Dirty Souls

Dirty Souls by Karina Halle

5 “cray cray” stars!

“When I look back at my reflection, I hardly recognize the girl staring back at me. She’s not a girl at all. She’s a woman. A wild one.”

^^^crazy in an epically good way

***First off, Dirty Souls is a continuation to Black Hearts so you must read that book first!!!! Otherwise you can read this duet on its own without reading anything before it!!***

I’m not usually a fan of dark romance, but Karina Halle has me hooked!

Dirty Souls picks up right where Black Hearts left off (so if you haven’t read Black Hearts yet stop reading this review now and go and read it). Violet and Vicente met and fell for each in the first book, and in the second hidden truths about them, and the sins of their parents come to light in Dirty Souls.

Now Vicente and Violet are caught up in a whirlwind of dangerous and insane events, and neither one of them knows if they will make it out alive.

“Your parents kept all of this a secret because they were trying to protect you.”

There’s a reason Karina Halle is one of my favorite authors, you know the special ones where you’ll read anything they write no matter what genre? It’s because she always delivers a book I can sink my teeth into, one where I fall into the story seamlessly and never have trouble getting into. I mentioned above I don’t usually like dark romance, but Halle writes it so it’s fucked up crazy and yet I don’t feel sick to my stomach or repulsed by what I am reading. I want more. Her dark romances seem to lack rules and makes her free with the plot.

Violet is such an interesting character, because she’s hard and soft at the same time. She feels things deeply, more deeply than others, and yet she can still pull herself together and do what needs to be done.

Vicente is more arrogant and intrepid than I usually like in my heroes, but strangely it just works in this book. His confidence is the perfect counterpoint for Violet and it gives her strength when she feels weak.

Even though I never finished or read some of the books attached to this (again these can be read as a standalone, I did it myself), I felt as if this book really came full circle. With the parts about the parents you can tell that what passed meant closure in their lives. And while this book completes the duet, there’s a part of me that wants to read more of this world, more about this couple and their love.

At its heart, Dirty Souls is a story of family and the journey one takes to find out who they are, who they will become.

“Vicente and I are the only things to exist. Two broken and brave people sitting on the throne of the world.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Ripple Effect: Episode 1

Ripple Effect: Episode 1 by Keri Lake

4 stars!

“Ripple effect: noun 1. A spreading effect or series of consequences caused by a single action or event.”

Ripple Effect part 1 kicks off what promises to be a dark and intense ride! Dylan is a young woman, desperate to escape her circumstances but darkness is constantly bleeding into her life. In a series of miserable things to happen to her, Dylan crosses paths with the ruthless killer Ripley and her life changes forever.

I just want to start off by saying that good lord people, Keri Lake CAN WRITE. I mean, I already pretty much knew this from reading Ricochet, but this book just reinforced in my mind how unbelievably talented Lake is with words. For example:

“Wind rattles the glass in its frame, the tendrils of late winter sneaking their way beneath the thin afgan wrapped around my shoulders.”

I could quote countless other sentences or small moments to prove my point, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. I love the romance community and I don’t mean to bash it at all, but it’s rare to find this high quality of a writing style combined with a great story, and Lake delivers both.

I will say this book proved to me what a giant scaredy cat/pussy I am. Because this was dark. Like, I felt nauseous and had to skim some of the more violent parts because my weak butt could not handle it. Nevertheless I very much enjoyed this first installment and cannot wait to get to the others!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Black Hearts

Black Hearts by Karina Halle

4.5 stars!

“Didn’t your father ever teach you that love is what gets you killed?”

Just want to say first off, Black Hearts can be read without having read The Artists trilogy or the Dirty Angels trilogy. I myself (shamefully) have not read the Dirty Angels books or completed TAT and can honestly say I was able to read and enjoy this book just fine.

Black Hearts is the story of Violet McQueen, a young woman in her second year of photography school who is beginning to discover her family is not everything she thought it was. While uncovering secrets she meets a man named Vicente, who has a silver snaked tongue and is obviously interested in her.

