Category: enemies to lovers

RELEASE BLITZ: Violent Triumphs by Jessica Hawkins

Happy release day to one of our favourite authors Jessica Hawkins! The wait is finally over!

Title: Violent Triumphs

Series: White Monarch #3

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 12, 2019

 

BLURB:
I’ve become a queen to the forsaken, a leader to thieves, and the wife of a man who instills fear in all who cross his path. He was the husband I didn’t want. Now, I can’t fathom life without my king.

I should’ve been ready for anything. Like the caterpillar that feeds on poison during metamorphosis, I was raised in the dangerous world of cartel crime. But nothing could’ve prepared me for Cristiano de la Rosa, his brother’s poison, or the Calavera cartel.

This is still a story about a love strong enough to topple households, unite enemies, and divide brothers. Resilient enough to bring down those who would try to destroy it . . . and selfless enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But I was warned, and so were you. Death’s day always comes. This time, it will find what was once a caterpillar is now a butterfly—and hell hath no fury like the White Monarch.

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2oUBhUr
UK: https://amzn.to/32oxxrZ
CA: https://amzn.to/36OM6si
AU: https://amzn.to/2WMfw5G
Apple Books: https://apple.co/33pxg9k
B&N: http://bit.ly/2WND0r0
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WND5Lk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/34tFcGS

EXCLUSIVE PROMO: Hard Chrome by Vanessa North

Hi!

We’re really lucky to have an exclusive from Vanessa North’s new release Hard Chrome. It’s out now (ebook) – the print version will be out on 29 October. If you love small town romance – you’ll want to check this one out!

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy —and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.

When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.


About Vanessa North: 

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.

 

Exclusive excerpt

Note from the author: It’s hard to pick a favorite scene from something I wrote — I like and need them all in the book for different reasons, but this one is definitely one of my favorites, because it’s early in the book, and it’s one of the first scenes where Tanner acknowledges to herself her attraction to Duke. –VN

