Sep 162021

Glimmer of the Other (The Other Realm Book 1) by Heather G. Harris

I can tell when you’re lying. Every. Single. Time.

I’m Jinx. As a private investigator, being a walking, talking lie detector is a useful skill – but let’s face it, it’s not normal. You’d think it would make my job way too easy, but even with my weird skills, I still haven’t been able to track down my parent’s killers.

When I’m hired to find a missing university student, I hope to find her propped up at a bar – yet my gut tells me there’s more to this case than a party girl gone wild. Firstly, she’s a bookish soul who’s as likely to go off the rails as Mother Theresa. Secondly, I’m not the only one on her trail; she’s also being tracked by the implacable and oh-so-sexy Inspector Stone.

Stone and I team up, and he shoves me into a realm where magic is real – a place where there are vampyrs and werewolves, dragons and trolls. And where my skills are more than just detecting lies…

Oh, and my dog? He’s a freaking hellhound who can manipulate the magical realms themselves.

I need to find the girl.

I need to discover who killed my parents.

And I need to find out more about the attractive but mysterious Zachary Stone…

Hana’s Review

– 4.5 stars
– Urban fantasy
– Supernatural/paranormal

I tend to read romance but sometimes venture into urban fantasy and the supernatural so when this author reached out and asked me to read her ARC and provide an honest review, I happily agreed. Especially since there was an awesome dog on the cover and I’ve got a soft spot for all the pups.

And I was not disappointed in the least!! The world that Harris creates is wonderfully exciting and different and yet co-exists within the world we know. Jinx, our heroine, is a strong, young and self-employed private investigator with an incomparable bullsh*t meter. No, seriously, you can’t lie to her. She’s got this incredible innate skill to tell when someone is lying. She soon comes to find out that it’s not just an innate skill.

Jinx gets hired on a missing person case but learns so much more than she bargains for about the world, about herself, her past and her abilities. We enter into a world with seers, wizards, werewolves, vampires, trolls, dryads and more!! A complicated world with its own governing body and political intrigue, sacrifices, bargains and mystical icons.

The book is an exciting, fun and engaging read. I didn’t want to stop reading and I cannot wait for the second book!

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Sep 162021

A Spot of Trouble (Turtle Beach Book 1) by Teri Wilson

Get ready to laugh out loud with this hilarious romantic comedy featuring:
A grumpy firefighter who thinks his way is the only way
A bubbly cupcake vendor who thinks her pup can do no wrong
Adorable Dalmatians who swap places—and the chaos that ensues
An opposites-attract romance that’ll warm your heart
Violet March and Sam Nash are as different as night and day and have been enemies ever since Violet accused Sam of dognapping her beloved Dalmatian. Sam knows that would never happen—his well-trained fire safety demonstration dog never steps out of line, whereas Violet’s problematic pooch has never met a command she didn’t ignore completely, much like her bubbly owner. So when Sprinkles and Cinder accidentally switch places during the annual police vs. fire department softball tournament, Violet is thrilled by her dog’s sudden perfect behavior, while stubborn-yet-charming Sam is horrified to find that his dog no longer listens.

But when they eventually realize and switch the dogs back, Sam and Violet are shocked to find that not everything is as simple as it seems. And a little puppy love might be just the thing they’ve been missing…

Hana’s Review

– 3 stars
– small town romance
– enemies to lovers
– slow burn/closed door

If you’re looking for a quick, lighthearted rom-com, this book is a decent bet. Meddling older woman (with a Golden Girls vibe), adorable Dalmatians, a small town rivalry and two opposites fighting their attraction – it’s a light, sweet contemporary romance ala Disney and Hallmark.

Sam Nash moves to this small beach town after a traumatic experience as a firefighter in Chicago. As the town’s new fire marshall – all straight edges and no-nonsense – he soon learns that this town, and it’s people, are more about messy joy and fun and all sorts of shenanigans. Violet March, the police chief’s daughter, and her Dalmation, Sprinkles, in particular. Violet’s eccentric and sweet behavior and her dog’s fun-loving demeanor meet their match in Sam and his firefighter-trained Dalmation, Cinder. Sparks fly as these two become instant rivals with an attraction they just can’t deny.

This isn’t just a slow burn… this is a minimal burn, really. Despite the hot firefighters… and actual small fire. This book is more about that sweet, adorable love that develops despite their differences and about the fun that the dogs and the seniors citizens make happen for Sam and Violet. I’ll be honest that I loved the dogs and Ethel, Mavis and Opal so much more than I did Violet and Sam. Their up-to-no-good antics really made this book with laugh-out-loud moments.

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Sep 162021

The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale

In this witty and heartfelt rom-com debut for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Emily Henry, and Tessa Bailey, an Indian American woman signs herself and her boyfriend up for a matchmaking site to prove they’re a perfect match, only to be paired with her ex instead.

High school sweethearts Rita Chitniss and Milan Rao were the golden couple, until the day he broke her heart. Now, six years later, Rita has turned her passion for furniture restoration into a career and has an almost-perfect boyfriend, Neil. The last thing she needs is for Milan to re-enter her life, but that’s exactly what happens when her mother, an unfailing believer in second chances, sets them up. Milan is just as charming, cocky, and confident as he was back in school. Only this time, he actually needs her business expertise, not her heart, to flip a hard-to-sell house for his realty agency.

While Rita begrudgingly agrees to help, she’s not taking any risks. To prove she’s definitely over him, she signs herself and Neil up on, a Desi matchmaking site famous for its success stories and trustworthy enough to convince everyone that she and Neil are the new and improved couple. Instead, she’s shocked when MyShaadi’s perfect match for her isn’t Neil…it’s Milan. Ignoring the website and her mother is one thing, but ignoring Milan proves much more difficult, especially when she promises to help him renovate the beach house of her dreams. And as the two of them dive deeper into work—and their pasts—Rita begins to wonder if maybe her match wasn’t so wrong after all….

