily’s reservations. They were a well-suited couple and I enjoyed how they were able to bond to each other outside of mafia politics and hidden agendas.

The mafia side of the plot was also very intriguing. This book had the usual crime, murder, takeovers and betrayals we have come to expect in such novels. I found myself trying to figure out the puppet master and their game. I am hoping audiobook 2 will be available soon.

AUDIO EXCERPT

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook GoodreadsPinterestMailing ListAmazon Author Page

ABOUT ROBERTO SCARLATO (NARRATOR)

Scarlato grew up in a small suburb of Chicago. He has a deep, rich voice that is easily manipulated for multiple characters. He is married to his high school sweetheart. They have a three year old daughter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Audible | Amazon Profile

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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About Bethany-Kris

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

Saint Boston Underworld, Book 4 by A. Zavarelli

Saint Boston Underworld, Book 4 by A. ZavarelliSeries:
Narrator: Tracy Marks
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Title: Saint by A, Zavarelli
Series: Boston Underworld
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 19 mins)
Published By: A. Zavarelli
Purchase Links: AudibleAmazon USBarnes & Noble

Scarlett:

When going to war, there are three very simple rules one must abide by:
1. Know thy enemy
2. Be prepared to sacrifice.
3. Always wear good shoes

After all, revenge is a dish best served in stilettos. I’ve got an eye for it, and nothing’s going to stand in my way. Not even Rory ‘The Saint’ Brodrick. He’s a fool if he thinks he can change me. By the time I’m through with him, I’ll make his mafia look like child’s play.

Cross me, Mr. Brodrick? You better cross your heart and hope to die.

Rory:
I’m a fighter. A hustler. A mobster. I’ve seen a few things in my day. But I’ve never encountered anything like her.
She’s a beauty with a beast of a heart. The poison apple I just can’t resist. And in her trail she leaves a wake of men crawling on their knees. What she doesn’t know is that I like my women wild. It only makes it that much more fun to tame them.

**This is a DARK mafia romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating.**
three-stars
I don’t think I’ve heard this narrator before this series, but Tracy Marks hit this ball out of the park. Her Boston accent was authentic and her voice was engrossing and added to my enjoyment of this audiobook. However, for the first time in this series, I felt no chemistry between the couple. This fourth installment just wasn’t as emotive as the prior stories. I struggled to feel the passion between this couple.

We were given a sample of Scarlett and Rory “Saint” Brodrick in book 1, Crow. Scarlett had been introduced as one of Mac’s friends who sold herself at night to survive. In the last book, Ghost, it was revealed to Mack that Scarlett wasn’t a prostitute, but was hustling the johns. She was tricking them and stealing from them. It was plain to see why Rory was attracted to Scarlett. After all, she’s pretty, elusive and blasé about his interest in her. Her continual dismissal of his romantic overtures only fascinates him more.

Honestly, I just never connected with Scarlett. While I empathized with her for the pain and betrayal she experienced, Scarlet felt was more of mouse than the cat. She wasn’t as in control of the revenge plot as she thought she was. I didn’t find her as hard and lacking any feelings like she continually claimed. After all, anger led her to hunt men nightly. In addition, Scarlett’s past wasn’t illuminated well enough, her mother’s actions, the community she grew up. I still had a lot of questions that couldn’t be brushed aside with the ole “they just wanted to be in high society” theme. The author could have developed this area just a little more. Finally, there was a brief brush on Scarlett’s OCD. I expected this disorder to affect her life more and that didn’t seem to be woven in the story.

What I did love about this story was the hero. I enjoyed Rory because he was a really good guy. His actions were never overbearing and he was quite patient and forgiving with Scarlett. While this story fell short of my expectations, I highly recommend this series to all lovers of these sub-genre of romances.

Ezi

About A. Zavarelli

A. Zavarelli is a book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell.

Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She is slightly obsessed with Theo James and funny animal memes. If you don’t mind these things, you should add her on facebook. Even better, make sure you don’t miss a new release by signing up for the newsletter below.

Blog Tour & Review: Waste of Worth (DeLuca Duet, Part One) by Bethany-Kris

Series:
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: IndieSage PR

Waste of Worth: The DeLuca Duet, Part One

by Bethany-Kris
DeLuca Duet #1
Publication Date: January 9, 2017
Genres: Adult, Mafia, Romance, Organized Crime

BUY:

Synopsis: DeLuca Duet, Part One

Ask anyone and they will all say the same thing about just who Dino DeLuca is. A criminal, the son of a traitor, and a mafia Capo who can’t be trusted. His past has shaped his life, creating demons he can’t escape from that live in his mind day and night.

