Tag: Romance (Page 1 of 94)

BOOK REVIEW: Tower of Tempest (Stolen Crowns #3) by Tee Harlowe

BOOK REVIEW: Tower of Tempest (Stolen Crowns #3) by Tee HarloweTower of Tempest (Stolen Crowns #3)
by Tee Harlowe
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I might be sheltered, but I’m smart enough to know that I can’t fall for the playboy prince—or his charms.

I’ve spent my life locked in a tower with nothing but books and my gran to keep me company. Until the day she disappears. Despite Gran’s warnings about never leaving, I’ve finally discovered a way out, and I’m going to find her.

At least that’s the plan. Until some idiot decides to rescue me. Instead, he almost gets us both killed. Worse, I discover he’s Lochlan Aster, the famous playboy prince, one of the most eligible bachelors on the continent and a shameless flirt.

I don’t trust him, but his offer to help find my gran is too tempting. I know nothing about this magical—and dangerous—world around me, nothing about myself. As Lochlan and I work together, pieces of my past click together, and I learn more about who put me in that tower—and why. Yet the biggest danger might be the prince’s reason for helping me—a secret that won’t just break the trust I’m finally learning to build, but my heart along with it.

Tower of Tempest is book three in Stolen Crowns, a series of steamy standalone but interconnected fairytale retellings. This Rapunzel meets Anastasia retelling is perfect for fans of banter, (very) snarky heroines, and slow-burn romance.

Review:

Tower of Tempest was an adult romance retelling of Rapunzel mixed with Anastasia!  If you adore adventure, found family, Disney meets romantasy, and some steam, then definitely add this one to your tbr!  And while this can be read as a standalone, I can’t recommend reading the previous books in this series enough!

You couldn’t help but want to be around him just to bask in his light, that some of it might guide you out of your own darkness.

Poppy was a winged heroine who lived an extremely sheltered life.  She had spent her life in a tower with her Gran.  And if you have read the previous books, you’ll know that Gran having shadow magic was a huge red flag.  While Gran may have loved her, there had to be more to the story.  Of why Poppy was hidden away and Gran’s backstory.  As the story unfolded, I loved trying to put the clues together to figure it out!

“Loch,” I whispered, his face so close to mine, “thank you for coming for me.”
“I’ll always come for you,” he said. “Haven’t you learned that by now?”

Lochlan Aster, the cinnamon roll playboy prince, had been dreaming of a woman trapped in a tower.  When he finally came across that tower, I loved how his rescue of Poppy played out.  I was laughing and smiling so much!  Yet Poppy didn’t make Loch’s life easy.  She was unsure of who she could trust, whereas Loch was used to women falling at his feet.  He was so sure of himself, and I loved that Poppy made him work for it every step of the way! 

“I think I might want to do that again,” I said. “At some point, I’m pretty sure I saw actual stars.”
“Give me a minute.” I felt his mouth curve into a smile against my head. “And I’ll show you every damn constellation in the sky.”

Poppy and Loch were absolutely adorable together.  They were a sunshine x sunshine, and their banter was so much fun!  Yet Poppy’s lack of trust made me struggle with her from time to time.  Granted I grew attached to Loch in the last book, and I wanted Poppy to see all that I saw.  Watching their friendship grow was heartwarming.  And the carriage scene was one of my favorite moments in this story!  Rounding out this story were Driscoll and Leoni and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Driscoll gets his own story!  I love him so much!

Driscoll’s eyes widened. “Plot twist.”

Tower of Tempest painted a beautiful story that was so effortless to follow and enjoy.   I loved how elements of the original tales were twisted into this tale.  It made it exciting and fun!  And while a few of my guesses were correct, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.  So, if you’re looking for a retelling story that you can fly through while smiling and laughing, definitely give this book and series a try.  I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I have all the guesses for who it’ll be!

*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 Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

BOOK REVIEW: The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly RimmerBOOK REVIEW: The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Review:

The Things We Cannot Say was an emotional powerhouse that intertwined the past and the present.  I listened to the audiobook, and it was phenomenally done.  Both narrators made you feel every part of this story, and whisked you away into the lives of these two brave women.  I can’t wait to see what Rimmer releases next!