Hana’s Review

– 4 stars

– diverse characters

– second chance romance

– slow burn/closed door


I am complete sucker for a second chance romance. Throw in the fun, quirky, diverse group of characters, and some adorable pups found in The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale and I am SOLD!

Granted, I truly do enjoy more explicit romances and smut, to be frank. However, this slow burn, closed door romance is just so well written and enjoyable, that the minor steamy foreplay worked for me. I fell for these characters and for their love story and was truly invested. Vale’s prose is engaging and colorful, she brings everything to life. I can see and taste everything she describes – I need to make those paneer tacos ASAP, honestly. Aji verde!!

Rita is our lovely heroine, making her living restoring furniture and enjoying her life with her boyfriend Neil. Except for the part where he keeps wanting to tell their traditional Indian parents about their relationship. Rita isn’t looking for forever or complications and doesn’t want to open up the can o’ worms that is the history of their parents’ relationships. She enlists Neil in a plan she has to use the Indian dating site, MyShaadi, to somehow tell their parents of their relationship and get them to be ok with their dating. It’s a crazy and convoluted plan that, of course, doesn’t actually go as planned.

In the meantime, the one that broke Rita’s heart, Milan Rao, comes back into her life through the loving meddling of their moms. Milan is her childhood sweetheart, the one she thought was her forever, who broke her heart in the most hurtful of ways. And, at first, she wants no part of having him back in her life. But love endures, right?

What follows is a wonderful story of finding each other again. Old miscommunications uncovered, old love re-ignited and the strength to fight for what they love is finally found.

I did feel that the ending dragged a wee bit but still got to their happily ever after. I truly loved this read and finished it within a day.

Thanks to NetGalley and and Penguin Group Putnam for the early digital ARC in exchange for a review.

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 16 September 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 162021

Dirty Little Secrets (Baldwin’s Shore Romantic Suspense Book 1) by Elise Noble

Welcome to Baldwin’s Shore, the small town where everybody has a secret…

Brooke Bartlett is no exception. She’s been in love with her brother’s best friend for half her life, her dirty little secret. With Luca on the other side of the world, the temptation stayed out of reach, but now he’s back, and he’s not the only one. Brooke’s stalker is watching from the shadows, and he’s got his own ideas about her future…

Luca Mendez’s time in the army taught him two lessons—that to survive, he has to shoot straight and guard his heart. But when the woman he turned down all those years ago asks him for help, he finds he’ll do anything to see her smile again.

Hana’s Review

– 4 stars

– Romantic suspense

– Brother’s best friend

– Unrequited love


Elise Noble not only crafts a romance but she crafts a mystery and suspense story that hooks and enthralls you.

Your brother’s best friend…. You’re not supposed to fall for him… but how can you not when he’s an incredibly sexy bad boy with a tragic back story who is also your friend? Brooke Bartlett didn’t stand a chance of not falling for Luca Mendez as a teenager. She opens her heart to him but to protect her, and his friendship with her brother Aaron, Luca denies his own feelings and leaves for the military.

Years go by and the distance between Brooke and Luca seems insurmountable. However, both Luca and Brooke are now back in Baldwin Shores… at the same time and it seems inevitable that their paths will cross. Brooke returns home to her brother after a traumatic experience a year ago – she was drugged and sexually assaulted at a friend’s party. She has no memory of the event but her rapist turns into her stalker and proceeds to taunt and terrify her for the next year.

Luca, who has had feelings for Brooke forever, is between private contractor jobs and staying with his best friend, Aaron, helping with some renovations. Aaron enlists his help for his sister as well and Luca and Brooke are thrown together.

Brooke keeps her terror a secret as to not burden her friends and family but then the stalker becomes even more ardent and she has no choice but to look for help… and she turns to Luca.

His protective instinct is triggered. Her unrequited love is reignited and stoked.

Noble’s story is sexy, emotional with elements of suspense and intrigue. Her writing and prose is easy to read and engaging.

And that ending? You don’t see it coming. You think you might know but you don’t.

If you like romantic suspense, get into this.

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Sep 072021

A Delicious Dilemma by Sera Taíno

Different worlds collide in Sera Taino’s debut novel.

It’s hard to remain enemies when you’ve broken bread together

Val Navarro’s first mistake: going out dancing after a bad breakup when the chef should be focused on her family business. Her second mistake? Thinking the handsome, sensitive stranger she meets could be more than a rebound – until she discovers he’s Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments. His father’s company could shut down her Puerto Rican restaurant and unravel her tight-knit neighborhood. When Philip takes over negotiations, Val wants to believe he has good intentions. But is following her heart a recipe for disaster?

From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.

Hana’s Review

-️Opposites attract
-Latinx romance
-OWN voices

I’ll admit that I am a complete sucker for any romance that involves a chef, a baker or something similar. If there is food and sparks in a kitchen (but not a kitchen fire), I’m allll the way on board.

Enter Valeria Navarro, a feisty, smart, determined Puerto Rican chef /part-owner of her family restaurant. We meet Val on a night out with friends and family, one of her first nights of enjoyment after a very humiliating, public and pride-breaking break up. Though reluctantly out, it feels like she’s ready to just forget about the ex and try to enjoy living again, outside of her restaurant at least.

There she meets golden boy Philip. There’s an immediate connection – an ease of flirting and conversation that usually isn’t always so easy at all. What we learn, but Val doesn’t, is that Philip is Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments – the group that is gentrifying the East Ward and is a direct threat to Val’s neighborhood, her restaurant, her home and her family.

Taino wrote a beautiful story about the immigrant experience, the strength of family (not just Val’s but Philip’s family experience as well, to some extent) as well as their cultural experiences. She also touches on class and socio-economic differences. It’s a well written story that is complex and leveled and brings you in with it’s vibrancy and emotion.