He is all too aware of just how people see him.

Closed off.
Cold.
Different.

He doesn’t care—keeping people out means no one can get close enough to hurt him again, and he already has one too many monsters with their claws stuck in his back that he’s still fighting off. His walls are so high, no one is climbing over them. Or so he thinks …

Karen came into his life like a spring shower, her light shining through the darkness and making him see something other than the hell that surrounded him for so long. She doesn’t know who he is or what he has done to become the man he is today. If he can help it, she’ll never know, and his monsters will never hurt her.

She sees his differences as beauty.
She never asks for more.
She is perfect.

The problem with happiness for Dino DeLuca is that his monsters don’t mind taking away what makes him happy. After all, what isn’t given cannot be kept.

These lessons will be the hardest he has ever learned.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The DeLuca Duet is a two book tale following the same couple through their journey. It is a standalone Duet that can be read independently with a HEA ending.

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four-stars
MY REVIEW:

This was an emotional read and somewhat cathartic for me. Dino DeLuca was the older brother from the Chicago War series and this new series is his story. I recommend that readers start with the Chicago War series to truly understand and appreciate the sacrifices that Dino made for his brother Theo and his sister Lily. I think that knowing his past is essential to truly feeling Dino’s pain and it added so much depth and complexity for the character. Lots of feels in this book.

Dino’s family history with the Outfit is complicated and unpretty. But Dino figured out how to save his siblings from their power-hungry Uncle Ben and he made the unholy deals to do so.  Now, Dino walled off his emotions and wasn’t prepared when photographer Karen Martin barged into his life

Karen moved to New York to pursue a career in photography and had no involvement with organized crime. So while Dino wants to protect her from his family’s business and himself, Dino is inexplicably drawn to her.

What I enjoyed about this book is what the reader got a chance to see Dino and his maneuverings from Dino’s perspective. In the Chicago War series, I knew he loved his siblings, but the depth of his affections and loyalty wasn’t truly understood and appreciated until this book. Dino was a man in an untenable situation and Karen was his saving grace.

Karen was compassionate, understanding and patient with the broody Dino. She brought light to his dark world and their chemistry was intense. I enjoy those push-pull relationships where the character tries to push away the object of his affections, only to return to them. Dino’s internal struggle was heartbreaking, which is another reason her persistence made me like Karen that much more

Thank you Bethany-Kris for beginning to heal Dino because he has suffered enough. I hope the next book is more good things coming into his life and adding remaining pieces to Dino’s life in the sequel.

#PREORDER YOUR COPY OF WORTH OF WASTE, DELUCA DUET: PART TWO, AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 6th!

Worth of Waste: The DeLuca Duet, Part Two

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Synopsis: DeLuca Duet, Part Two

The Chicago Mob is the same as it has always been—violent, greedy, and excessive. The Outfit families have turned their backs when they were needed the most one too many times, but Dino DeLuca didn’t expect anything different.

His whole life has been lived for the Outfit—for his family.

He has a whole new set of reasons to live and fight now.

Karen Martin makes Dino change all the rules.

He’s finally ready to show everyone just how much waste is truly worth in the mafia, and just how far one will go for freedom from it all.

He’s learned these lessons well.

Too well.

Author’s Note: The DeLuca Duet is a standalone duet with a HEA ending that can be read independently.

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ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook GoodreadsPinterestMailing ListAmazon Author Page

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Bethany-Kris

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

Audiobook Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Narrator: Jorjeana Marie
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things Book Cover All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Bryn Greenwood
Fiction, Adult, Dark Romance
Thomas Dunne Books
August 9th, 2016
audibook; e-book
353

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

This book was a vivid, powerful and poignant chronicle of children living within a drug dealing and abusing environment. I wasn’t prepared for how listening to this audiobook would affected me emotionally. The absolute strength of will the characters had to survive was incredible. To reduce this book to just sheer age difference is a complete disservice to the story, the author’s writing and characters. Bryn Greenwood weaved this plot showcased several points of view so the reader can get a glimpse into the character’s lives but in the character’s voice.

