Review: Creole Kingpin (Meghan March)

Creole Kingpin
Series: Magnolia Duet, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March goes back to New Orleans and the world of Lachlan Mount with a dangerous and bold new anti-hero.

The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead.

That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.

We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.

As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.

But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.

So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.

After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.


I don’t know how Meghan March does it. Each book and series better than the last. From beginning to end, Creole Kingpin had me transfixed. I loved being back in March’s New Orleans setting with Magnolia, I character who has intrigued me from the minute I learned her name. Add in Moses, the villain from the Legend Trilogy who I wasn’t exactly a fan of, and things were crazy good.

Magnolia had a rough and not exactly lawful past life. She is ready to leave it all behind. Her navigation out of that world and the resurrection of Moses in her life was so much fun to read about. Add in a little dangerous mystery, and Creole Kingpin was the best kind of ride.

I would leave my review at that, but I HAVE to mention Moses some more. I didn’t think I could love him based on his relationship with Legend. I did, though… His relationship with Magnolia made me see him in a completely new way. I loved it.

So… This is a duet. You know what that means in a Meghan March book, right? CLIFFHANGER. This one went a direction I wasn’t expecting. It left me more curious than shocked, and I’m dying to know what’s going to be revealed in Madam Temptress.

Creole Kingpin is the first book in the Magnolia Duet. Magnolia’s story concludes in Madam Temptress releasing April 14, 2020.

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About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers:  http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

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Mini Review: Queen of Lies (Whitney G.)

Queen of Lies
Series: Empire of Lies, #2
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: February 27, 2020
Publisher: WGW Books, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Book 2 in the Empire of Lies trilogy.
The twists and turns in Michael & Meredith’s story continue…

The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…
She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating. Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away.
She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?
Well, she f-cking fooled you…
She’s the queen.


The surprises that began in King of Lies kept coming in Queen of Lies. I don’t know what to say other than I wasn’t expecting some of the twists and the ending left me wondering what could possibly come next. Meredith and Michael’s story is crazy, epic, and I love it! I CANNOT wait for the final installment of this trilogy!

Review: Unforgiven (Jay Crownover)

I am so excited to celebrate the release of UNFORGIVEN by Jay Crownover with you today by participating in the blog tour! UNFORGIVEN is part of the Loveless, Texas series and you can grab your copy now. Join Jay’s Group for details about all of her titles.

Unforgiven
Series: Loveless, Texas, #2
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
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 tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.
Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.
When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.


I was immediately drawn into Kody and Hill’s story from the very beginning. They had such an emotionally charged connection that drew them together as well as kept them apart. I loved their dynamic and how they found their way to each other.

Kody and Hill’s romance almost felt like a side story compared to the romantic suspense plot of the story. So much was going on with the investigation into Kody’s father’s murder that it pretty much took over the entire book. I’m not really complaining about that. It was interesting.

What I am going to complain about it the ending. Was there really an ending? That was my question when the Epilogue suddenly began and then again when I closed Unforgiven for the final time. First, Kody basically just explained how things are working out for her with Hill. It wasn’t really an HEA in my opinion and left me disappointed and wanting more. Second, the romantic suspense aspect of the story wasn’t tied off. The Epilogue felt more like one big push toward the next book in that series. Granted, I am SUPER curious about that book now. So while I enjoyed reading Unforgiven, I just felt let down in the end.

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!

Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

Add UNFORGIVEN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!
Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

———————

About JAY CROWNOVER:

  Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road. Connect with her: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group IS-Blogger-1-1024x158

Review: The Fight for Forever (Meghan March)

The Fight for Forever
Series: Legend Trilogy, #3
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Meghan March LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

You can only keep what you can protect.

That’s all I’ve ever known. It’s the way I’ve lived my life.

Now, everything I never knew I needed is at risk, and I’m not letting anyone take it from me.

I won’t let anyone take her from me.

They say love is a battlefield, so I’m ready for war.

This time, it’s the fight for forever.

The Fight for Forever is the final book in the Legend Trilogy and should be read after The Fall of Legend, book one and House of Scarlett, book two of the utterly addictive Legend Trilogy.


I loved both The Fall of Legend and House of Scarlett, but what I felt for the first two books in this trilogy was only a fraction of what I felt for The Fight for Forever. This book was perfection. Seriously, Meghan March did everything I hoped she would and more. It picked right back up from the brutal cliffhanger in House of Scarlett and answered with action, chemistry, and love.

Gabriel Legend and Scarlett Priest’s story was FIRE. I loved everything about their relationship. They were both strong individual, but together they were a force to be reckoned with. They had a sweet relationship filled with an intense attraction. I loved how they welcomed the (amazing) people in each other’s lives into their own. Many of my favorite moments included them with Bump.