The book unfolds and we follow this couple through lies and compromise. The story of community and food and the people who love and enjoy it all. And how love and compassion may conquer all the fears and uncertainty of the heart and mind.

I connected so strongly and so well and read this book in a day. Definitely be sure to check it out!!

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

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Sep 072021

He Made Me Do It by Zee Shine Storm


What is it like to be both Muslim and gay? Honestly? It feels like I’ve been cursed for all eternity. And then I had to go and fall for Asher Hannes and make it even more complicated.

Not only was he a guy, he happened to be my cocky and rebellious stepbrother who became the reason I began to get in trouble for things that weren’t even my fault.

Just seven months of his mother having married my dad, seven months of living under the same roof with him and sometimes even sharing the same bed and I already knew I was going to hell. Because I couldn’t keep fighting who I was around him. I couldn’t keep ignoring how I felt.

Wanting him was wrong. I never intended to cross any lines. But he made me do it anyway.

Note: This is a high school romance but with 18+ content. It does contain controversial themes relating to religion and homophobia but overall, it’s a feel-good love story.

Hana’s Review

-️Stepbrothers/Taboo Romance
-Queer/MM Romance

Perhaps my moral compass is a much darker grey than most because though this is labeled taboo, stepbrothers aren’t related… so, all fair in love and lust in my little, crazy world haha

In any case, I really, really enjoyed this book. I was lured in by the prospect of taboo as well as the description of diverse main characters – a Muslim gay main character? I’m so in!! And I loved Zayn. All he wants is to be a good son, a good Muslim – which is all made difficult by the realization, from a young age, that he’s gay.

And which is further complicated when his gorgeous new stepbrother moves in after his dad remarries. Bringing along all sorts of temptation and rebellion with him. Asher is all those things and utterly vibrant and unapologetic for who he is. And it’s impossible for Zayn to stay away. Especially once they both realize that the attraction is mutual. Asher is the bad boy to Zayn’s good boy but in all Asher’s rebellious behavior, the love that his feelings evolve into is so supportive and sexy and strong and I was hooked.

The book had so much – sweetness, spiciness, laughter and heartache. It was well-written, dual POV, with distinct voices. There were some parts that I didn’t really buy into (the strange way that Asher made his money) but it didn’t necessarily detract completely from the love story I was wholly invested in.

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Sep 072021

Sing For Me (The Balefire Series Book 2) by Tam DeRudder Jackson


My entire life is my music—and all the trappings that come with it. Sex, booze, and rock ‘n’ roll is all I ever wanted. Touring the world as the lead singer of Balefire, I have it all. Until on hiatus, I meet the girl next door.

Ashleigh Baker is nothing like the groupies and celebrities who usually have all my attention. In her cute floppy hat with her knees stained with dirt, she spends her days creating a flowering show piece from her rented yard. She’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met, and she acts like she doesn’t want a damn thing to do with me. But from the moment I laid eyes on her, she’s all I can think about.


Growing up the only child of an Air Force Colonel, all I wanted was to stay in one place for more than a minute. When I score a pretty little house with a long-term lease, I just want to grow my flowers and my freelancing gig as a music reviewer. Then a loud Harley wakes me from a sound sleep and I discover my neighbor is Blu Connolly. Yeah, that Blu Connolly, lead singer for my favorite band Balefire. With his killer good looks and panty-melting voice, he’s a walking temptation to sin. Though I do my best to avoid him, it seems Blu has other ideas. He’s on a mission to wear me down, let him in, but what happens when he stops wanting to sing for me?

Hana’s Review

-Rockstar romance
-Girl next door

This book is the second book in Tam DeRudder Jackson’s Balefire Series but can be read as a standalone. We get a peek into the characters from the first book and it definitely sparked my interest so we’ll see if I get the chance to get to it!

This book is peak rockstar romance. Bad boy lead singer, Blu, sharing women, leaving women satisfied across the globe, finally meets his match in the literal girl next door, Ashleigh. Well… next door to his mom, actually.

Ashleigh is a music reviewer trying to make ends meet. She rents a cute house and spends most of her time gardening and enjoying the friendship of the older woman next door. The older woman also happens to be the mother of the lead singer of one of the hottest bands around, Balefire. And Blu will be crashing at his mom’s place when he’s off tour. Ashleigh is a fan of the band but never imagined that she’d find herself hanging out with Blu Connolly.

It starts off bumpy, their friendship… they’re more like frenemies. Mostly because Ashleigh makes many assumptions about Blu and his rockstar lifestyle and behavior. What soon blossoms, because of Blu’s persistence, is a strong friendship with mutual attraction. It’s a slow burn because Ashleigh is protecting her heart, not wanting to be another notch on his bedpost. But Blu is determined to make her realize that she’s so much more than that to him.

It was a light, fun read – I was definitely looking for some drama and some angst, to be honest. Though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t as captivated as I had expected. Some things didn’t feel fully realized and I wasn’t sure I believed that Blu would go from multiple women one night to suddenly being completely into Ashleigh the next… I wanted to buy it but I think I needed more internal dialogue to really see how this progressed for Blu.

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 7 September 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Sep 072021

Playing It Safe (Sydney Smoke Rugby Series #7) by Amy Andrews

Donovan Bane loves playing rugby for the Sydney Smoke. And if that means he has to keep his sexuality a secret, that’s a sacrifice he’s prepared to make. At least until after he retires, anyway. He doesn’t want to be the first pro rugby player in Australia to officially come out while still playing. The team doesn’t need the media shit storm and he’d rather be known for his footy skills. Which means no dating, no relationships, no sex. Nothing but playing ball.

Until one man suddenly changes everything…

Beckett Stanton is out and proud—and not looking for a guy who isn’t. Been there, done that, complete disaster. Unfortunately, on the first day of his new job working for the Sydney Smoke, he locks eyes with Donovan Bane and he’s a goner. Big, gruff, and athletic isn’t usually Beck’s type, but for some reason this man is ticking all his boxes. And it’s clear the feeling is mutual. It’s also clear that Donovan is not out, and doesn’t plan to be anytime soon. Still, Beck can’t resist being the man to show Donovan everything he’s been missing.

