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BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Temptation (Made #3) by Danielle Lori

BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Temptation (Made #3) by Danielle LoriThe Darkest Temptation (Made #3)
by Danielle Lori
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Inked fingers may be holding my wrists captive, but they’d also saved and avenged me.

The Darkest Temptation was hypnotic, sexy and impossible to put down.  If you aren’t familiar with Danielle Lori’s writing, it’s intoxicating and uniquely beautiful at times.  Her words wrap themselves around your heart and soul and the story refuses to let you go.  And for a book that could be so dark at times, I laughed a lot.  But I also cried tears while my heart broke.  So if you’re a fan of romance that is dark, then definitely add this book to your tbr!

He stared at me for what felt like a long time. And then I watched something violent sweep away the lust in his eyes. Stepping back, his shoulders tense, he left me cold while I struggled to catch my breath.

Mila lived a life of luxury, but had a father who wasn’t around a lot.  With his current business trip, her father had been gone for three months.  He even missed her birthday. With a sense of dread, Mila flew to Russia to figure out what was going on. Upon arrival, she was left with even more questions. And before she could figure out what was truly going on, Mila’s life turned horrific in the blink of an eye.

Heart racing against my ribcage, I held his gaze.
“No.”
He watched me for a second, and then he was on me so fast a scream rose up my throat.

I loved Mila!  She was brave and fearless at times.  She stood up for what she believed in and spoke her mind.  So when she crashed into a dark and seductive man, I was captivated too.  Ronan was a mystery.  We were both unsure of what to think of him at first, especially since he seemed to have a wealth of secrets.  And even though there was a coldness to him, that didn’t feel like it would ever thaw.  He pulled Mila deep into his spell.  But the next thing she knew, she was a hostage.  Life was nothing like it was before.

Resentment expanded in my chest. I needed to see a human response from him. I needed to know I had a chance at surviving him.

There were so many clues Mila missed or pushed aside throughout her life.  So when they started to come together, I was as shocked as Mila.  I felt her confusion, anger, grief and sadness.  And when we got to the second part of this story, a lot of those feelings got shoved onto Ronan.  That’s because we got to see ALL of him and he could be dark as fuck.  He used her.  He hurt her.  And how he could flip from being so cold, deathly calm or compassionate in the matter of a second terrified me.  Ronan was a constant contrast and he went from charming to the devil in disguise.

I didn’t want this.
But my body wasn’t convinced as he kissed a path down my neck and ran his mouth between my breasts. He was surprisingly gentle. So gentle, I resented it.
I wanted him to hurt me.
I wanted pain.
Because then, I could feel only hatred.

But, there’s always a but isn’t there.  From the beginning, there was an attraction between Mila and Ronan.  Their banter was fabulous too.  You could feel it radiating from the pages.  It was intoxicating and sexy.  And while Mila was captive, none of that went away.  Now I need to mention that this book touches on dubcon – dubious consent.  There was no rape.  I can’t handle that at all.  But in this book, yes he kissed her when she was tied up.  He touched her too.  But it felt different because they had already hooked up before she became his captive.  When he touched her, mentally she wanted to stab him, but physically her body betrayed her.  And when she was at her limit or emotionally checked out, he’d stop.  Walk away.  So this felt like a huge grey area to me.

“You’re trying to Stockholm syndrome me.”
I thought he wanted to laugh. “I don’t think that’s a verb.”
“Like I need grammar advice from someone who uses ‘fuck’ as a noun, verb, and adverb in a single sentence.”
“Fuck is versatile.”
“Not that versatile.”

Did I hate Ronan during a few of the scenes?  Hell yes!  I wanted to stab him at times.  But Danielle is beyond talented with twisting my emotions around.  I fell in love with Ronan as the story progressed further and further.  Especially since we got quite a few chapters in his voice.  Hearing his thoughts humanized him.  We got to see all of his sides.  I loved those moments the best, but my lips are zipped to what they entail.  You’ll have to discover them yourselves.

Consumed by fire and ice, I arched against him, desperate for contact, for friction, for absolution.
But hell had brought me here.
And hell would get me out.

If you’ve read the other books in this series, you’re going to love seeing Christian and Gianna again!  There are surprises, lips zipped again.  All I can say is that I laughed so hard with Gianna in a scene, that I had tears pouring down my face.  Plus I really liked Yulia, I don’t know what that says about me lol.  You’ll see what I mean *covers face*.  And Khaos was my third favorite character in this book, I heart him so much!

Disaster loomed in the distance, but the heat of his body washed away the coldness inside me. I used to despise his size and strength; now I leaned into it knowing he wouldn’t let me fall. Yet.

