Review: Canary (Tijan)

Canary
Author: Tijan

Publication Date: October 4, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

We were on the front lines in that world, the mafia world.

There was nothing soft or glamorous about it.

Who you were before no longer mattered. Names didn’t exist.

I joined anyway. I had no other choice because they took my sister.

Join. Find her. Try and make it out alive.

Then he won me in a poker game.

I hated him instantly, thinking he was like my other bosses before him.

He wasn’t. He was worse.

He wasn’t just cold. He was dead inside.

It didn’t matter that he was gorgeous.

He was the most lethal thing I’d ever met.

He was also the only person who could keep me alive, if he didn’t kill me himself.

A/N This is a 102k mafia/cartel standalone.

This is the most violent book Tijan has ever written.

Trigger warning: references to sexual violence

“Canaries sing to save lives. I sing and people die.”


Canary was a wild ride. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I would probably pick “extra”. It was like other mafia romances by Tijan, but it was extra: extra violent, extra mysterious, extra addicting. While some may find those extras too much, I enjoyed them.

I was sucked into Canary from the very beginning. Our main character was a shell of herself. She had entered the mafia world to save her older sister, and had taken on new identities and roles. Her most recent role was “Girl” along side Raize. Girl had a very interesting job in Raize’s organization.  That role was cool. I would have loved to have seen it explored more. It was fun to discover more about Girl and her mission as the story went on.

Raize was a man with a violent job and no hesitation. He was the best at what he did and I could understand why. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a Tijan hero that I would swoon over because of his nature, but I did love how he took care of her. Maybe I just feel that way because Canary had a romance, but didn’t really feel like a romance for most of the book. A good 50% of it was just being in her head while living the mafia life. I wasn’t surprised when Girl and Raize turned their working relationship into a romantic one, but I also was. I think part of that was not getting Raize’s POV until later on.

As with all of her books, Tijan is great at creating a cast of characters you want to root for. I loved Girl, liked Raize, and thought Cavers and Jake were fun. Even the bad guys added entertainment to the story.

I thought the reason this book was titled Canary was cool. Tijan said this was her most violent book so far and she wasn’t wrong. While it was violent with all the killing, it wasn’t gory. It was a fast paced, multidimensional mafia romance. I devoured it from beginning to end.

CW: violence, murder, drugs, mentions of sex trafficking and rape

Be captivated today!
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon | Amazon Worldwide

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About Tijan
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new series from north Minnesota where she lives with an English Cocker she adores.

Connect with Tijan
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Mini Reviews: Tin Queen & Relentless

Tin Queen
Series: Clifton Forge, #6
Author: Devney Perry

Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Publisher: Devney Perry LLC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I liked Emmett and Nova’s romance. It was steamier than the past books based on the nature of their relationship being primarily a physical one, but that fit well and it wasn’t overly steamy. I liked what being Tucker’s daughter meant for Nova and how that storyline went. Same for Emmett and his late father. The only thing that kept me from loving it was that I felt like the last book was more captivating. It made this one seem like a weaker end to the series. Still a good time and totally worth reading, though!

Relentless
Series: Mason Family, #4
Author: Adriana Locke

Publication Date: September 3, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I liked Relentless, but it was missing something for me. Oliver and Shaye were both great characters with interesting pasts. The chemistry was there. It was just something in the execution of the story. I’m not sure what it was, but it left the book feeling kind of blah. It mas missing something to make it stand out from the rest of the series, I guess. I would say it is worth the read if you’re looking for something light and fluffy or are a fan of the series.