For the first time, Donovan doesn’t play it safe and allows himself to indulge in things with Beck he knows he can’t have. But when their relationship gets serious, he knows he has to choose between the career he loves and the man he loves, because how can he possibly have both?

Hana’s Review

-Sports romance
-Rugby romance
-MM romance/Queer romance

I recently mentioned to a friend that I love sports romances but I’d never read a rugby romance… and then I was approved for this on NetGalley – how fortuitous!!
This is my first book from Amy Andrews and I’ve now added all of the Sydney Smoke series to my TBR.

Not only is this a sports romance but it’s also a M/M romance, which I adore. I love reading all sorts of queer romances and this one was such a great read.

Donovan Bane is a successful rugby star for the Sydney Smoke with a secret – he’s gay. He stays closeted because he believes that being out and being a rugby player cannot co-exist. He figures he’ll stay closeted until his career is over but then he meets Beckett Stanton and that plan is shot to hell.

The instant attraction between Donovan and Beck is tangible and intense. They both know it, feel it, but Donovan is not out and Beck swore he wouldn’t get into another situationship with a closeted man.

What ensues starts off as a fling – something easy and secret and not meant to be more than surface level. And the spice is delicious and amazing. What neither expects is to fall for the other so fast for the other… to become so important and necessary to each other. I truly loved reading how they evolved and how Dono and Beck grew, together and as individuals.

I also loved the secondary characters – the friends and WAGs, Dono’s daughter. They filled the story with love and laughs and it made me excited to read the other books in the series. I do wish we saw more of Dono’s daughter and their interactions. His ex, too. I think that could have brought more layers to the story.

This was a great read that I finished in one day and would recommend to anyone who enjoys sports romance and queer romance.

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Aug 172021

Never Be the Same by MA Binfield

They say opposites attract. They aren’t kidding.

When Casey meets Olivia—the actress she’s driving around for two weeks—she figures it’s going to be all business. Sure, Olivia’s hot and has women throwing themselves at her feet, but Casey is only interested in making the money she needs before going back to Portland. London is full of painful memories, and anyway, perfectly put together celebrities are not really her thing.

Olivia loves being “Susie,” her TV alter ego. She’s sassy, sexy, and never short of admirers, but living her life in the public eye is taking its toll. When her new driver turns out to be tall, dark, and undeniably handsome, Olivia is intrigued. But Casey seems like she has something to hide, and the last thing Olivia needs is someone she can’t trust.

Hana’s Review

4 stars

Celebrity romance

Queer/Lesbian romance

Opposites attract


I was really excited going into this read of “Never Be the Same” by MA Binfield and I was not disappointed. A lesbian celebrity romance? Count me in!

I’m always excited to see representation of LGBTQIA+ characters in romance and I think the author did a great job of creating complex and complete characters without making it just about being a lesbian or gay – it was about the full human experience – flawed, uncertain, and sometimes insecure. But also filled with friends, family, healing, laughter and happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of stories but I did really enjoy the storyline and the varied characters that Binfield created and that kept me invested and hooked.

Our main heroines, Olivia and Casey, come from very different walks of life but are both recovering from betrayal and hurt from previous relationships. Trust does not come easy and though I understood that, I would still get a little miffed at the assumptions and lack of communication between the two of them. They came together with lots of baggage and had a lot to work through – within themselves and together – and I often found myself growling “Would you just say what you mean!? All this turmoil could be avoided and we could get to kissing!!!” Clearly, I was invested!

Olivia comes from the glitz and glam of stardom, the feature character of a hit TV show. We find, though, that all the extra hubbub that comes with fame is really taking its toll on her. She loves the acting but not all the extra crazy that comes along with it.

Casey returns home to London to help her mom out and takes a job driving Olivia and the rest of the cast around for two weeks. Casey uses the job to avoid reliving the heartache and drama that made her escape London for the US just a year or so before. But what she finds is Olivia, a stunningly gorgeous actress who does not fit the stereotypical mold of a spoiled diva.

Over the next two weeks, the initial spark of attraction develops further and though they both know they’re leaving, will be separated, they cannot deny the feelings they have for each other. Two weeks is an incredibly short amount of time (uhaul joke anyone?!) but also, given their level of attraction and spark, I understood that for this to have a chance, it needed to move fast. I bought it.

I will say that sometimes the story dragged a little… the pace could have been a little faster or the story a wee bit shorter. However, I still really enjoyed this book. I loved the backdrop of London, I enjoyed the secondary characters and I was happy to see how Olivia and Casey eventually found their way.

I received an ARC from Bold Strokes Books through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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 17 August 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 132021

Bed of Nails (Sons of Sin Book 2) by Nola Marie

They say love is blind. But Dane and Cami are the ones with the vision problems, because everyone else can see what’s growing between these two. And it isn’t the friendship they keep claiming.

They say all drummers are a little crazy. And when it comes to my overprotective nature, my sisters, and pretty much everyone else, agrees that I parted company with rationality long ago. But I can’t help it. I need to look out for the people I care about. And surprisingly, my best friend Cami, has made the top of that list. I’m trying to rein it in, but I know what her boyfriend is doing. When I catch him, I don’t know if anyone will be able to stop my need to keep her safe.

They say most girls have a ‘type’. My type? Trouble. I’ve gone through d-bag after d-bag in my dating life, but I can honestly say, none have been as bad as my current boyfriend Travis. But they say love takes work, right? So I’ll keep trying to make things work until either Travis calls it quits or there’s nothing left to fight for. I just have to figure out why I spend every night dreaming about my best friend, Dane.