Normally, it is disturbing to entertain the idea of a romantic relationship between a 13yr old girl and a 25-year-old man. A fair amount of rationalizing occurred in my head such as “with Wavy’s upbringing, she is more like 16 and Kellan is more like 18” or “He’s the only one who really sees and accepts her just as she is”. From age 8, Kellen had been Wavy’s protector of sorts. It doesn’t surprise me that when Wavy turned thirteen, her relationship with Kellen began to changing to a more affectionate one.

I am not sure her mom or aunt explained to her about puberty, hormones, feelings, etc. It wasn’t hard because I was so focus on the fragmented people who were scrambling to find an anchor in their turbulent lives. I wouldn’t characterize this novel as a romantic novel, but it was a love story. A gripping account of abiding love. It also showed extended family or friends playing a supporting role wanting to help and protect. I understood Brenda’s actions. She wanted to do the right thing but somewhere she lost sight of what her goals had been. I wanted to know more about Sean. That’s the only thing I didn’t quite get answers to. The rest of the story was done exquisitely.

This wasn’t the kind of love story I normally read but I am glad that I gave it a chance. It was one of the best written stories I have listened to this year. It’s a fiction tale that will stay will the reader for quite a while. If you want a story where you will be drawn in and actually feel it, then run and grab this book.

description

Souls Unfractured (Hades Hangmen #3) by Tillie Cole

Souls Unfractured (Hades Hangmen #3) by Tillie ColeSeries: Hades Hangmen #3
on August 9th 2015
Pages: 463
AmazonNarrator: Douglas Berger, J. F. Harding, Violet Strong
"FOR FRACTURED SOULS ARE LIKE MAGNETS.
DRAWN TO COLLIDE INTO AN IMPOSSIBLE BLISS…"


Labeled a ‘Cursed’ woman of Eve from birth, Maddie has endured nothing but pain and repression at the hands of The Order’s most abusive elder, Moses. Now living with her sister in The Hangmen’s secluded compound, finally, Maddie, is free. Free from the suffocating faith she no longer believes in. Free from endless years of physical and mental torment.

Just… free…

At age twenty-one, the timid and shy Maddie is content to live within the confines of her new home—safe from the outside world, safe from harm and, strangely, protected by the Hangmen’s most volatile member; the heavily pierced and tattooed, Flame.

Flame.

The man who ceaselessly watches over her with his midnight dark and searing eyes. The man who protects her with a breath-taking intensity. And the man who stirs something deep within her numbed heart.

But when circumstances conspire for Flame to need HER help, Maddie bravely risks it all for the broken man who has captivated her fragile soul.

The Hangmen’s most infamous member, Flame, is ruled by one thing—anger. Plagued by haunting demons from his past, an all-consuming rage, and isolated by an abhorrent hatred of being touched, Flame's days are filled with suffocating darkness, pierced only by a single ray of light—Maddie. The shy, beautiful woman he cannot purge from his thoughts. The woman he has an overwhelming need to possess…
... the only person who has ever been able to touch him.

Flame’s mission in life is to protect Maddie, to keep her safe. Until a trigger from his troubled past sends him spiraling into madness, trapping him in the deepest recesses of his disturbed mind.

His Hangmen brothers fear that Flame is beyond saving.

His only hope of salvation: Maddie and her healing light.

Dark Contemporary Romance.
Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language, and very mature topics.
Recommended for age 18 years and over.
four-half-stars

Holy Cow! If you want Angst, you have come to the right author. Tillie Cole totally dished anguish, torment and then that healing love.

Flame is the most tortured character in the Hades Hangmen. Before this book, I had no idea what broke him, but it was enough that he continued those self-destructive tendencies from book 1 to this book.
When Maddie hugged him and thanked him from rescuing the cursed sisters from the Order, a religious cult/commune that practiced the “lord’s sharing”. Maddie touched him and I knew Flame’s healing was coming. This book was hard to listen to because of the sheer amount of emotional, mental and physical pain. I kept thinking what is the deal with the number 11?
 photo number-11_zpsvd2gl2vn.jpg
Both Flame and Maddie suffered an extraordinary amount of abuse and this book elucidated their past and paved the way for them to help each other address the lies they had believed about themselves for so long. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot because it will give away things that have to be understood in the context of this story and series. But if you have read book 1 and 2, then you are familiar with the plot. This third book is just much more intense, raw and violent.
Tillie Cole is a gifted author. I normally can’t stomach these dark romances but the author manages to write such compelling characters that even though I cringe often, I am rooting so hard for the main characters. There are some seriously heavy issues here which are taboo and highly sensitive. But the author managed to keep the story gritty but encourage the anticipation for salvation though love.
I really ached for Flame and Maddie as individuals and as a couple. I was elated that by the end, there was positive change in Flame ability to relate with others. Maddie was able to trust more and Flame began to see himself in a new light. This book really pushed the boundaries of my comfort but it made the ending so satisfying.
I am very interested in how the author is planning on redeeming the prophet Cain. I liked him a little bit in book 1 because I felt he was misguided. But Cain has made very weak moves and continued to serve as a puppet. I trust this author so I will go on to book 4 to see how she will work her magic.