Review: Lord of London Town (Tillie Cole)

Lord of London Town
Series: Adley Firm, #1

Author: Tillie Cole
Publication Date: October 10, 2020
Genre: Dark Romanc

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Cheska Harlow-Wright was born into a life of luxury and privilege. She has never wanted for anything. A comfortable future as a married London socialite ⁣
awaits her. But since the age of thirteen, Cheska has harboured a secret—an unshakeable fixation on a boy who could never offer her anything close to ⁣comfort. A boy steeped in sin and draped in depravity. A boy born into the possessive embrace of darkness. ⁣

When Cheska’s seemingly perfect world is ripped apart by an unknown but deadly enemy, there’s only one person she can run to. One person in the world ⁣who has the power to keep her safe. The one person her weak and shattered heart craves. ⁣

Arthur Adley. The new head of the most feared crime family in London. ⁣

Forced too young to take the helm of the Adley firm, Arthur has become even more ruthless, formidable, and cold than ever before. His enemies are circling, and he must fight—and kill—to maintain his family’s place at the top of the London crime underworld. There is no room for weakness, emotion, or loss of control.⁣

But then Cheska smashes back into his life with the force of a wrecking ball. She has no place in this dark, vicious, and bloodthirsty world. And worse, she is the solitary chink in his impenetrable armour. He’s already pushed her away once, but this time she desperately needs him. She’s broken, lost, and in danger, and he is the only one who can help.⁣

Arthur must protect her. He must destroy those who dare to threaten her, hunt down those who would take what is his. He would raze all of London to the ⁣ground to keep her safe… but can he also protect himself?⁣

The infamous Dark Lord of London Town faces his most brutal battle yet—the crippling weight of the past, the unrelenting enemies lurking in the shadows… and the havoc that Cheska’s presence is wreaking on the granite fortress that was once his heart.⁣
 


Normally I’m all about the sweet contemporary romances, but every once in a while I get burnt out on those and want something different. That’s when I reach for a thriller or a dark romance. I was feeling this way recently, but couldn’t find books that wanted to read. My ex-blogger friend, Ari, recommended Lord of London Town to me and I’m happy she did. It got me out of the book funk I was in. Here are my thoughts on it:

  • Lord of London Town started out a little slow, but it was setting the stage for what was to come.
  • Arthur was a violent guy. By the time I met him, it seemed like it was more nature than nurture, but as the story goes on I got to learn where his rage and punishment came from.
  • I didn’t exactly like all the violence and gore in this book, but it fit the story so I could roll with it. I definitely said “ew” a bunch of times.
  • Cheska was Arthur’s goodness and also the light of the book. She might have had a posh upbringing and clean upbringing, but she could easily hang with Arthur and his family. I loved her thoughts on everything.
  • Cheska and Arthur’s relationship was full of ups and downs that spanned years. Their time together wasn’t all tender love story. There was a lot of dark moments between the sweet ones. Despite that (or maybe because of it) they made a couple I could root for.
  • Arthur’s family was a great cast of characters. I enjoyed them all, but had a big soft spot for Vinnie. His relationship with Pearl made me both happy and sad. He’s the one I am most curious about what’s going to happen to in the next book.
  • The climax in this book was so good! There were lots of twist. Some I saw coming, others surprised me. Overall, it was a great read.

Review: Tarnished Soul (Beth Flynn)

Tarnished Soul
Series: A Nine Minutes Spin-Off Novel, #4

Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: May 21, 2021
Genre: New Adult, Dark Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

𝑺𝒐𝒎𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒘𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒅𝒆, 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒐𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒘𝒊𝒄𝒆, 𝒊𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒇𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒂𝒚.

Ex-con and ruthless biker, Jonas Brooks is stunned when he encounters the selfless angel who saved his life six years ago. With his massive size and alarming tattoos, Jonas terrifies people on sight. But the beautiful, kind, and intelligent Lucy Renquest sees beyond his frightening exterior the moment she lays eyes on him.

Despite being an outcast with an extremely high IQ, Lucy’s confidence and courage propels her to success. Finding the good in people is her biggest strength—and greatest weakness. When Jonas cleverly deceives her into accompanying him to a secluded cabin in the alligator-infested Florida Everglades, she’s beyond furious—until her anger fades and their passion ignites.

When Jonas and Lucy return to their normal lives, he discovers that she’s in danger. Now, it’s up to Jonas to save the woman who saved him.

Can a criminal with a tarnished soul protect his angel and find the truth before it’s too late? 