These two proclaim they’re just friends loud and proud, despite what everyone around them thinks. Until suddenly, friendship isn’t enough, and Dane and Cami see what’s been right in front of them. But when Cami’s troubles gets out of hand, will her fighting nature and Dane’s protective streak be enough to protect her from Travis.

Author’s note:
This book heavily features physical and emotional abuse. Please, before you start reading, understand you may not approve or even understand the heroine’s choices. While this is a work of fiction, unfortunately, her choices and the motivation behind them are experienced every day by abused women. Please have compassion and empathy when you read instead of judgment and criticism for her choices. But also remember, this is romance. HEA is guaranteed

Hana’s Review

4.25 stars
Rockstar romance
Friends to lovers

When I found “Bed of Nails”, I realized that I hadn’t read the first book in the #sonsofsin series so I started with “Goodbye is a Second Chance” and fell in love with all the Sons of Sin and with Nola Marie’s writing. If you haven’t read that yet, start there but then you’ll definitely need to read Dane and Cami’ story in “Bed of Nails”.

This found family is amazing – the men of the band are incredibly supportive and you can feel that they care and worry about each other. But Dane – Dane is something else. If you’re part of Dane’s circle, consider yourself loved, cared for, worried about and completely accepted. The incredible friendship that we see develop between Dane and Cami, that starts in the first book, is amazing. You can tell that there are sparks and feelings but the genuine nature of their best friendship is really incredible in and of itself. And you cannot imagine that it won’t blossom further. But Cami is in love and in a relationship, so you think maybe they’ll just be amazing friends?

What we come to find is that Cami is struggling in her relationship. She’s in an abusive relationship and we watch her, Dane and their friends and family try to navigate their way through it all and find their way to each other. They start to realize that best friends can become an incredible relationship and that their love was always there.

Cami’s strength and love – for family, for friends, for Dane – is tangible and real. Dane’s protective nature, caring attitude and sexiness leaps from the page. The story is well written and pulls you in.

You become invested not only in them but also in other characters in their world. You also have allusions to previous stories – ones I haven’t read but that I so desperately want to read now! I’m ready to know more, to read them all and can’t wait for the next books in the series.

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Aug 132021

Within You by Amber Night

What does it take to love, when all is broken?

London, 2159. A society divided in two.

Maya has left the shelter of the inner city bubble of the Zone, searching for the truth. What is life really like out here, in the Ring? But what she finds instead is him: her boss at the pub where she finds work, Juan.

Maya is instantly drawn to the guarded, enigmatic man. And maybe Juan is not as indifferent as he seems. But he is hiding something, and Maya has her own past to hold at bay.

In a world where strength equals survival, their secrets could unravel the fragile trust between them – and their very existence.

Within You is a steamy, slow-burn dystopian romance.

Hana’s Review

4 stars
Interracial Romance
Future/Dystopian Romance

I apparently really enjoy romance set in dystopian futures – this is the second such book I embarked on and I loved the world that Amber Night created!!

This future London is divided – the haves and have-nots. The Zone is the area of prosperity and technology. People in the Zone don’t ask questions. Don’t wonder where their largesse comes from. Unless they’re Maya. Maya is our heroine and Maya asks all the questions. She spends her life in the Zone, trying to have the questions and curiosity forced out of her.

Opposite the Zone is the Ring. The Ring is where only the tough survive. Limited resources, limited technology, very Darwinian, only the strong can make it. Those in the Zone are completely and willfully oblivious to the way of life in the Ring. But Maya can’t help but wonder and ask questions. The curiosity becomes so intense that she manages a way to sneak into the Ring to experience what goes on there, what life is like. And she’s introduced and exposed to so much more than she could have ever imagined.

There she meets Juan. A gruff, cold, untrusting bar manager who can immediately sense that she’s not from around there. What ensues is a story of love and growth – for both our main characters. We’re immersed in a strange new world that may be named London but is not the London we may know. What transpires over the next few months is a slow burn awareness between our two characters that eventually leads to some incredible steaminess. The pub is where they both find love and Maya finally knows what it means to live, truly live and experience genuine love and friendship.

There is mystery and action but I don’t want to spoil too much!! It’s a great read with great world-building. A really wonderful debut from this new-to-me author.

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 13 August 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 032021

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen Book 1) by Laura Thalassa

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

Hana’s Review

5 stars
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Post Apocalyptic

I’ll admit that the cover for Pestilence won me over at first. I completely judged a book by it’s cover but then was also intrigued at the plot – the arrival of the Four Horsemen. I was excited to get into this, excited to see how it goes and how the story would unfold. And I was not disappointed in the least.

I’m a huge fan of end-of-days and apocalyptic movies but I honestly haven’t really ventured into books of the same subject matter. And I don’t know why!! Because I friggen loved this book.

The Four Horsemen arrive on Earth and send the world into a tailspin. They go dormant for a few years, I think in an effort to see if humanity can turn itself around… which they don’t. So, some divine order wakes Pestilence up and sends him on a journey spreading the plague.

Sara, our fierce heroine, tries to stop Pestilence and fails… and then becomes his prisoner. As their journey progresses, Pestilence finds his presuppositions about humanity challenged. Though there are moments that still make him question how salvageable the world really is, what he finds in Sara, and a few other characters, is a new view of what the positive energy of people can create.

Yes, it’s hard to resolve how Sara could ever develop feelings for a being that would kill humanity. I won’t lie. It was a little difficult to get past that. But the slow-burn nature of their relationship… seeing Pestilence evolve and realize his own thoughts and feelings… Pestilence isn’t killing off humanity because he enjoys it. It’s his divine mission. He doesn’t feel pleasure and joy from it. It’s why he exists. And Sara begins to realize this and how Pestilence is burdened by this mission.

Though the romance is slow-burn, I really thought the prose and storyline were wonderful. The writing was great and I’m excited to read the rest of this series!!