But what Violet doesn’t know is Vicente is connected to her parents past, and he already knew who she was when they met. And Vicente finds himself doing something he never expected… falling in love with Violet.

“Everything I know is a lie.”

This was a riveting read from the very first page, I met these characters and I fell into their lives seamlessly. Violet is a character with a sensitive nature, and it makes her more intuitive than others. She knows Vicente isn’t all good, but she decides to overlook it because she’s attracted to him.

I loved reading Vicente, I’m not normally one for mafia alpha males, but Vicente is the exception! While he lives a harsh and ruthless life, there’s a part of him deep inside that is vulnerable and wants to connect.

My favorite part about this book was how it kept me guessing. Guessing at what would come next, how characters would react, and whether things would go as I predicted. A suspenseful read, I think this is a book all readers could enjoy.

“The Bernals aren’t good people. The McQueens aren’t either.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Vicious

Vicious by LJ Shen

4.5 perfect a**hole hero stars!

“He’d treated me horribly in the past, but right now…he brought color into my life.”

Vicious is the story of Emilia and Vicious. In high school her parents worked for his family, and Vicious made her life a living hell. Now ten years later Emilia is living in New York when Vicious approaches her and offers her a job. She’s not stupid, she knows there’s more to this offer than he says there is, but Emilia is desperate and needs the money for her and her sister.

As they work together, Vicious continues to be the awful jerk he was before, but Emilia also sees a new side of him that he kept hidden from her years before. But she dreads what he’ll make her do and she scared of her heart being broken by him again.

“I used to think of you as a villain, but you’re not my villain. You’re your own villain.”

This was my first book by LJ Shen and I can honestly say it won’t be my last. She’s an author I’ve always been meaning to read and never made the time for, and I regret that now. Asshole heroes are not normally my favorite trope, but I loved Vicious so much! I think having his POV helped us as readers see his more vulnerable sides and made him so much more human.

The other thing that made this book great is Emilia. When it comes to asshole heroes, there is a fine line for the heroine in which she can become the victim and let the hero walk over her, or she can be the perfect counterpoint and deflect the harmful things they can say. Emilia was perfect! She knew what to let slide, she didn’t take his crap, and she saw past his asshole exterior and saw the vulnerable man beneath.

This was a book that was hard to put down and a story I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come. I am eager to read more by LJ Shen in the future!

“I loved her when I hated her. And I loved her when I didn’t want anything to do with her. I was so crazy about her, the lines had blurred together. Feelings were mixed, emotions twisted together.”

Ricochet

Ricochet by Keri Lake

5 stars!!

“I saw darkness in her beauty, and she saw beauty in my darkness. Yin and yang. Black and white. Beauty and scars; fury and forgiveness. She should’ve been my nemesis, but in her, I found something I didn’t know I was looking for.”

Great writing? Check. Tortured sexy hero? Check. Kickass heroine? Check.

Ricochet is a dark, cunning tale of two people who have the worst cards in life coming together and blasting their way out of the shit hand they were dealt. Nick is a man who seeks revenge against those who murdered his wife and son, and who shot him in the head and left him for dead. Aubree is a prisoner in her own life, she married the wrong man and now suffers behind her public smiles. In his plan for revenge, Aubree is a key player, and Nick will do whatever it takes to get his vengeance.

“Monsters did exist. They didn’t hide under the bed, though. They stormed through the fucking door and stole away everything we loved.
To defeat a monster, I had to become one.”

So first things first: Keri Lake is a phenomenal writer. I don’t say this lightly at all. There’s just something about the way she uses words, they flow across the page. The way she writes is beautiful and yet not longwinded, something very hard to pull off but she did.

Dark romance isn’t always my first choice when selecting a book to read. I had seen many friends in the past enjoy this book, but I honestly picked it up because my friend Angela over at Feeding My Addiction reviews said she devoured this 500+ page book in one day. So obviously my curiosity was piqued. And while I didn’t succeed in reading this book in one day (because of stupid real life), I will admit this is a book that’s incredibly hard to set down.