Every new Nine Minutes related book from Beth Flynn feels like a gift. I could not wait to read Tarnished Soul. Brooks and Lucy’s relationship has been hinted at in two of the previous books in this series, and I was dying to know more about them. Brooks is Anthony Bear’s right hand man, if that helps anyone trying to place him from previous books. I wish Beth Flynn would give us a “family” tree because I had to refresh my memory to remind me which biker gang he was related to. 

Tarnished Soul was exactly what I would expect from Beth Flynn. It was a journey through Brooks and Lucy’s relationship. We get to find out how a studious and somewhat geeky woman attracted a devilish brute like Brooks and vice versa. (When I say devilish, I’m not talking devilishly handsome like some romance novels. I’m talking brute force with no conscience, so be prepared for some stomach turning scenes that you would probably expect in a dark romance.) Their love story was unconventional and sweet. I would never condone what Brooks does, but I did love his love for Lucy and desire to protect her from the world. 

One of my favorite things about Nine Minutes books is the way they are all woven together through characters, setting, and plots. Each new book puts a piece in place and makes the entire series better. This book had some fun cameos and pieces of the puzzle. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was a major revelation about Brooks that came toward the end. It caught me off guard and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. What the revelation was didn’t bother me, but more that it was one. I should have seen it coming. There were some major hints and I admit one had me thinking back to something, but I guess I thought I just missed that it was foreshadowing. I don’t know how to explain it without giving it away. I just thought it was an interesting direction to go.

Anyways. Tarnished Soul was another fantastic addition to the Nine Minutes Spin-Off series. I loved getting the story behind Brooks and Lucy’s romance. I loved getting more time with everyone. I am only sad I finished this book because now I want another from Ms. Flynn. 

𝔾𝕠𝕠𝕕𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕𝕤: http://bit.ly/TarnishedSoul-GR

𝟙ℂ𝕝𝕚𝕔𝕜: http://mybook.to/TarnishedSoul

Review: Blacklisted (Jay Crownover)

Blacklisted
Series: Loveless, Texas, #3
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a doctor who plays by the rules and the outlaw who breaks them in order to protect her.

Dr. Presley Baskin has always lived a quiet, calm life. Unfortunately, nothing about her life in Loveless, Texas—especially not the wild, rowdy, and impossibly close-knit Lawton family who’ve claimed her—is quiet or calm. Which is how loner Presley finds herself roped into patching up local bad boy Shot Caldwell against her better judgment. Presley wants nothing to do with the dangerous, brooding leader of the local outlaw motorcycle club. But when someone starts stalking her, Shot is the only person she trusts to help. Plus he owes her one…

Palmer ‘Shot’ Caldwell has always known his life isn’t made for relationships. At least until shy, secretive, Presley reluctantly pulled a bullet out of him. He’s oddly protective of the pretty doctor, so when she comes to him for help, hard-hearted Shot suddenly realizes there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.


Blacklisted picked up right where Unforgiven left off in the Loveless, Texas series. I loved where things picked up with Presley and Shot. They were such an interesting couple. Plus, I was really excited to find out where everything was going since the entire series had been building up to this point.

I hate to say it, but this books had some ups and downs for me. I wanted to love it so badly, but ended up just liking it in the end. I’m normally a fan of Crownover’s writing style, but it didn’t work well for me in Blacklisted. It was too wordy. That might sound weird since books are made up of words and the book itself wasn’t too long. There was just too much description and not enough dialog. I was being told too many things instead of experiencing them. It bogged the book down for me. I thought it might have been my mood, so I put the book aside for a few days. Things were a little better when I picked it back up, but I am attributing that more to being at about 50% where the action finally started to pick up and I started enjoying the book a lot more.

What about the ups? Well, the ups were great. I loved Presley and Shot. They had such different personalities and jobs. It was truly a case of opposites attract for them. I loved their chemistry and the way their relationship built. I would have loved to spend more time with them as a couple with a lesser suspense plot. Which is feels funny to say because I actually enjoyed the suspense plot in this book.

Another thing I enjoyed was the Lawton family and how they supported Presley. They showed up for her not only when she needed it, but in general. It was fun to see where they were in life and how Presley fit in. I also liked Shot’s right hand man, Top. He was interesting. I can only imagine what a book with him as the main character would be like.