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 3 August 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Aug 032021

Captive in the Underworld by Lianyu Tan
Some flowers bloom only in the dark…

In the land of the dead, Queen Hades’ word is law. Hades gets what she wants–always–and what she wants is a certain goddess of the springtime.

Innocent Persephone chafes beneath her mother’s hawkish gaze and mercurial temper. Demeter has rebuffed all her daughter’s suitors, but she is not yet satisfied; she strives to crush Persephone’s spirit.

Still, when Hades pulls her into the dark realm of the underworld, Persephone longs for the world above, even if it means an eternity under her mother’s thumb.

With her tears and pleas for freedom ignored by pitiless Hades, Persephone must learn to satisfy her keeper in all ways, lest she suffer the consequences.

And though she cannot deny that something blooms within her, something forbidden, Persephone despairs of ever feeling the sun upon her skin once more.

No matter the cost, Hades intends to keep her.


* * *

Captive in the Underworld is a standalone dark lesbian romance novel set in mythological ancient Greece. It is rooted in the misogyny and cruelties of the Hades/Persephone myth and contains sensitive material. Due to mature content and dark themes, this book is intended for adult readers only. It contains scenes depicting non-consensual sex, death, abuse, kidnapping, assault, and other intimate partner violence. It is not recommended for readers sensitive to such content.

Hana’s Review

4 stars
Lesbian Romance
Dark Romance
Mythology Retelling

I always look forward to queer romances. Growing up reading romances, there wasn’t nearly as much representation as there is now and I am so grateful for it. When I heard that this was a lesbian dark romance, I was intrigued. When I read further that this was a Hades & Persephone queer retelling, I was beyond excited. And I really enjoyed this read!

This was a beautifully written story – the prose, the word choice, the world Tan built – it was stunning to read. And yes, the dark aspects of the relationship between Hades and Persephone were just that – dark. The scenes in the beginning were a little too close to non-con and were very questionable and I could understand some people not enjoying it. However, I will say that the real villain for me was Demeter, Persephone’s mother. The mental, emotional and physical abuse that she wrought on Persephone infuriated me and she was truly the darkest part of this story.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I loved Tan’s writing. I look forward to reading more by them!

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Aug 032021

Aleatory by Xavier Neal


As in ey-lee-uh-tawr-ee.

As in an adjective.

As in a synonym for unpredictable.

As in the only word to describe making the mistake of falling for someone who is not only ten years younger than you, but your best friend’s son…

Hana’s Review

5 stars
Reverse Age Gap
Best Friend’s Son

Xavier Neal is quickly becoming one of those one-click/auto-read authors for me. Everything I’ve read, I’ve loved. And Aleatory is no exception.

Aleatory is a steamy reverse age-gap/best friend’s son romance. It is so well-written – the heroine’s banter is so witty and funny! The secondary characters and their relationships create a fully realized world you feel immersed in.

Sloan is a very successful writer and businesswoman who needs a break from life for a moment. She reaches out to her best friend, Cora and escapes to an adorable small town in Michigan. There she meets Nix, Cora’s son, and sparks fly.

Nix, at 26, is ten years younger than Sloan and though Sloan knows that’s a problem – as is the fact that he’s her best friend’s son! – chemistry can’t be helped. It did take me a minute to like Nix, I won’t lie. There were moments that he was so young, immature and I just wanted to smack him around. But Sloan set him straight and took no shit.

I loved the relationship between Sloan and Cora, and I adored Cora and her husband, Carl. Honestly, these secondary characters really helped build the story and the feel of the book. Also, I felt like I could really relate, on some level, to all the characters. The way they speak, their reactions – they felt real and honest.

I enjoyed the steaminess of this book and loved the plot and writing. I adore Neal’s stories and will continue to read them as fast as she can publish them.

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 3 August 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 062021

Tryst Six Venom by Penelope Douglas

Away games, back seats, and the locker room after hours… Get ready!


Marymount girls are good girls. We’re chaste, we’re untouched, and even if we weren’t, no one would know, because we keep our mouths shut.

Not that I have anything to share anyway. I never let guys go too far. I’m behaved.

Beautiful, smart, talented, popular, my skirt’s always pressed, and I never have a hair out of place. I own the hallways, walking tall on Monday and dropping to my knees like the good Catholic girl I am on Sunday.

That’s me. Always in control.

Or so they think. The truth is that it’s easy for me to resist them, because what I truly want, they can never be. Something soft and smooth. Someone dangerous and wild.

Unfortunately, what I want I have to hide. In the locker room after hours. In the bathroom stall between classes. In the showers after practice. My head swimming. My hand up her skirt.

For me, life is a web of secrets. No one can find out mine.


I cross the tracks every day for one reason–to graduate from this school and get into the Ivy League. I’m not ashamed of where I come from, my family, or how everyone at Marymount thinks my skirts are too short and my lipstick is too red.

Clay Collins and her friends have always turned up their noses at me. The witch with her beautiful skin, clean shoes, and rich parents who torments me daily and thinks I won’t fight back.

At least not until I get her alone and find out she’s hiding so much more than just what’s underneath those pretty clothes.

The princess thinks I’ll scratch her itch. She thinks she’s still pure as long as it’s not a guy touching her.

I told her to stay on her side of town. I told her not to cross the tracks.

But one night, she did. And when I’m done with her, she’ll never be pure again.

*Tryst Six Venom is a standalone, F/F bully romance suitable for readers 18+.
Publication date : June 3, 2021

Hana’s Review

– LGBTQIA+ main characters/FF romance

– Dark Romance

– Bully Romance


I have been hearing and reading a lot of amazing things about Penelope Douglas books since I actively and avidly joined the online book community (bookstagram, booktok, etc.). Due to the ridiculous nature of my TBR, a few of her books have been on it but I hadn’t gotten to any…until Tryst Six Venom. Once I knew there was a FF storyline, I was hooked and excited and couldn’t wait to dive in.