THIS. This is the kind of dark romance I enjoy reading! If all dark romances were like this, I would read a whole lot more. The kind with characters who aren’t perfect but are redeemable. Characters I can root for! To steal words from FMA reviews out of her mouth, Nick is the perfect antihero (a statement not mine but one I wholeheartedly agree with). I hate when I read dark romance and the antihero is some sort of sociopath who isn’t good in any way. I loved that Nick wasn’t entirely good, but he still had good in him. Darkness swept over him, but ultimately he fought it.

Aubree is a strong heroine that I loved. I hate doormats and she’s whatever the antonym of that word would be. My heart bled for her and the hardships she faced. She was the perfect counterpart to Nick, for he needed someone to protect, yet someone who would also fight.

Overall a very compelling and thrilling novel, one the reader will devour until the last page. I know I will be checking out Lake’s other books real soon, and I am so happy I took a chance on a book that isn’t normally my preferred genre to read.

“The ultimate revenge isn’t the murder of my enemy. It’s the whisper of truth on my last stolen breath.”

The Bad Ones

The Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome

3.5 stars

“Don’t be scared,” he said, then he leaned in and kissed a tear away. “Don’t ever be scared. It kills me. From now on, tell me whenever you’re scared, and I’ll take away your fears. Tell me when you’re hurting, and I’ll bleed for you.”

Whelp this was quite a book! I went into this book completely blind, didn’t read a synopsis or anything which is rare for me (I’m normally a spoiler happy kind of gal). So when I discovered that this book was completely CRAZY, it came as a shock. It was after I finished the book and read the synopsis that I went “oh yeah, those warnings would have been handy” LMAO!

So this is my warning: This is a dark book with unconventional heroes. If you are the least bit squeamish, this book isn’t for you. So be warned!

The Bad Ones is about Dulcie and Con, a girl and a boy from a small town with one thing in common: they’re sociopaths. When they were in high school they felt a connection between them, but Con left Dulcie behind in a horrible and simple town after a night that they will never forget. Years later he returns and the two are thick as thieves, wreaking havoc wherever they can.

“I want to know,” he breathed, his tongue moving between her breasts.
“When do we get to be bad again?” She smiled big.
“Baby, I thought you’d never ask.”

My favorite part of this book was the way it was written. Having never read a Fantome book before, I was enraptured by her writing style and way with words. The books I’ve been reading recently left me bored, but this one had my attention until the very end and this means a lot to me as a reader. I wasn’t once bored and I wanted to keep reading. She’s an extremely compelling writer.

So why not a higher rating than 3.5 stars? Well…. I didn’t really like the characters. Anti-heroes really aren’t my thing unless there is something redeemable in them. And I really didn’t care for Con and Dulcie. Sure they were interesting and a new kind of MC, but ultimately I did not want to know what happened to them in the end. I couldn’t root for them and I need to be able to do that with my book couples.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, but I wouldn’t reread it. I think fans of dark books and Tarryn Fisher novels would really enjoy the feel of this book.

“So much darkness. Falling in love with this chick would be easy, but surviving each other … that’s an entirely different story.”

Copy received in a giveaway from Night Owl Reviews. Thank you Bex!!! xoxo

Corrupt

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

4.5 stars!

“When you want to make an impression and you think you’ve gone far enough, go a little further. Always leave them wondering if you’re just a little bit crazy, and people will never fuck with you again.”

So I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on this book a couple days after reading it, and all I really still have to say is I loved it. Seriously. It was dark, there was angst, holy shit that sauna scene, need I say more?

Well I will anyways. Rika has always had a crush on her “boyfriends” brother Michael. He’s older than her and mysterious. Rika thought they had a connection a few years back, but after one day he didn’t speak to her. Now three years later Rika has moved into the same city as Michael, and he’s ready for her.

Three years before Michael’s best friends went to jail because of her, and now they’re out and ready for revenge.