“Well, hey there, princess.” The gruff voice, drawled out in amusement, stiffens my spine.
“Duke.”
“Is this seat taken?” He parks himself on Mac’s barstool.
“Yes,” I hiss. “Get lost.”
“Oooh, are you on a date?” He peers around the room, and then his shoulders drop. “Nah, nobody in this place is fancy enough for Tanner fuckin’ Ellis.” He juts his chin out and smirks at me, and while it should make me want to smack him, I can’t help but notice how his scruffy jaw is thrown into prominence, and the effect is rough and virile in a way that sends heat racing down my spine.
“Except that guy,” he continues, standing up again to stage whisper, “But he’s gay. Hey, Alfie. I was just keeping your seat warm.”
“Join us.” Mac drops on the barstool and slides a basket of food across the table to me. Before I can protest the impromptu invitation, Duke pulls another barstool over and sits next to me. Despite his rough appearance, he smells more like soap than motor oil, and as his arm brushes mine, his smirk turns into a genuine smile.
Of course that smile is for Mac, not me. “Any luck with the kid?” Duke jerks his head toward the bar.
Mac shrugs. “We’re keeping it casual. He’s sweet but still hung up on his ex.”
Brendan returns with the flight of beer and an extra glass, which he places in front of Duke. “Golden Monkey for the biggest tool in the shed.”
Duke laughs. “Thanks.”
“And for the lady…” Brendan places the flight in front of me. “Left to right is fifteen to eighteen. The tap ran out on seventeen, so I’m not going to charge you for that one, but if you like it, number ten is fairly similar. I’ll be back to check on y’all in a few.”
“Cheers.” Duke holds up his glass, and I pick up the beer at the far right of the flight and clink it against his.
“Cheers.” I tip back my glass and take the first sip. A funk of sour explodes over my tongue and I almost choke on it, but manage to swallow. “What the fuck is that?”
Duke and Mac laugh, and Mac plucks the glass from my hand. “I’ll be drinking this one, I guess.”
“I don’t like sour beers either.” Duke glances sideways at me, a soft smile tilting his lips up, so different from his usual cocky smirk. “I think I had the same reaction the first time I tasted one.”
And I can’t help myself. I smile back at him. “That shit was nasty.”
“Amen.” He takes another swig of his beer. “You’ll probably like that one, though.” He points at the darkest beer in the flight. “It tastes like coconut and chocolate. A Mounds bar in a glass.”
I sniff it warily, and it does smell chocolate-y. I take a sip, more cautious this time. Sweetness rolls over my tongue. “Oh my god.”
He bites his lip, eyes sparkling. “Those words look awful nice coming out of that pretty mouth.”
Heat flashes over me — am I turned on? Insulted? Both? And how fucked up is that?
“Leave her alone, asshole.” Mac slaps his arm. “She’s your boss.”
Duke rolls his eyes. “Yeah. Of course she is.”
“That’s right. I am.” I straighten in my seat, trying to will away the flush on my cheeks.
I half expect him to rise to my challenge. I put it out there, eager as sin. I could feel it melting down my spine, singing through my blood. Pick up that motherfucking gauntlet, Duke.
But he grins instead and takes a deep swallow of his beer.
I watch his Adam’s apple bob in his throat, stubble halfway down his neck. What would it feel like under my fingers? The flush in my cheeks deepens.
His gaze meets mine, like he can see straight into those squirmy, hungry, angry parts of me I don’t like to admit exist. His grin falls, and it bottoms out in my bones. He does see.
Before I can say anything to turn it into a joke, or to cover that hunger with some kind of power game, he turns his attention to Mac.
“How’d you two meet?” He gestures at me like a painting on the wall.
Mac reaches across the table and places the sour beer glass back in the holder. “First day of kindergarten. I was scared out of my mind. Remember, T?”
I smile at him, forced into my part. How often had we told this story? “He was wearing a purple cape, and he was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen. I knew he was going to be my best friend, so I told him so.”
“Bossy, bossy.” Mac grins at me. “It turns out, though, she needed a superhero in a purple cape because she was just as scared as I was.”
“Your dad let you wear a purple cape to school?” Duke stares back and forth between the two of us until Mac’s grin falls away and he gives a half shrug.
“Yeah, well. My dad was never big on telling me no. Neither is Mom.”
“Mac’s parents had him late in life,” I explain. “He was their miracle—I think they were afraid if they told him no, he’d vanish into thin air. Lucky for them, he doesn’t have the temperament to spoil. He wants everyone to be happy.”
Mac blushes. “She’s mostly exaggerating.”
Grinning at Mac, Duke picks up one of my neglected beers and drinks it down. “Sounds about right, though.” He reaches out and claps Mac on the shoulder. “I got the beers. Y’all heading to the show?”
“Show?” I look at Mac.
“There’s a free concert in the bowl.”
The bowl. It has an official name now—something or other bank amphitheater—but the little angled-lawn park across the street was still the bowl. And God only knows what kind of Brooks and Dunn tribute or Kiss cover group they’re hosting tonight.
“Do we have to?”
“C’mon, princess, save me a dance.” Duke leans over and rubs his stubble along my chin, a weird, intimate gesture—like he knew I’d been itching to feel it—but friendly, because a hug would send me running. And somehow, the beers gone straight to my head, I nod.
And that’s how I find myself howling along to, of all things, a Bon Jovi cover band, the feel of his stubble still tingling along my jaw, the last of the coconut and chocolate beer dancing on my tongue. Duke and Mac stand behind me, bouncing shoulder to shoulder in that camaraderie that still doesn’t make sense to me, until the music changes and Duke spins me into his arms.
I settle against him, hip to hip, as the strains of “I’ll Be There For You” swell through the bowl.
“You remember this song? My ma used to sing it a lot.” His left hand clasps my right and pulls it in close to our chests.
“Hardly. Maybe I was conceived to it.”
He throws his head back and laughs, and it might be the first unguarded laugh I’ve ever seen out of him, because it pulls a grin from me too. I relax into the dance, his body moving mine effortlessly in a small circle on the angled lawn, like he was taking care to shift our weight so I never stumbled into the downhill.
“I don’t get you,” I say into his chest.
“I don’t get you either,” he rumbles, his words too soft and close to carry out into crowd to Mac.

Review: Half Truths by Claire Contreras

Half Truths AMAZONBook: Half Truths

Author: Claire Contreras

Series: a standalone (so far)

Release date: 21 October 2019

Main characters: Amelia Bastón, Ellis university student desperate to find her way in life outside of her family’s influence; Logan Fitzgerald, star hockey player, and thorn in Amelia’s side from day one.

Blurb:

You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.

They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.
I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.

I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgement or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.