In the end I truly ended up liking this book. Like I said before, I started enjoying it more once it hit that 50% mark. The characters’ relationship went placed I loved. The suspense plot came together in a way that fit the series and made for a good ending to it. I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I’m excited to find out what’s next from Jay Crownover.

Review: Dirty Empire (Nina West)

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker, writing as Nina West, comes the dark and sexy Dirty Empire series.

Dirty Empire
Series: Dirty Empire, #3
Author: Nina West
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Mercy Wheeler and Gabriel Easton’s sordid tale continues in Dirty Empire as Mercy finds her loyalties tested and Gabriel’s attempt to break free of his family’s legacy comes with unexpected consequences.

Dirty Empire is the third book in the Dirty Empire series and should be read after Sweet Mercy and Gabriel Fallen.


One word for Dirty Empire: EXPLOSIVE.

Why explosive? If I gave away Gideon’s secrets he would kill me, so this review is going to be a little sparse. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Things started where they left off. The drama and suspense continued and actually heightened in this third book.
  • Gideon and Mercy’s relationship went next level and got hotter, if that was possible.
  • There were some revelations I guessed but still managed to be a little shocked by.
  • Dirty Empire was supposed to be the end of Gideon and Mercy’s story, but IT’S NOT!!! There was another crazy cliffhanger and there will be a FOURTH book. I can’t decide if I love or hate that.
  • Dirty Empire was a fabulous addition to this series and I can’t wait for the fourth book!
Dirty Empire by Nina West is now live!
Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Dirty Empire (#3 Dirty Empire)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3m5UHy9
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Sweet Mercy (#1 Dirty Empire) is also FREE!

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 Meet Nina

 Nina West is the author of the sinfully sexy and highly addictive The Wolf Hotel series and Dirty Empire series. She lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness.

Connect with Nina

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-West/e/B0184G39E0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14465382.Nina_West
Website: https://www.ninawestauthor.com/|
Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-west
Facebook: @K.A.Tucker.Author
Instagram: @katucker_
Twitter: @kathleenatucke

 

Review: Always Crew (Tijan)

Always Crew - BT banner

Always Crew
Series: Crew, #3
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For the longest time, I was Bren Monroe.
I lived in Roussou, California.
I had no parents, no brother, but I had a crew.

Then things started to change.
I never planned for any of it.
I didn’t think I’d fall in love.
I didn’t think I’d have a relationship with my brother again.
I didn’t think that he’d come back.

Now I’m in Cain.
My crew is in college.
They’re growing, going through their own things.
And here I am, figuring out my life.

There’s always hurdles and obstacles to overcome.
That was never my hardship.
That was my regular.
But living? Being content? Being happy?
Those were my challenges now.

Everything was going well…
Until it wasn’t. Again.

A/N: Always Crew is the conclusion of the Crew Series, and a 106k novel.


Ever get a book that you couldn’t wait to start but also didn’t want to start because you weren’t ready to part with the characters inside? That’s how I felt before starting Always Crew. I’ve been waiting for this book since the end of Crew Princess. I just wasn’t sure how Tijan would be able to wrap up a series this epic in three books. I mean, Fallen Crest High took seven books and I am not complaining about that AT ALL. I was scared three books wasn’t enough to do Bren and the boys justice. I didn’t need to worry. Always Crew was action packed and tidied things up in a way I completely approved of.

Always Crew was a smart conclusion to the Wolf Crew’s journey. Bren had already started to mature and grow through the first two books, but she accepted herself and moved forward in this final installment. Bren was smarter and more even in this book. Her inner, negative thoughts didn’t feel as redundant. I loved how that affected her relationships with Cross, Jordan, Zellman, and even Channing.

Cross, Jordan, and Zellman truly shined in this one. I felt like I got to know them better than I ever had before. I definitely appreciated their characters more than I have. Well, maybe not Cross. I’ve liked that guy from book one. The stuff going through Cross’ mind in relationship to Bren was even more swoony, though.