The Darkest Temptation was seductively mesmerizing and dark.  It was a mixture or yellows and grays splashed across the pages.  And I got pulled down deep into their twisted world.  It was impossible for my emotions not to consume me.  So if you’re looking for a book that’ll keep you turning the pages, and your heart on the line, then definitely look at putting this one on your tbr!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2) by Danielle Lori

BOOK REVIEW: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2) by Danielle LoriThe Maddest Obsession (Made #2)
by Danielle Lori
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

*Can be read as a standalone, though it is recommended you read The Sweetest Oblivion first to avoid spoilers from Book #1

Review:

The Maddest Obsession captivated my attention and was absolutely addicting!  With violent and intimate moments swirled together, I was completely consumed.  The sexual tension was drawn out to perfection and I loved that it was an opposites attract story.  So when you combine all of that with writing that had an almost hypnotic feel to it, it made this story impossible to put down.  If you’re a fan of hate to love or mafia romance, then you definitely have to pick up this book!

His grip on my wrists tightened, and my eyes grew half-lidded from the pressure.
So, this was what it felt like to be touched by him . . .
Addictive.

I loved how this story was laid out.  We started off getting caught up with Gianna’s past and then moved into the present.  There were moments here and there that meshed with The Sweetest Oblivion and I was fascinated to get a different look at what happened.  And while we were mainly in Gianna’s head, we also spent some chapters with Christian too.  Just our first chapter with Gianna, we watched her intact with Christian at jail. Gianna got locked up for having drugs and Christian was the Fed who got her out.  I was already smiling and laughing at them, but I was intrigued too.  It felt like Gianna was the one who had so much light to her, whereas a darkness radiated out of Christian and it ended up devouring me until that very last page.

He was cool, icy control.
But something burned hot beneath the surface.
Something shrouded by ice for so long.
I wanted to watch it melt. To unravel him until I understood every layer.
I knew it was dangerous.
I even knew I wouldn’t win.
But sometimes, even the best gambler doesn’t know when to quit.

I already knew I liked Gianna from The Sweetest OblivionShe danced to her own rhythm, even though she was raised in the mafia.  From rooting for the underdogs, to the way she dressed – Christian described one of her outfits best as Britney Spears’ and Kurt Cobain’s love child lol, to even the way she interacted with others, I absolutely loved Gianna!  But I loved even more that she had a backbone, was fierce and that she used her voice.  She definitely needed all of that since her life could be so harsh at times.  She was stuck in the mafia.  Drugs at times consumed her.  She was told who to marry.  Yet no matter what was thrown at her, she still had that lightness in her.

Each brush of his lips was a douse of gasoline on fire inside me. A hazy wave inside my mind . A wasteful breath I couldn’t inhale. I turned my head to the side so I could find the air to speak.

Christian Allister on the other hand, felt like the polar opposite to Gianna.  He was a Fed who was  involved in the mafia.  And the more time we spent with Christian, I saw a man who had so many shades of grey that they bled together and lead him again and again to the dark side.  He went by his own rules and he didn’t let others dominate him.  He was cold, calculated and in control.  And when we got a peak into how dark Christian was, my mind was blown.  Yet it was impossible for me not to love him, especially when he was around Gianna and let his guard down for a second.  Christian was seductive, dark, protective and I was obsessed with him.

He fisted my shirt and dragged me closer, pressing the next words to my ear. “I’m going to ruin every part of your body for any other man, malyshka, and you’re going to thank me when I’m done.”
I was making a deal with the devil.
And I couldn’t even find the grace to save myself.

When they were near each other, they exploded off of the pages.  I couldn’t stop the smiles when they would mess with each other.  The games or the way they would toy with one another could be so funny, but at other moments it could be harsh and cruel.  It didn’t matter though, because every single time it was filled with the best sexual tension.  This book was extremely sexual and sigh worthy.  But it was also filled with emotions and I found myself with tears in my eyes a few times.  Like when Christian would open up to Gianna with just one line.  It was so intense that it felt like the breath got knocked out of me.  It was amazing how just one sentence could pack so much emotion.

“I thought you were done with me, Gianna.”
Oh.
I was. I am, I wanted to say, but the press of his lips against the hollow of my ear stole my breath and voice. All I could do was shake my head because I couldn’t bear to let this end, not yet.
“Say it.”
I shook my head again, but my mouth betrayed me. “I’m not.”