It costs our ancestors too damned much for us to have this life – the best thing we can do to honor them is to live it to its fullest.

Alina Dziak lived in Poland, and her story seeped into my heart so effortlessly.  She saw the world beautifully, and while she could be naïve at times, her rosy colored glasses started to color over as the story unfolded.  As the Nazi soldiers slowly started to occupy her town, life changed.  And what felt like carefree moments started to be filled with moments that would cause terror to pool in my stomach.  We watched as their lives drastically changed.  The conditions they were put in were horrific and gut wrenching.  The consequences they faced were beyond unthinkable.  Life could never be the same, and so many they loved died from the hands of monsters.

“Life doesn’t work that way, Alina. Hatred spreads – it doesn’t burn out with time. Someone needs to stand up and stop it.”

We alternated between Alina and Alice, with Alice being from the present.  She was married with two kids, and her Grandma was in the hospital from a stroke.  She seemed to be drowning in her life at times.  The tension between her and others was acute…..I’m not saying more than that, other than watching her grow from that first page to the last was a journey!  I was so proud of the woman Alice became in those final chapters.  I loved watching her find her place, her happiness, and not being afraid to use her words to convey what she wanted.  I was cheering her on every step of the way!

“We are meant to be together,” he whispered, trailing his finger down the side of my face. “We were made for each other, and everything else in the world will just have to figure itself out because we are going to be together. I love you.”

With the last third of the story, I couldn’t stop crying.  Especially when something clicked, then the sobs were hysterical.  And I kept crying while listening to this book for the next hour, on and off.  There were tears of heartache, tears of healing, and so many more too.  So make sure you have all the tissues next to you, because they are definitely needed.  Alina’s story was powerful, and a must read!  This is one of those books that will stick with you for years to come.  The history will settle itself into your heart, and you’ll feel every emotion and plight these characters felt too. This is a must read if you are a historical fiction lover!

BOOK REVIEW: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

BOOK REVIEW: The Rom-Commers by Katherine CenterThe Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She’s rewriting his love story. But can she rewrite her own?

Emma Wheeler desperately longs to be a screenwriter. She’s spent her life studying, obsessing over, and writing romantic comedies—good ones! That win contests! But she’s also been the sole caretaker for her kind-hearted dad, who needs full-time care. Now, when she gets a chance to re-write a script for famous screenwriter Charlie Yates—The Charlie Yates! Her personal writing god!—it’s a break too big to pass up.

Emma’s younger sister steps in for caretaking duties, and Emma moves to L.A. for six weeks for the writing gig of a lifetime. But what is it they say? Don’t meet your heroes? Charlie Yates doesn’t want to write with anyone—much less “a failed, nobody screenwriter.” Worse, the romantic comedy he’s written is so terrible it might actually bring on the apocalypse. Plus! He doesn’t even care about the script—it’s just a means to get a different one green-lit. Oh, and he thinks love is an emotional Ponzi scheme.

But Emma’s not going down without a fight. She will stand up for herself, and for rom-coms, and for love itself. She will convince him that love stories matter—even if she has to kiss him senseless to do it. But . . . what if that kiss is accidentally amazing? What if real life turns out to be so much . . . more real than fiction? What if the love story they’re writing breaks all Emma’s rules—and comes true?

Review:

The Rom-Commers was an adult romance that was so heartwarming.  Love, family, friendship, sacrifice and perseverance laced through the pages making this story so easy to devour.  If you like Center’s previous books, you should enjoy this one too!

Maybe writing was our love language.

Emma was someone who was so easy to adore.  I got her struggle of branching out and taking a chance.  Her whole life, for the last ten years, was to take care of her dad.  And when the opportunity of a lifetime landed in her lap, her first instinct was to take care of her family.  So, I adored that her family was rooting for her every step of the way.  That they wanted her dreams to come true just as much as Emma did.  I was so hopeful for what was to become of Emma!