Poison Tongue by Nash Summers

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

poison-tonguePoison Tongue by Nash Summers
Series: Afflicted Souls, Book One
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.

When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he’s seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.

As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.

In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.

four-stars

Wow. That’s the first thing out of my mouth when I finished reading it. This book was super confusing at first, and then wildly descriptive when I paid attention to it. Gothic Romance isn’t my thing, and I only wanted to read it based off the cover of the book. I love the cover. Then once I started reading it, was super hard to put down. Summers has a way with the words and characters of this story that left me awe in a way. Small cast of characters that were so well written and developed. I’m dying to know what book two can be about. I don’t want Monroe & Levi to have to suffer. And can I say, Ward hands down is my favorite character!!! I loved him.

Whatever darkness Monroe brought with him into the sunflower field, Ward brushed it all away. He was sunshine and glee, an ease in my bones, lightness in my mind. He would always be able to take away my darkness, turn my nightmares into daydreams.

It’s a slow burn featuring supernatural aspects dealing with good vs evil. Light and darkness and the ability to withstand any hardship. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone and of course everyone knows Monroe Poirier. He’s the cursed devil who killed his father. I love that Levi is warned almost instantly to stay away from Monroe, not because he can see his tar stained soul, but because Monroe lives in the Poirier house who is backed against the swamp. The same swamp that calls to Levi nightly. It wants to take Levi and give him all the badness it can. In this story, the swamp is definitely a character. The way Levi describes it; it’s painstakingly beautiful at times. I love all the imagery that the authors, super vivid descriptions, colors, and feelings.

I hoped my soul would forgive me for giving my heart to the devil.

The romance between Levi & Monroe is a slowly building. They are pushing and pulling against wanting each other and staying away. I love the protection that both guys feel toward one another. I like how determined Levi is to protect Monroe, he wants to show Monroe that just because his life has been horrible, up until this point that Levi will do everything in his power to help him. Including hurting himself indeed. I’m shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I don’t want to give much of the plot away but I think people will love it. I’m so looking forward to book two.

“Levi,” he said softly.
I stared up into his eyes.
His smile was beautiful. “Tell me
what it looks like. Tell me you can see my soul.”

About Nash Summers

Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.

Lawless (King, Book 3) by T. M. Frazier

Lawless (King, Book 3) by T. M. FrazierSeries: King #3
on December 6th 2015)
Pages: 276 pages
AmazonB&NNarrator: Molly Glenmore, Rob Shapiro
Thia is prim and proper.
Bear is leather and lawless.
It will never work between them.
It's a lie they almost believe...

*It is necessary to first read King and Tyrant to fully enjoy Lawless.
three-half-stars

Cynthia “Thia” Andrew was a 10 yr old watching her aunt’s convenient store when a biker gang came in to rob the place. When a biker threatened the young girl, Abel aka Bear protected her. He gave her his biker ring as well a promise to help her in the future.

7yrs later, Thia came to collect the boon after she had a terrible incident at her home. Except Bear isn’t with the MC anymore but soon Bear and Thia are reunited. Bear treats her with suspicion but there is a connection they both deny and soon they can’t fight the pull.

I didn’t love this book and I tried to really understand the characters. The characters weren’t fully developed and I didn’t fully grasp the why of the tragedies. This book was more sensationalism than substance and I wanted more depth. The writing was not as engaging as The Dark Light of Day|18278129. That story was more compelling and had more hope and redemption than I got in this book. There wasn’t enough background given for Bear and Chopper’s relationship. I did like Thia a lot because of her sheer grit and determination. I do like them as a couple better than King and Re even though I enjoyed seeing RE and King. They seem to have settled down now with their family so there was less drama.

I would like to know what happens with Chopper’s MC and Bear but this book ended in a cliffhanger. I am hoping that Book 4, Soulless will provide more insight.


*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the copy provided in exchange for an honest review.