Moving the story from Roussou to Cain U brought some new characters to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the people who ended up surrounding Bren. Her man Cross and their friends Jordan and Zellman were just as close as always, but the new additions added more excitement. Bren’s budding friendship with Aspen (as in Blaise’s girlfriend from Rich Prick) was fun because not only do I love Aspen, but Aspen’s college friends were entertaining. Then, there was Bren’s new co-workers. Hawk was badass and Bonbon… Well, Bonbon was one of a kind goodness.

The drama was also perfect in this book. The bad guys (because you know there have be some) and their badness made for some interesting twists and turns. I want to say more about it, but I can’t.

So…This would probably be time to end things and say how sad I am that this series is over. I’m hoping that this isn’t the last that we’re going to see of the Wolf Crew. Maybe they will pop up in other places and stories like Tijan is known to do with her other characters from time to time? Maybe some of the characters from this book will get their own story? I can surely hope.

Always Crew - AN

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About Tijan:
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

Connect with Tijan
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Mini Reviews: Boss Man Bridegroom & Riven Knight

Boss Man Bridegroom
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: January 23, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Will you do me the greatest honor of all time and be my bridegroom?” she asks, hope in her eyes . . .

How did I get here? My assistant, bent on one knee, holding my hand, her expectant face waiting for an answer.

Just . . . how?

How did I go from being insulted by Charlee Cox to hiring her to be my assistant? How is it that she’s chaos in color – making me crazy and my life better at the same time?

I never thought I would be staring down at her bright blue eyes begging me to go along with this ridiculous scheme I suggested.

Yes, I suggested. Like the idiot I am, I thought hey, why not start an HR nightmare and have my assistant ask me to marry her?

Confused? Don’t worry, so am I.

But try to follow along, because this is how I became Boss Man Bridegroom.

My thoughts:

Boss Man Bridegroom was absolutely adorable. It had the humor and romance I have come to expect from Meghan Quinn. Rath was uptight, but also super sweet. Charlie was extra in the best way. I loved every minute of them falling in love. If you love fake relationships that turn real or office romances, this book is for you. If you’re unfamiliar with Meghan Quinn’s writing, but love a good romantic comedy, you could start with this book. Or you could do yourself a favor and start with Diary of a Bad Boy and then read The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister before reading this one. Each book is a ton of fun and they feature three male best friends finding love.


Riven Knight
Series: Tin Gypsies, #2
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Genevieve Daylee didn’t expect to be standing in front of a judge on her twenty-seventh birthday. But ever since her life became entangled with a former motorcycle gang, she’s learned not to expect anything but trouble.

Her mother, a woman she once admired and adored, is gone, leaving behind a trail of secrets and lies. She’s living in a tiny apartment above a garage owned by her brother, a man who loathes her very existence. And the father she met beside her mother’s grave is as much of a stranger as Isaiah Reynolds, the broken man with soulless eyes standing beside her in front of the judge.

Isaiah is her protector from the murderer at large in Clifton Forge. Though he’s more like a riven knight in dented armor than a prince on a white stallion. She knows next to nothing about him, other than he works as a mechanic. As of tonight, he’ll be sharing her bathroom.

And, according to the judge, Isaiah is now her husband.

My thoughts:

I liked Riven Knight even more than Gypsy King. It started out much quicker for me and I immediately bonded with the characters. Genevieve and Isaiah’s story was kind of a slow burn filled with all sorts of sexual tension. I loved how they navigated their new situation. I liked the mystery aspect of things. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was probably one of the biggest twists because I didn’t think it needed to go there…but that’s my personal opinion. Overall, a great addition to this new series.

Review: Gypsy King (Devney Perry)

Gypsy King
Series: Tin Gypsy, #1
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Devney Perry LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.


Devney Perry is one of my favorite new-to-me authors of 2019. I love her writing style and the emotion she infuses in her words and stories. I was really excited to read her newest release, Gypsy King. Here are my quick thoughts on it.

What I didn’t like:

  • There’s only one thing, really. It took me a few chapters or so to get into the book. It wasn’t love at first word. The only reason I can give you for this was that I didn’t immediately bond with Bryce’s character. Her actions made me mad at first because she didn’t give any thought to how what she was investigating would do to the people it impacted. Luckily, Bryce grew on me.