“I googled how long it takes to fall in love.
“And?” I asked. “How long does it take?”
“Eighty-eight days,” Charlie answered, definitely. “And we’ve only known each other for thirty-one. So. Problem solved.”

I love the dynamics of Emma and her sister, Sylvie.  And her relationship with her father.  Their love for one another was so palpable!  They would do anything for each other, and I loved their traditions and how they looked out for each other.  They were brutally honest, that last fight cut my heart, but love conquered all, and they were able to mend all wounds.  If you like close-knit families, Emma’s is one you can’t help but fall for!

“My opinion of you is plummeting,” Charlie said. “This is your type?”
“I have lots of types, thank you. Sexy cowboys. Sexy lumberjacks. Sexy werewolves with tragic pasts. Sexy ghosts.”
“Sexy ghosts?”
“That’s the only kind of ghost I like.”

Emma and Charlie’s meet cute was one for the books.  Embarrassment and hurt wove around those moments.  And I truly didn’t know where they could go from there!  The chemistry between Emma and Charlie was always there between them.  I loved that as the story unfolded that they each started to grow and see more of life than where they both were.  That they helped each other expand their horizons and grow.

Just a writer. A failed writer.
If he was acting, he’d missed his calling.
One thing was for sure.  I wasn’t going to wait around here to find out.

But my hiccup for the book was Charlie.  As someone who likes men in books that could be considered a jerk or far, far worse lol, I struggled with Charlie.  He made countless mistakes, and while he apologized, he would then seem to make the same mistake.  Again.  So, while Charlie had lots of redeeming moments, the biscuits were one of my favorites!   He kept making mistakes and I struggled to continue to forgive him.

Life felt suddenly impossibly bright – the kind of bright that feels like it’s going to stay that way forever.

The Rom-Commers was a forced proximity romance that was filled with all the hope!  Embarrassment, hurt, baggage, healing, forgiveness, friendship, accomplishment, and love could be found in this book.  And I think many people will absolutely devour this story! 

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

BOOK REVIEW: Right Where We Left Us by Jen Devon

BOOK REVIEW: Right Where We Left Us by Jen DevonRight Where We Left Us by Jen Devon
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Temperance Jean Madigan and Duncan Brady have never gotten it right. After one radiant, secret summer together when they were eighteen, they’ve been on-again off-again ever since. Now, despite red-hot chemistry and TJ’s closeness with Duncan’s family, they’re virtually strangers, only capable of adversarial banter, awkward small talk―and the occasional messy hookup.

When a wedding at the Bradys' vineyard lands TJ there for the summer, their mutual avoidance strategies prove impossible. The last thing TJ wants is to be under those angsty, heated glances Duncan thinks he hides. And for Duncan, having fiery TJ constantly close is the ultimate distraction that he absolutely can’t afford. When forced proximity begins to chip away at their armor, buried tensions resurface, old wounds urge confrontation, and once-in-a-lifetime love demands one last chance to finally get it right.

Review:

Right Where We Left Us was a second chance romance that had a lot of heart.  Unfortunately, this book doesn’t read as a standalone.  Within the first two chapters we were introduced or told about 18 characters.  And as someone who adores fantasy, and the more characters the merrier, I was utterly lost.  So, I wrote down all of the characters and their connections to each other, yet that didn’t help.  That lost feeling created a disconnect and I couldn’t connect to any of the characters.  I ended up stopping at 30%, right at the beginning of Part 2.  I think that people who adored Devon’s previous novel, Bend Toward the Sun will enjoy this book and be happy to be back with everyone they love!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Mafia Mistress (The Kings of Italy #1) & Mafia Darling (The Kings of Italy #2) by Mila Finelli

BOOK REVIEW: Mafia Mistress (The Kings of Italy #1) & Mafia Darling (The Kings of Italy #2) by Mila FinelliMafia Mistress (The Kings of Italy #1)
by Mila Finelli
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Book 1 of 2 (Duet)

FAUSTO

I am the darkness, the man whose illicit empire stretches around the globe. Not many have the courage for what needs to be done to maintain power . . .but I do.