It’s a game I’m willing to play.
I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

Why you should read it: Claire Contreras has a wonderful narrative style. Her books have the right blend of angst, sexual chemistry and an intricate side plot running through it. Contreras has embarked on a different subgenre and this book has been billed as romantic suspense – a sub-genre I love when done well.

The book’s setting is intriguing. A college whose students sit in the lap of luxury and where the country’s most powerful offspring belong to secret societies, doing who knows what. All the ingredients for a suspenseful tale are there. There are enigmatic characters who try to befriend Amelia, but their purpose isn’t always clear. Another key ingredient. Then there’s Logan, the love interest. He’s a big man on campus with a bright future in front of him. He seems to delight in antagonising her, but at the same time, can’t seem to leave her alone. The key elements are all there, and there were some truly exciting moments in the book – in particular, towards the end of the book.

What you may not like: I have to be honest, it took me a long while to get into this story. Why? Perhaps because so much of the book was setting the scene, I wanted action quicker than it actually occurred. Then there was Amelia. She’s young – I get that, but a lot of the time she came across as whiny and she really knew how to labour a point. Much of her inner monologue was repetitive and at times, I wanted to shake her. I’m used to punchy dialogue from Contreras’s heroines but Amelia really didn’t have a lot to say for herself that added value or gravitas to a given situation. Her dialogue with Logan was supposed to be flirtatious and at times combative, but again, it just didn’t land for me.

Logan as a character wasn’t entirely convincing either, until the latter portion of the book. So much of the book featured them circling each other, giving very little away, that by the time the exciting ending came, it was over in a few pages. I found this really disappointing as just as we were getting a handle on the characters and how they interacted with each other, it was over.

Rating3/5 for a solid and promising effort in a new genre, but some pacing issues hampered the book’s progress for me.

 

Buy links:

Amazonhttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsAmazon

iBookshttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsiBooks

Nookhttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsNook

Kobohttps://smarturl.it/HalfTruthsKobo

Blog tour: War of Hearts by S. Young

Book: War of Hearts

Series: a wolfy standalone

Author: S. Young

Release date: 1 October 2019

Main characters: Thea Quinn, extraordinarily powerful woman on the run from those who would harm her; Conall MacLennan, alpha leader of Clan MacLennan and supe sent to deliver her to his mysterious client, Jasper Ashforth.

Plot: Thea Quinn has been running for the last six years. She’s never able to remain in one place long enough, never able to put down roots. She’s forgotten how to live, all she knows is survival. She has managed to remain one step ahead of her pursuer all that time, but when Jasper Ashforth steps up his efforts to get her back and enlists the help of Conall MacLennan, the gap between hunter and his prey narrows dramatically.

Conall is no ordinary wolf. Already an alpha, leader of his clan, he also possesses tracking abilities that are second to none. He has his reasons for pursuing and delivering Thea to Ashforth, and nothing will stand in his way. The pair have a mutual distrust for one another from the outset, but a series of incidents force the pair to cooperate with each other if they wish to make it to their destination alive. There are twists and turns along the way and Conall is forced to reevaluate everything he thought he knew…

Why you should read it: My goodness this book was an epic ride! There were so many twists and turns – it was dense and packed full of adventure, intrigue and sexual tension. Conall was a pretty straightforward character who thinks he has the measure of life and people in general. Nothing could prepare him for meeting Thea – there’s no-one like her and she keeps on surprising him throughout the book. Their slow acceptance of each other and the growing dilemma facing Conall (as he realises the implications of the bargain he struck) really kept me reading. I was on the edge of my seat at times, as the action didn’t let up or drag at all. The pace of the book was pitched right, and I felt the intensity of Thea and Conall’s acquaintance. Their chemistry built steadily and I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. The book was romantic too – very sweet and poignant in places, and it didn’t become too saccharine either.

What you may not like: There was a lot of mythology in the book and a magical narrative that did require quite a lot of concentration to stick with. At times, I wanted to get back to the main action – but that’s down to my own impatience, not the subject matter being uninteresting.

Rating: 5/5 for a magical and intricate world that I became fully immersed in. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and how they interacted with each other. Can’t recommend enough to those who love paranormal – I forgot how brilliantly S Young can create an otherworldly universe without it becoming too outlandish.