I knew, going into this read, that this was a dark bully romance and, honestly, those are sometimes difficult for me. The “bully” aspect can be downright ROUGH and this book was no exception. There were moments that I wasn’t sure I would ever like some of these characters and I couldn’t imagine coming out the other end in love with their love… but I did. And I think it goes to show that this author can weave a story and emotions fluidly and effortlessly (seemingly lol).

I am always looking for FF romances that are full realized, that have characters with depth and conflict and that also weaves in the smut and sauce (without becoming a fetish) – and this hit all those marks.

Liv & Clay – the main characters – were complicated and difficult – their relationship was turbulent and harsh. Their words cut deep and their emotions came off the page and it hurt to read sometimes. But I didn’t want to stop. I love Liv – that badass, don’t-give-a-f*ck, loner type (that really does give a f*ck sometimes). She was beautiful and strong to read. Clay, on the other hand, I really couldn’t like at first. It took a lot for me to come around for her. Eventually, she comes through and you see her struggle to come out of the dark places and you start to vibe with her and with the two of them together.

The tension between them was delectable and fiery – the fighting, the f*cking – all of it. It was spicy and saucy – Douglas can really turn a scene and I am here for it!

A few cons, for me at least, was the lack of information on why they hate each other so much and I do wish there was a little more of a warning for some of the triggering homophobia/biphobia. However, all in all, this truly was an awesome read and I loved Liv and her family. Will her brother’s get stories?!?! Because they’re all pretty amazing and I would love to see this continue in a series about the rest of Liv’s family.

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 6 July 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 062021

Grinder’s Ace (Ruthless Renegades #4) by Kat Cameron

I’m tired of all the women. It’s stale and there’s just something missing.
But then I see him and my world is turned upside down, because there’s no way I can be feeling what I do for him. What would the club say? Will I be kicked to the curb if this ever comes out? But just as I’m getting my feelings figured out, I’m faced with a challenge I never in my life I thought I’d ever have to face. She’s dropped off at my doorstep, someone I never knew existed. A new responsibility, a new life to protect. I don’t know how to do this, but I know I need my brothers behind me if I’m going to survive.

I love to dance, strip, it’s the ultimate high. But then he walks into the club and I know being with him is all I want. He’s not ready and he doesn’t know if he ever will be, and it’s killing me. I can’t be another dirty little secret, I’ve come too far to be afraid and hide who I am. To love who I love. Everyday life seems to throw something in our way, but I’m determined and I won’t let him get away. Even if that means I have to step up and be someone I never saw myself being at such a young age.

Will Grinder get the courage to come out to the club or will Ace have to give up his chance at love to save his heart and not lose himself? Will they be able to embrace who they are and find happiness together? Find out if their love is strong enough to weather the storms that get thrown in their path.

Jump into the world of The Ruthless Renegades dirty talking alpha bikers that would do everything to keep their women, men, and their families safe plus a happy ending to go with it.

A MM romance recommended for 18+. This book contains sexual situations, violence and strong language.

Hana’s Review

3.75 stars
– Novella
– MC Romance
– MM Romance

“Grinder’s Ace” by Kat Cameron came across my bookstagram feed and I was immediately hooked by the MC/MM romance crossover. I love motorcycle club romances and adore m/m & queer romances so the combination of the two was irresistible.

This is actually my first book by Kat Cameron – I haven’t read any of the others in the series – so I did hesitate at first. I don’t always like to jump into a series in the middle. However, I’m glad I forged ahead and read this novella.

From the outset, Grinder and Ace’s chemistry is off the charts. The tension and sexiness is tangible and I was immediately hooked. The emotional nature of their teasing and connection was also sweet and honest and I loved to see how their feelings finally evolved.

There was a twist at the end that really pulled it all together and was such a great, quick read. My only con was that it wasn’t a longer story!! I wanted more and now I’ll be adding the rest of the series to my every growing TBR.

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 6 July 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 102021

You Lucky Dog (Lucky Dog #1) by Julia London

An accidental dog swap unleashes an unexpected love match in this new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia London.

Carly Kennedy’s life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly’s sister convinces her to foster Baxter–a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite.

Hana’s Review 

3.75 Stars

– Meet-Cute Romance

– Rom-com


Dogs on the cover? SOLD! Any story where the sidekick/secondary character are dogs and I’m 100% absolutely IN. Sign me up!!

I tend to read a lot of angst and emotional roller coasters and sometimes you just need a palate cleanser, you know? A light lemon granita to freshen it all up – and that’s what this book was. Yes, there was some angst – it felt like the world was working against them at times – however, there was just so much adorableness and heartwarming hilarity, and was just a great read.

The story is about timing and how when the timing is off, it feels like the world is working against you. But true love, and the love of dogs, will persevere. Max and Carly are great characters – smart, funny, awkward and their banter was wonderful. The writing was superb. I also loved the family relationships that we got to witness, especially that of Max and his brother, Jamie, who has autism (who may rival my own love of dogs). I think London did a great job capturing the nuances and emotional roller coaster that is your family – the good, the bad, the crazy

I also think that Hazel and Baxter, their dogs, could have easily stolen the show. I needed an ending that kept the two of them together forever. I need a book just about Hazel and Baxter adventures – just sayin’.

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Jun 012021

Forget Me Not by Q.B. Tyler

What do you do when the love of your life forgets?
Not the good times.
Not the love.
Not the passion.
But the pain and heartbreak and betrayal.
He doesn’t remember that he broke my heart.
But I do.
He doesn’t remember the darkest parts of our marriage.
He doesn’t remember that six months ago, I said goodbye.
What do you do when the love of your life remembers your marriage but not your divorce?

Hana’s Review:

-4.5 stars

-second chance romance

-interracial couple

-BIPOC main character/author


This second chance romance is a first time read of QB Tyler for me. I received this book in a subscription box and was not disappointed.