The fight aspect of this book was so much fun to read about. I loved how Gabriel’s preparation for it was worked in. I also loved the suspense the fight brought into this part of the trilogy. March kept me on my toes with everything that went on. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!

As you can probably tell from all of my gushing, I adored this book. The Fight for Forever was an amazing conclusion to the Legend Trilogy. I’m sad I’m done reading it, but I’m also looking forward to reading what’s next from Meghan March. Her writing gets better and better with each new release.

Add to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/TheFightforForeverGR

Buy Now:

http://meghanmarch.com/the-fight-for-forever
Amazon: mybook.to/MMFight
Apple Books: http://bit.ly/AppleTheFightforForever
B&N: http://bit.ly/MMTheFightforForeverNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheFightforForeverKobo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/37qt22M

About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | BOOKBUB

Review: Destructive (Jay McLean)

Destructive
Series: Combative, #3
Author: Jay McLean
Publication Date: January 6, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Some villains are made.
Some villains are born.
And some villains aren’t villains at all.

Nate DeLuca was born into a life he didn’t want.
Forced to walk a path that was already chosen for him.
Grandson to a mob boss, he’s forever torn between his duty, his honor, his legacy, and the truth.
But the truth is never simple, and it’s not at all what it seems.

In a world full of secrets, heartache, and betrayals, Nate only has one thing on his mind: redemption.
But with redemption comes destruction.
And that destruction might cost him his heart.

***

Three Lives.
Two Loves.
One ticking time bomb…
Tick tock.


Destructive is the third and final book in the Combative series. Each book builds on the last, so you don’t want to jump ahead because you will miss out on the build up and all the good stuff. You can find my review for the first book, Combative, here.

Woah.

If Combative left me slightly confused with its cliffhanger and Redemptive left me mind blown, then Destructive left me fulfilled. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted, but needed from Jay McLean and her characters. It tested everything I thought I knew about Nate, Ky, Madison, and Bailey. There were so many revelations, so many moments of clarity. It took McLean years to wrap up this story, and I now understand why. It both shocked and amazed. What a way to end such an explosive trilogy!

Review: Moonlighter (Sarina Bowen)

Moonlighter
Series: The Company, #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?

It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.

Sigh. I loved Moonlighter. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Eric Bayer and Alex’s romance was sweet in a way I wasn’t expecting — only because I didn’t immediately connect the dots as to who Alex was. I don’t know how I didn’t recognize her character immediately. (She’s from Brooklynaire if you need a reminder like I did.) The story was also funny in the way I’ve come to expect from Sarina Bowen. It even had a romantic suspense vibe that I enjoyed because it wasn’t overdone. I couldn’t get enough of Eric and Alex. I wanted their story to go on forever. Sarina Bowen was smart to start this new The Company series with a couple of Brooklyn Bruisers characters. I’m so excited to see what comes next in the series. I would love a Duff or Max book!

Review: Justified (Jay Crownover)

Justified
Series: Loveless, Texas, #1
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy…

Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he’s determined to do everything by the book–until he’s called to Aspen Barlow’s office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn’t the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge…

Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she’ll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there’s a thin line between love and hate… because there’s nothing Case wouldn’t do to keep her safe.


Justified was one of those solid romantic reads. Aspen and Case were enemies at the start and their dramatic interactions were perfect. I loved how Case hated her while Aspen wished he didn’t. They way their walls came down when they were forced to share space and trust each other was fun to read. Things went quickly between them, but it felt natural with all that was going on.

And there was a ton going on! I’m not normally into romantic suspense, but Justified had just the right kind and amount of it. I was very curious to know who had it out for Aspen and why. I have to admit I was shocked who was behind everything. I didn’t see it coming at all!

One of my favorite things about this book was Case’s relationship with his son, Hayes. It really showed what a great man Case was. I liked how he supported his son when it came to his mother and relationships with girls. I also liked how Aspen fit into that relationship.

Justified was another great romance by Jay Crownover. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about it. I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with it. I can’t wait to read what’s next in this series!

Review: The Mister (E.L. James)

The Mister
Author: E.L. James
Narrators: Dominic Thorburn, Jessica O’Hara-Baker
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The passionate new romance from E L James, author of the phenomenal #1 bestselling Fifty Shades Trilogy

London, 2019. Life has been easy for Maxim Trevelyan. With his good looks, aristocratic connections, and money, he’s never had to work and he’s rarely slept alone. But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Maxim inherits his family’s noble title, wealth, and estates, and all the responsibility that entails. It’s a role he’s not prepared for and one that he struggles to face.

But his biggest challenge is fighting his desire for an unexpected, enigmatic young woman who’s recently arrived in England, possessing little more than a dangerous and troublesome past.  Reticent, beautiful, and musically gifted, she’s an alluring mystery, and Maxim’s longing for her deepens into a passion that he’s never experienced and dares not name. Just who is Alessia Demachi? Can Maxim protect her from the malevolence that threatens her? And what will she do when she learns that he’s been hiding secrets of his own?