BLOG TOUR: Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Ends Ebook CoverBook: Violent Ends

Series: White Monarch #2

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 18 June 2019

Main characters: Natalia de la Rosa (née Cruz), unwilling new bride of Cristiano de la Rosa, head of a notorious cartel.

Blurb:

I had a life, love, and future to give.
Until my enemy took a wife.

The devil has a name, and it’s Cristiano de la Rosa. On my wedding day, he was the last man I expected to see standing at the altar. He wants to make me his queen. His brother wants to rescue his princess.

Getting Cristiano to lose control becomes the name of the game, and the stakes are life and death. But as truth and lies blur, loyalty is tested, and our chemistry threatens to reach the melting point, the prize grows less clear. Either freedom no longer means what I think it does, or Cristiano is as devious as everyone says, and he’s mastered the art of playing my mind.

All I know for certain is that nothing is certain. And all you need to know? This is a love story.
But even love stories have to end.

Why you should read it: I really am loving this series for its suspense, the excitement factor and yes, its ‘forced marriage’ trope. (This particular trope, when done well, really does keep my interest and yes, it’s a very guilty pleasure!) Natalia is getting to grips with her new life and determined to find a way out of it. I enjoyed her tenacity and her never-say-die attitude. She has made the best out of a bad situation, has had her heart stomped on, but will not stop fighting. Her chemistry with Cristiano was super hot – like incandescent hot. It blazed off the pages and proved to be THE slowest burn I have perhaps ever read.  It really kept me on the edge of my seat. I do need closure however – the entire book is practically foreplay and I cannot wait for the payoff between these two characters! The pacing of the book was spot on in my opinion – it didn’t drag and it didn’t zip by.

What you may not like: Natalia is 20 – she sometimes thinks like a 20 year old, and her assumptions and tendency to jump to conclusions occasionally grated on me. I did want to shout ‘Just open your eyes and look around!’ The book also has some violence (the clue is in the title) so if you’re not into mafia/gangster-type books, then I’m not sure why you’re contemplating reading book 2! Other than that, it was a very exciting story and I really need the concluding book before November! Come on!

Rating: 5/5 for a truly enjoyable, creative and sexy read. I don’t want to hasten the end of summer, but I am looking forward to book 3’s release in the autumn!

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Release blitz: Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Title: Violent Ends
Series: White Monarch #2
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 18, 2019

 

BLURB
I had a life, love, and future to give.
Until my enemy took a wife.
The devil has a name, and it’s Cristiano de la Rosa. On my wedding day, he was the last man I expected to see standing at the altar. He wants to make me his queen. His brother wants to rescue his princess.

Getting Cristiano to lose control becomes the name of the game, and the stakes are life and death. But as truth and lies blur, loyalty is tested, and our chemistry threatens to reach the melting point, the prize grows less clear. Either freedom no longer means what I think it does, or Cristiano is as devious as everyone says, and he’s mastered the art of playing my mind.

All I know for certain is that nothing is certain. And all you need to know? This is a love story.
But even love stories have to end.

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44099229-violent-ends

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2InBV2i
UK: https://amzn.to/31eYLlx
CA: https://amzn.to/2WlaV8K
AU: https://amzn.to/2WPcrUT
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2WsMNFS
B&N: http://bit.ly/31enA0Q
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HXVDTp
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HXW5RB

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in New York City and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and a coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

AUTHOR LINKS

Mailing List: http://www.jessicahawkins.net/mailing-list.html
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nJHDjg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicahawkinsauthor
Website: http://www.jessicahawkins.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jess_hawk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hawkins
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-hawkins
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jhauthor
Snail mail list: http://bit.ly/jessicahawkinsmailbox

 

Blog tour: One Man by Lisa Renee Jones

unnamedBook: One Man

Series: The Naked Trilogy book 1

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 11 June 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, daughter to the late business tycoon who founded Knight hotels. Jax North, successful businessman in his own right, determined to get revenge on the Knight clan.

Plot: Emma Knight has recently lost her father – a well-known tycoon and despite the grief, she is battling with the knowledge that he wasn’t the man she thought he was. In fact, he seems to want to control her life even beyond the grave by some peculiar stipulations laid out in his will.

Done with being a pawn in her family’s machinations, Emma is not about to roll with the punches. She’s sick of being pushed around and will not be anymore. When she meets Jax North, she’s struck by their similarities, but is also wary about his motivations – could his agenda see her caught in the crosshairs and  hurt in the process? The pair know that they face some insurmountable obstacles – but they cannot stay away from each other. Will love and lust win out against family loyalty?