So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  The Maddest Obsession was sinfully hot, beautifully layered and packed with emotion.  It was impossible for me not to be obsessed with this book.  And while this can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend starting with The Sweetest Oblivion.  You’ll meet both Gianna and Christian there and it was an amazing story too!  So if you love emotional stories, complex characters and sexual tension then definitely add this one to your tbr!

His hand on me, rough, and covered in the blood of all his enemies— and most likely innocents— shouldn’t affect me the way it did. But I was burning up, and I needed more. So much more.

PS I loved watching Christian and Ace’s relationship.  It’s complicated and convoluted.  And the way they both screwed with each other?!  Ohhhh it was so good!  And on the other end I loved the sweet friendship Gianna had with Elena.  I loved getting to see our favorites from The Sweetest Oblivion!

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1) by Danielle Lori

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1) by Danielle LoriThe Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
by Danielle Lori
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

The Sweetest Oblivion was the most wonderful surprise ever!  It was addicting, seductive and had some of the best sexual tension I’ve ever read.  The characters and story felt so real that the world around me disappeared each time I picked up this story.  I was completely enraptured by this forbidden tale and I can’t recommend it enough!

He took a small step forward.
As if we were the same poles of a magnet, I took one back.
He dropped his hand to his side, the slightest bit of amusement coming to life in his eyes as if I’d just done a trick that entertained him. I suddenly had the distinct feeling I didn’t want to be his entertainment. And an even stronger feeling that I already was.

Elena Abelli could be considered a princess in the mafia.  Her Italian family was deeply embedded and their marriages weren’t for love, they were arranged.  But because of an enormous past mistake, that left blood on her hands, she was passed over to be wed.  Her younger sister was to take her place and marry Nicholas Russo, aka Nico, one of the most notorious men in the mafia.

“For thinking I’m a psychopath, you don’t seem to fear being alone with me.”
“I can scream. Loudly.”
He glanced at me, like my words had an entirely different meaning— like he might like to hear me scream. My breathing became shallow.

From the moment that Elena and Nico met, sparks ignited and exploded.  Sexual tension seeped into every single instance they were near each other.  Even when they were surrounded by others, there was always this charge between them.  It didn’t matter if they were at a family gathering or if it was just a moment in passing, any time they were near one another it felt bigger than life.  But he was engaged to her sister. They shouldn’t feel that way, yet there was no way either of them could deny it.

His palm ran from my hip to my lower stomach. Heat curled inside me with the smallest amount of pressure from his hand. Each finger burned through the fabric while his lips brushed the nape of my neck. My insides were melting, dissolving into nothing but memory as he softly bit down and then licked the skin. I gripped the edge of the countertop, a moan crawling up my throat.

As the days passed, Elena and Nico started to push the limits for what was acceptable.  And things that seemed so simple were made beyond erotic.  I was left hanging onto every single breath, touch and look they had towards one another.  I was completely enraptured to see what would happen between them.  I found myself wanting to push them together, just so they could touch or be near each other again.

I wanted to fuck her and ruin her for anyone else. I wanted to crush her wings and then put them back together again so she’d become dependent on me. I wanted her to need me. That dark, possessive, and dangerous feeling crawled through me every time she crossed my path.
Elena Abelli was my vice, and fuck if I’d let it kill me. – Nico

The characters in this story added to my addiction.  Elena was always such a people pleaser, but from the moment she met Nico she was herself.  She had no problem pushing his buttons, being brutally honest with him and also letting her deepest desires rule her.  Even though Elena had her insecurities, she was a strong woman who I absolutely loved. And as for her interest in Nico?  I so got it. Nico was seductive but dangerous. He had a traumatic past, but he was a smart business man and got further than anyone else his age.  He was respected, feared and lusted after. And I found myself completely engrossed in everything that was Nico and his alpha ways. Especially when I read some of the chapters in his pov!  But those moments when Elena and Nico were together, they made me laugh, smile, swoon and fall deeply in love.  

He cupped me between the legs. “This is also the nicest puss—”
“Nico,” I cut him off, every inch of my skin warming.
He chuckled.
I loved the sound of his laugh, the way the warm timbre ghosted down my spine.
I shivered.

The Sweetest Oblivion was crazy hot and I loved every minute of it!  The world they lived in could be so dark at times, and while there were some twisted moments, I was completely fascinated by it all.  On top of being addicted to their world, Elena and Nico, I loved so many of the side characters. The meddling Grandma, her sister and cousins and even some of Nico’s relatives too.  The people in their lives filled up their world and it was all so colorful and emotional.  I was left hoping to catch many glances of them in the next book that’s supposed to be about a different couple.  I can’t wait to read everything else this author writes and I can’t recommend The Sweetest Oblivion enough!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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