I love a book that rips my heart out, stomps on it, mauls it and then patches it up and pats it back in your chest. I’m here for the emotional trauma. And this book dishes it out and serves it up like a Michelin-rated restaurant.

We are introduced to Olivia as she races to her soon-to-be ex-husbands bed side after a car accident. Turns out Bennet has lost the last two years – amnesia is wild!! So for Bennet, they’re still happily married and completely into each other. And you can see and feel his love and lust for his wife, it’s tangible. But Olivia is at a loss – they separated months ago, a divorce was impending. What to do?!

This was a read of two people finding their way back to each other after failing each other (and themselves). It wasn’t that they didn’t love each other… It was that love wasn’t enough without communicating and working through tragedy, grief, poor decisions, etc. The human experience, really. They learn to communicate and heal and find a path back to each other.

I loved how sexy and intense their relationship and connection was. My heart was broken alongside theirs when things sputtered and stalled. I cried when they did and I loved how they loved. This was beautifully written and I loved the spice.

Warning, there is cheating involved so if that’s a nonstarter for you, then this isn’t for you. But if you like a story of second chances, redemption, intense passion… I highly recommend it!


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May 302021

Thicker Than Water by Dylan Allen

Falling in love was the easy part.

Lucia is on a winning streak.
Her book, Throw Away the Key, has taken the country by storm.
And now it’s being made into a movie.
After years of chasing it, she can finally taste freedom.

Reece Carras is one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
Handsome, rich and generous, he’s everything girls like her aren’t supposed to dream of.

But, dream she does.

And in his strong arms she finds pleasure and comfort she never knew existed.

Falling in love was the easy part…
Cruel twists of fate and torn loyalties will make staying together seem impossible.

Sacrifices will have to be made.
And they will learn that blood may be thicker than water,
but nothing is more powerful than two hearts that beat for each other.

Hana’s Review:

– 4 stars

– Interracial couple

– BiPOC main character


Poignant, brilliant and timely.

I received this book in a subscription box and went into it blind. I’d never read anything by Dylan Allen before but I figured what the heck? And I was truly not disappointed. Allen’s writing is smart, funny, emotional – she pulls you in with Lucia’s story – a story of an undocumented American. A POV that I’d never read before and I loved it and I love Lucia. Her fear, her nerves but even more so, her strength, her grief, her love and joy were tangible.

Watching her navigate this new world and her feelings for Reece, the film producer taking her book to the big screen, was lovely and at times heart wrenching. Sometimes slow burn romances aren’t my thing but when the story and emotion are compelling, I am invested.

I truly enjoyed this book and will happily pick up Dylan Allen books again, for certain.

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 30 May 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
May 282021

Truly by Carmel Rhodes

The summer after senior year was supposed to be the best summer of my life.⁣⁣⁣
It was supposed to be full of adventure and self-discovery and making love under the stars.⁣⁣⁣
It was supposed to be about losing myself and finding my way.⁣⁣⁣
Only, it wasn’t supposed to start like this.⁣⁣⁣
I wasn’t supposed to go to that party.⁣⁣⁣
He wasn’t supposed to notice me.⁣⁣⁣
The hot jock with the trust fund and chip on his shoulder.⁣⁣⁣
My ex-boyfriend’s half-brother.⁣⁣⁣
Noah Tedesco is so far out of my league he might as well be playing a different game.⁣⁣⁣
Noah wasn’t supposed to look twice at a girl like me, but he did.⁣⁣⁣
Now that I’m on his radar, my life will never be the same.⁣⁣⁣
Truly is a dark, coming of age romance that explores themes like NON-CON DUB-CON, and happily ever after.

Hana’s Review:

– 4 stars

– Dark/Bully Romance

– Enemies-to-Lovers

– Interracial Couple

– BiPOC main character/author


** spoiler alert ** There are trigger warnings in the beginning of this book for a reason. Please heed them! If you are not into dark bully romance, this won’t be for you. (And that’s ok!!)

But… if you do like dark bully romance, if – like me – you like your romance rough, then you need to read this book by Carmel Rhodes. It was my first book by her and now I want to read all her works.

We meet Truly at her high school graduation getting dumped by her boyfriend. The night only gets worse as she’s traumatized by her ex’s estranged brother, Noah. I will admit that I was angry and upset at how we meet Noah and I wasn’t sure how the story could progress in anyway. But that’s this trope for you (not that I think any of the actions are in anyway condonable in reality!!!).

Truly tries to move forward and sets off on a coming of age road trip with her bestie the next day. However, we find out that her bestie invited her bf and his friend – you guessed it, it’s Noah!!

Noah is all the broody possessiveness you can imagine. He’s sexy and rough and he pushes every boundary. He recognizes how wrong he was and tries to get out of his own way to make it up to Truly. However, you want to slap him around again and again because he really can’t get out of his own way completely. He’s so driven by his intense obsession with Truly and sometimes it’s scary but, for Truly, it feeds into the dark needs she has that she never knew existed until Noah.

Their connection progresses and because of Rhodes’ exceptional writing – you buy it. You get invested. You want this to work. You seem them grow and evolve as people, as young adults and as a couple and you hope that they can both find a way to make this work in the long run.

I love how strong Truly is. She sees that she’s coming into her own and she’s owning her evolving sexuality and nature She doesn’t let Noah completely run roughshod over her. She stands her ground when she has to and she makes sure he knows she’s not a doormat. I think it’s important when exploring these kinds of relationships – dominant and submissive, or consensual nonconcent themes – you have to realize that the power exchange is about trust and that both people are willingly, enthusiastically, participating. It only works when both individuals recognize each other’s strength and trust and communication are key.

You start to fall for Noah and Truly, together, in moments of vulnerability and you become enthralled with their story and you want to see them make it. Survive all of it.

The spice and steam in this book is off the charts – Carmel Rhodes set it on fire. If you like a well-written, smutty, boundary pushing, dark romance, bully romance, enemies-to-lovers vibe – pick this up ASAP.

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