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! I haven’t read a family saga like this in a while. It really started the series with a bang! Emma is plucky, smart and eager to live her own life, while trying desperately to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets. Meeting Jax when she does creates further complications she doesn’t need in the already complicated life she lives. She’s unable to trust anyone and I was on the edge of my seat reading this story. Everyone has an agenda, and I feel for Emma’s predicament. Her chemistry with Jax was palpable and the pair burn up the pages! I hope they’ll be able to maintain that intensity across the next two books as it was hot, hot, hot!

What you may not like: You’re going to have to be patient with this trilogy – there will be cliffhangers and there will be gaps between the next instalments. If you don’t like waiting  (guilty!) then this will be difficult – but come on, it’s good to delay gratification, right? Or so I’m told.

Rating: 5/5 for an explosive start to the Naked Trilogy. I truly hope the suspense and twists and turns can be maintained through the series as I’m truly on board and greedy for more!

Explore the series

ONE MAN (book one) – Available Now

Apple → https://apple.co/2FdPi4R

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/OneMan

Nook → http://bit.ly/2XYQwsb

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2CkxRhj


ONE WOMAN (book two) – out September 17th

Apple → https://apple.co/2UIl17P

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/OneWoman

Nook → http://bit.ly/2Zb1uKK

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2wMXmEx


TWO TOGETHER (book three) – November 19th

Apple → https://apple.co/2Xg5ZCY

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/TwoTogether

Nook → http://bit.ly/2I43qPv

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2K6pdZe

REVIEW: Return of the Prince by Nana Malone

cover nana maloneBook: Return of the Prince

Series: Prince duet #1

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 30 April 2019

Main characters: Ariel Scott, tech-savvy, security expert to the crown; Prince Tristan, previously exiled, desperate to return to The Winston Isles, though nothing can prepare him for seeing Ariel again.

Blurb:

They said I’d never come home again…they were wrong.

There is one person worth returning home for. Her. One little problem. She hates me. She should, I left her behind.

Now I’m back and I with a score to settle, and I will do what ever it takes to to win her back.

Even if it means spilling my secrets.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! If you’re loving the Winston Isles and its couples and its intrigue, then I’m thinking you’re going to want to dive into Return of the Prince. Ariel has been a steady and intriguing presence in the other Royal books. She’s steadfast, loyal and family is everything to her. Despite her father’s actions, she’s back in the royal fold and providing essential security to the upper echelons of society. Life is good. It may be all work, but it’s something she can rely on. Her heart is used to disappointment – her doomed love affair eons ago with Prince Tristan still plays on her mind, but she’s resolved to moving on.

The plan for ‘moving on’ unravels when she’s asked by the King himself to provide security to his cousin, Tristan. Knowing she can’t refuse without a damn good reason, Ariel is forced to accept the mission. She’s been in difficult positions before – she can handle this one. Or so she thinks. I really felt for Ariel coming face-to-face with the man who broke her heart. Her fight or flight instincts want to kick in, but she has a reputation to uphold and an obligation to the Royal family, so it’s made doubly difficult for her.

Prince Tristan is an interesting character. He’s full of secrets and is also loyal to those he loves. He’s attractive and a sportsman in his own right, and life should be good. It was interesting in this story that the hero is the one with the baggage and the secrets that need to be dragged out of him. I found that quite refreshing.

What you may not like: I enjoyed the intrigue and the delving in to Tristan’s secrets. The back and forth between Ariel and Tristan was not tiresome – it could have gone on and on, but it didn’t and I feel that some of the secrets and mysteries have been answered in this first book, but there will surely be more revelations in book two. I enjoyed this book, was it my favourite of the duets? No – I think that the drama has been building and building as each book has been published, and that for me, it didn’t quite resonate with me as much as some of the previous books did. It’s still a banging read though!

Rating: 3.5/5 for a well-told story with one of my favourite characters – Ariel. I definitely want to see where the pair end up in book 2 for sure!

REVIEW: Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

ig-vide-portrait-cover_origBook: Violent Delights

Series: White Monarch #1

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 19 March 2019

Main characters: Natalia Lourdes King Cruz, beloved daughter of cartel kingpin Costa Cruz, who wants nothing to do with the life she was born into. Diego de la Rosa, advisor to Costa, in love with Natalia, but with secrets of his own. Cristiano de la Rosa, back from exile and ready to reclaim his rightful place.