And I always get what I want.

Including my son's fiancée.

She's mine now, and I'll use Francesca any way I see fit. She's the perfect match to my twisted desires, and I'll keep her close, ready and waiting at my disposal.

Even if she fights me at every turn.

FRANCESCA

I was stolen away and held prisoner in Italy, a bride for a mafia king's only heir.

Except I'm no innocent, and it's the king himself—the man called il Diavolo—who appeals to me in sinful ways I never dreamed. Fausto's wickedness draws me in, his power like a drug. And when the devil decides he wants me, I'm helpless to resist him—even if it means giving myself to him, body and soul.

He may think he can control me, but this king is about to find out who's really the boss.

Review:

Mafia Mistress was an age gap mafia romance that was beyond steamy.  With a story that had me gasping within those first few pages, my heart felt for Francesca, aka Frankie.  She had dreams of college, only to become a bargaining chip in the mafia world.  She was to become someone else’s wife.  And Fausto came to collect.  This man was cold and calculating, drugging and kidnapping were just as easy as breathing to him.  Yet from the moment they met, there were sparks.  And those sparks were going to create a wildfire!

Do not ever try to tell me you weren’t made for this life, that you weren’t born to rule as a queen.

I loved that no matter what, Frankie refused to give up.  She fought every step of the way.  And even through it all, she still had her sense of humor.  Her thoughts made her so easy to click with!  But even if Frankie wanted to hate Fausto, the longing and sexual tension between the two of them was beautifully done.  Fausto was beyond seductive.  Even with his lethal and deadly ways, he simmered through the pages.  So when more happened in this story, oh my gosh it was detailed and so hot.  Yet Fausto was stuck in his ways, and I wanted to smack him each time he said I don’t have to explain myself to you to Frankie.  I kept waiting for the moment where Fausto would be forced to change if he wanted to keep Frankie.

“I’ll stab you with something sharper than a pen.”
I couldn’t help it, I laughed. “Many have tried, Francesca.  I wouldn’t recommend it.” Rising, I cupped her jaw in my hands. “The devil cannot be killed.”

This book had a trope that usually I’m not a fan of, but it was done so well. There was no way I couldn’t not love how it played into the story!  And then this story ended with a bang.  It was a fabulous cliffhanger that will have you reaching for that second book now!  This book was so easy to devour and is a must read for those that love spicy mafia books!

 

BOOK REVIEW: Mafia Mistress (The Kings of Italy #1) & Mafia Darling (The Kings of Italy #2) by Mila FinelliMafia Darling (The Kings of Italy #2)
by Mila Finelli
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Part 2 of 2 -- Not a standalone!

FAUSTO

In my world, loyalty is everything. I shouldn’t have let her get close. I shouldn’t have let her get under my skin.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll let another take her from me. He’ll pay with his life, because nothing will keep me from reclaiming what I lost.

Francesca is mine and I’m keeping her.

FRANCESCA

I found a dangerous man who makes me burn with need, a man I can’t live without . . .until he accused me of betrayal and sent me away.

Then I was kidnapped by his rival. Fausto thinks he can rescue me and have me begging at his feet once more. But I’m done begging.

This time, it will be the king who breaks.

Review:

Mafia Darling was a continuation of Francesca and Fausto from Mafia Mistress, this was not a standalone.  So with sacrifice, love and forgiveness bleeding through the pages, we were taken on a wild ride.  And again, this story was extremely seductive and erotic.  But my favorite thing was watching those we care for grow.  Especially Fausto.  I didn’t think I could get past a few things, but he made me cry happy tears.  And laugh… oh the present, just wait lol.

“My piccola monella, don’t you know that everything I do is for you? I will cheat and steal and kill for you. I will burn down the entire world to keep you safe.”

There was also torture, kidnapping and betrayal within this story, so there were some dark twists and turns.  When you put it all together, it made for a book that was easy to devour.  And it ended with the most fabulous epilogue set in the future.  If you love erotic mafia romance, definitely add these two books to your tbr!

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