“Those who are patient, plan. And beware the man with a plan.”

 photo page break 2.png

So, like I said before, I loved this book. I stayed up until 3 am one night reading it and then woke up early the next to finish it. I loved Rika and Michael’s story, I was enraptured from the first page and it held my attention until the very end. I really hope Penelope Douglas writes more in this universe.

I was creeped out from the beginning and honestly that sauna scene still has me fanning my face. You’ll know it when you read it. Those who have read it already know.

Also, Kai is my book boyfriend. MINE. Not yours. I will cut a bitch if someone tries to take him from me.

My one teeny tiny little issue with the book, I think one of the characters forgave too easily. But this always happens in PD’s books and is the only issue I ever have with her books. It’s minor though, but it might irk others.

“And from Michael—as well as Damon, Will, and Kai—I learned to breathe fire. I learned to walk as if the path were carved for me and me alone, and to treat the world as if it should know I was coming.”

The Queen

The Queen (The Original Sinners #8) by Tiffany Reisz

4 stars!

Well this is it. The end of the Sinners. At least until TR writes some more right? The Queen is the story of Nora and Soren in their time “apart”, broken up with each other and all around broken. Soren wants his Eleanor back, and Nora wishes to be accepted for who she is now, Mistress Nora. Both are at a stalemate as they cannot change their wants and needs. This book details the years before the beginning of The Siren.

Anyways, I really enjoyed this final book. Perhaps what I loved the most was the insight it provided me with on the events that took place before The Siren. I feel like I need a reread of that book because my views of all of the dynamics would change immensely.

I loved Tiffany’s writing as always, and I really did enjoy this book, but I didn’t love it. With these books the focus is so much on one or two characters only, that we lost side characters I love such as Griffin, Michael, and more that got shifted aside. It’s what I loved so much about the first 4 books was the character dynamics on a wide spectrum instead of focused.

Having said that I am so glad TR wrote this spinoff/prequel series and I enjoyed every single minute of it!

ARC kindly provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Out of Time

Out of Time (Nine Minutes #2) by Beth Flynn

2 stars

Update. After much reflection I am lowering to a 2. The bad did not outweigh the good in this one, even though I really wanted it to.

 photo out of time chess piece.png

Where do I begin? Nine Minutes was one of my favorite books from last year. It left me so conflicted but so happy as a reader that I got something different from the usual romance story. Grizz was one of those characters you don’t see a lot, where he’s a bad man but wonderful to his woman. And for me, as long as he’s not a dick I am good with that.

And I’d also like to note what’s funny about my reading experience of Nine Minutes, I never saw Grizz as a romantic interest, but that’s because of the prologue in that book. So after seeing lots of discussions of people being Team Grizz here on Goodreads and over on Facebook, it opened up my mind to new possibilities. I had always been Team Grunt because I didn’t think there was another Team. That’s what happens when you don’t open your mind to other possibilities kiddos!

 photo grizz quote oot.png

Out of Time was just an okay read for me. Positives of the book included an amazing backstory on Grizz and how he became the man he was. Just an absolutely heart wrenching story, things happened to him that would have broken any person but he survived and prevailed. I also loved the backstory on Grunt and his involvement in Ginny’s life as well. It helped the readers see his motivations we couldn’t see in Nine Minutes.

This is where I list what didn’t work for me and what made this book a 2 stars. I didn’t care for the time jumps at all, they were a bit too confusing for me. Luckily the author would give some context at the beginning of the chapters or I would have been completely lost. And not to try and compare this to the first book, but I devoured that one in a matter of hours. It took meDAYS to finish this one and I was pushing myself hard. It just didn’t suck me in like Nine Minutes did.

Last, I felt the last 25-30% of the book was way over the top. The twists didn’t hold any wow factor for me, in fact they did the complete opposite. I felt like they came out of nowhere and didn’t relate to the story as a whole, and to me they were unnecessary.

I think Beth Flynn is an absolutely amazing writer and author, and while I just liked this book I would happily read anything else by her in the future. This particular book just didn’t click as much with my personal reading tastes as the first one did.