Plot: Natalia Cruz loves her father dearly but is adamant that she does not want to live the life of cartel princess, where to be in danger is the daily reality. Instead, she has made a quiet life in California, studying and hoping that she and Diego can be together. Her childhood was marred by violence and grief and she is desperate to escape her nightmares. If Diego and she can be together, all will be right with the world. Fate has other ideas however, and Natalia may not have a choice about her future.

Cristiano de la Rosa has spent a long time away from the life he knew, but now he’s back. No longer a foot soldier, he is the epitome of power and chaos. His objective isn’t clear, but he’s back with scores to settle and an offer that nobody will be able to refuse…

Why you should read it: Oh boy! Jessica Hawkins has embarked on another epic trilogy that I think will drive us all crazy! This first book was a slow-burning, introduction to the world of  organised crime and life on the edge. Natalia is young and idealistic, eager to remove herself from a life of stress and danger. She believes all she needs is Diego’s love and life will be perfect. I have the feeling she’ll do a lot of growing up in this series. Much like Lake did in the Something in the Way series. There was plenty of slow-burning passion in this book – Diego loves Natalia and Natalia loves Diego. Simple, right? Hmmm, maybe, until Cristiano shows up. He’s older, crueller and everything Diego isn’t. What’s his agenda? We don’t quite know, but it’s clear there’s no love lost between he and Diego.

What you may not like: I don’t know how you feel about books set against an organised crime backdrop. I don’t read them often but I do like to dip my toe in every now and then. I enjoyed it thoroughly, it is fairly violent – and if that’s not your bag, fair enough. I don’t see it getting less violent as the series progresses to be honest, but it certainly wasn’t gratuitous. Warm and fuzzy it is not, but an engaging and exciting read it certainly is. I need more!

Rating: 4/5 for a really exciting start to the trilogy – not sure I can wait until June for part 2, but I shall try!

 

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Blog tour: Laws of Physics – Space by Penny Reid

Book: Space

Series: Hypothesis trilogies series #2, part 2

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 11 March 2019

Main characters: Mona daVinci, a brilliant and influential scientist, Abram Harris is now a successful musician performing under a pseudonym. Suddenly, they’re about to crash back into each other’s lives.

Plot: Mona is in need of some down time. A little rest and relaxation with her friend Allyn at her family’s place in Aspen is just the ticket. She’ll read, hang out with her friend and generally not take up too much space. Fate, or in this case her brother, however have different ideas.

Leo brings his entourage with him – among them, none other than Abram Harris. Mona is poleaxed. She hasn’t seen him for two years, nor has she had the chance to explain her role in what happened two years earlier. Despite his frosty reception, she’s determined to make things right. She never got over him, but more than anything, she just wants him to be happy.

Abram is not happy to see Mona again. He hasn’t been keeping track of her these past two years – not at all. He’s still angry and he plans to keep that anger… will they end up killing each other out in the wilds of Aspen? Or is there still a spark there worth exploring?

Why you should read it: This is an engaging story – one that is shaping up to be a great series. I love Mona and the fact that her logic deserts her once she’s in Abram’s orbit. The pair have a lot to work out and there’s still a lot left unsaid. Abram is pretty salty in this book – not surprising but he’s kind of verging on bitter. I did enjoy his crabby exchanges with Mona – she’s in  many ways the grown up. I also enjoyed the familial exchanges and developments between Mona and Lisa. Not saying anymore than that. The chemistry is kept at a steady simmer for the whole book. It’s very much a study in delayed gratification – the complete opposite of the first Hypothesis series. Penny’s making us work for that HEA!

What you may not like: Is Abram a little more bitter than necessary? Is he a bit self-indulgent? I don’t know – on the one hand it’s understandable, on the other, he does seem to guard his self-righteous anger like a shield. I can’t wait for that shield to crumble. In some ways, this was your typical book 2 of a trilogy – we get more character development, a deeper look into their psyche and also another cliffhanger. I’m cool with all of that, but it’s made me really impatient for the book’s conclusion!

Rating: 4/5 for an entertaining read – sexy yet not yet fulfilling. Plus a very welcome back to some much-loved characters from the previous series.

Meet Penny Reid 

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Motion

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Time

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