From the heart of London through wild, rural Cornwall to the bleak, forbidding beauty of the Balkans, The Mister is a roller-coaster ride of danger and desire that leaves the reader breathless to the very last page.


So… The Mister… You may wonder what made me want to read this book. To be honest, I was interested in what would come next for author E.L. James. I am one of the people who hopped on the 50 Shades hype back in the day and read all three books plus Grey. I actually liked the first three books. Grey not so much, but that’s okay. I wasn’t sure where E.L. James would go after that and Grey left me doubting whether or not I would like what was next. I did, for the most part.

If you’re wondering if E.L. James’ writing has changed much since her début series, the answer is no. It has exactly the same feel, so if it wasn’t for you then it wouldn’t be for you now. I didn’t find it to be a big deal because I didn’t expect anything else. She had a couple of different tenses going on in The Mister, so that took a while to get used to. Maxim’s POV was in first person while Alessia’s was in third person. By the end, I actually liked that. I think it helped that both of the narrators did a great job narrating their parts.

As for the actual story, I had to admit that I wasn’t immediately into it. It’s all Maxim’s fault. Dude was a manwhore. I don’t particularly like reading about a hero’s exploits with other women, so that made it hard to like Maxim at first. I kind of got the Caroline thing because it had to do with one part of the plot, but still…

Once Alessia was in the picture, it was easier to like Maxim. He seemed more authentic and like a better guy with her. Their relationship was way too insta-love, but I did find it to be cute. Of course, this is E.L. James’ book, so it was sexy as well. Not like 50 Shades, though. It was a more subtly sexy romance. Alessia and Maxim’s relationship would be considered vanilla to Christian Grey.

What really pulled me into the story and kept me reading wasn’t the romance. It was actually Alessia’s character and her past. It was mysterious and I liked how it unfolded. The dangers she faced made for an exciting plot. I also liked learning about her life in Albania and the differences between life in London.

Besides Maxim’s womanizing ways and the insta-love thing, my only other complaint would be about the ending. I couldn’t tell if this was the end for Maxim and Alessia or not. Things felt both concluded and open-ended — like there could maybe be more to come… or not? Personally, I was curious as to what might come next. I could have used an epilogue or maybe 2 more chapters. That’s what makes me think E.L. James might have a second book up her sleeves. I guess we’ll see.

Overall, I found The Mister to be an entertaining read. It wasn’t my favorite book, but it kept my interest and I ended up liking the characters.

Review: Jar of Hearts (Jennifer Hillier)

Jar of Hearts
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?


Wow. Just wow.

I’m a reader who loves a good thriller, but I’m always hesitant to pick one up. Sometimes they have this slow, dreary quality that drives me a little nuts. Jar of Hearts was not one of those thrillers. It was explosive from the start. I loved how the mystery and suspense of the story was set up. The plot was fascinating and just the right amount of disturbing. Every character had lightness and darkness in them that made it hard to know who to trust. I felt like I was discovering connections and twists right alongside them.There was never a slow spot or stall in the story. I was always wondering what was next until the very end. I really can’t put into words how amazing this thriller was.

Jar of Hearts was so well written. I haven’t read a thriller in a long time that has impressed me this much. I have to thank Stephanie and a bunch of other bloggers who reviewed this book. If I hadn’t heard such great things about it, I would have missed out. This book is too good to miss out on! It is definitely worth the hype it got.

Review: Heart of the Devil (Meghan March)

Heart of the Devil
Series: Forge Trilogy, #3
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Red Dress Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes the stunning conclusion to the Forge Trilogy. In this final volume, ruthless billionaire Jericho Forge faces his toughest challenge. To emerge victorious, he’ll have to give up the one thing he’s never offered a woman—his heart.

It started as a game. She was nothing but my pawn.

But I was quick to see the error in my ways, and now she is everything I never knew I needed.

The value of a woman like India Baptiste is beyond measure.

But the problem with being a man like me? I’ve already screwed this up, and there’s no guarantee India will take me on for one last bet.

I’ll do whatever I have to do. Drop to my knees and offer her the only thing I have left. The one thing that’s only ever been hers—the heart of the devil.

Woohoo! What a conclusion to an explosive trilogy! Heart of the Devil exceeded every expectation I had for it. It kept me on my toes at all times. I didn’t know who to suspect or believe. I was shocked and awed by so many of the revelations that kept coming throughout the entire book. Ms. March couldn’t have written a better ending for Jericho and Indy’s epic romance. I loved every minute of it!

Add to your Goodreads TBR

Purchase Now: http://meghanmarch.com/book/heart-of-the-devil/

All about Meghan March

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

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