What I loved:

  • The writing, of course.
  • Dash. He should have been someone I didn’t like because of things he had done in the past, but he was a good guy.
  • The mystery behind the murder and how that all played out.
  • Dash and Bryce’s relationship. I loved them together.
  • Bryce once she and Dash became involved and her priorities shifted. I loved how she interacted with his friends, too.
  • Dash’s friends.

By the end of Gypsy King, I was enjoying the story so much I didn’t want it to end. I’m so excited for the rest of the series.

*Spoiler Free* Review: Better Than This (Beth Flynn)

Better Than This
Series: A Nine Minutes Trilogy Spin-Off, #3
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: July 8, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Sometimes they just scab over.

Haunted by memories of a failed marriage, trauma surgeon Barbie Anderson escapes to her hometown for a fresh start. But the quaint community of Pumpkin Rest has memories and failures of its own that should stay buried.

When Barbie runs into ex-con biker Jake Chambers, he stirs up anger and resentment in her that she doesn’t want to face. He reminds her of the one man she’s never gotten over and dredges up decades-old heartache. With his rugged criminal exterior and gentlemanly demeanor, the silver fox may have the other women in Pumpkin Rest falling at his feet, but not Barbie.

She refuses to let her guard down and have her heart broken again. When a series of revelations come tumbling forth, Barbie is forced to confront her past and trust Pumpkin Rest’s most sought-after bachelor where she’ll soon learn that love wears many faces.

Will secrets from the past destroy their future or will old wounds finally heal, allowing her to love again?


Before I begin my review of Better Than This, I feel the need to point people in the right direction if they are not familiar with Beth Flynn’s writing. Beth Flynn has an insanely good dark romance / psychological thriller trilogy called Nine Minutes. It’s really the place you need to start when reading her books. Every book that comes after the original Nine Minutes has been slowly revealing itself since then. Better Than This doesn’t exactly continue storylines from the original trilogy, but there are some surprise references to people and events from it that build to make this book what it is. I highly recommend starting with Nine Minutes and reading Ms. Flynn’s books in the order they were released. If you’re interested in my review for the first book, you can find it here. Now for my review…

Better Than This had a slightly different feel than Beth Flynn’s other novels. This one didn’t jump around in time as much. There were a few scenes that took us to the past, but the majority of the book was in the present and focused on Barbie and Jake’s romance. Barbie and Jake’s romance differed from others in this series because it was a more mature romance. The characters are in their 50’s. It’s not very often I come across a romance with characters this age that feels fresh and not antiquated. The characters had moments where they felt the things you feel when you grow older, but they also had a youthfulness to their thoughts. Getting older myself, I liked this because you still feel like you’re young at heart even when your body isn’t. Barbie and Jake’s romance was also more of a slow burn than the other novels in this series. Given their age, that was surprising. I liked the reasoning behind it.

Now that I’ve said Better Than This was mostly romance based, I need to backtrack a little on that statement. If you have read Beth Flynn’s books, you know that it’s not all about the romance. I probably shouldn’t have said it was. There’s always a gigantic mystery to unravel. That’s another thing that made this book (and all of her others) so special. I was constantly playing detective. Each little hint had me thinking back to things that had been said or done. Usually it just left me with more questions than answers, but it was so much fun and kept me glued to this book.

When I started reading Better Than This I was very curious to find out how Barbie and Jake tied into the original Nine Minutes Trilogy. They weren’t characters I remembered, but there are so many characters I could have easily forgotten them. I kept waiting for some clue to connect them. In true Beth Flynn fashion, things took a while to come together. That’s what’s so amazing about her writing, though. Every little twist, turn, and revelation gives you some new piece of information to fit together. The result is a fabulous puzzle and a huge pay off. I definitely got one of those with this book. Some of my lingering questions from previous books were answered and it was utterly satisfying. There are still more questions now, but I’m hoping Beth Flynn will keep the spin-offs coming and the next book will answer them.