BUT REMEMBER! I seem to be in the minority with just liking it and not loving it, so I encourage you to read it yourself and make up your own mind. Everyone has different reading tastes and so many people loved this, I think you as a reader should give it a shot.

ARC kindly provided by TRSOR in exchange for a review

Ruin & Rule

Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption MC #1) by Pepper Winters

4 stars!

 photo ruin and rule.png

Kill is the leader of the Pure Corruption motorcycle club. One night when a small uprising within the ranks occurs, chaos reigns and people are killed. In the middle of it all six girls are present, five of them rounded up to be sold. The sixth one is a ghost from Kill’s past here to haunt his present. The sixth girl woke up with no clue as to who she is, where she is from, what covered her body in burn scars or even her name. But she does know one thing after looking into Kill’s eyes: that he has the answers to all of her questions.

I love the way Pepper Winters writes. From the first page to the last one I could not put this book down. It’s a fast paced journey with tons of angst, and I loved every single minute of it. I’m not normally a huge motorcycle club romance fan, but I trust this author and I am so glad I took the small risk on this book because it paid off huge. With the motorcycle club genre there are touchy subjects but for the most part these things we handled really well. The MC life isn’t all kittens and rainbows, but I was never repulsed or truly horrified at what was happening behind the club walls.

 photo ruin amp rule 2.png

Kill is on a quest for revenge against those who wronged him and who hurt the one he loved. He is so blinded by his rage that he lets no one into his life, the woman are objects and the club is a way to help him carry out his vengeance. I really can’t say much more, but this is a book that you do not want to miss. In true Pepper Winters talent, I could feel the twists and surprises coming, but when they were revealed they were unexpected and mind-blowing.

So why not a 5 stars? I really really liked this book, but I spent a good amount of time shouting at Kill through my Kindle because I was so damn frustrated with his stubbornness and actions. It isn’t until about 50% into the book when I actually started to likehim. The heroine and her journey was my favorite aspect of this book. I look forward to more of Kill and her in the second book and to see the continuation of their story.

Overall a fast paced, engaging and pleasurable read, I recommend to all of you readers who enjoy a good mystery and enjoy having your brain toyed with by the author.

ARC provided by Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Quintessentially Q

Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2) by Pepper Winters

5 sparrow stars

“Fly away, esclave, if that is what you want. I won’t stop you.”

^^Me while reading this book.

Well, it’s clear that Pepper Winters is a fear of ripping hearts out and stomping all over them. There were so many goddamn feels packed into this book I may need a Xanax.

 photo quin q collage.png

Quintessentially Q takes place four days after Tess has returned to Quincy in France. The two of them are learning to trust each other and navigating their way through a new relationship for them both. I, as sick minded as I am, found it hilarious that Q’s biggest fear was literally fucking Tess to death. He had nightmares about it! And here I am giggling to myself, thinking that he’s the real life version of Edward Cullen (the only resemblance being that sparkle boy was also afraid of fucking his girl to death). But this is where the funny part ends because Pepper Winters certainly threw me for a loop with this book.

“You’re my obsession, I’m your possession You own the deepest part of me You crawled into the darkness, set my monster free So scream, bleed, call out to me But never say stop, never flee.”

The beginning of the book started off slow with a lot of steam but not a lot of tangible plot. This alll changed very quickly with one incident so unreal I actually thought I was reading a nightmare dream sequence… except that character never woke up. I cannot say any more, you just have to read it, but I am eating my words when I said in my review of book 1 that it wasn’t as dark as I expected. Because Pepper Winters brought on the fucking dark in this book.

“I’d kill for you, Tess. I have killed for you. Don’t undermine me by fearing others. Fear me. Let me rule you!”

Once the plot got moving I loved every second of the story. Tess for being as strong as she could be, and Q for doing anything in the world for the woman he loved. These two are a couple made for each other and while it made me a bit squeamish at times, while it broke my heart at times, ultimately I loved watching their journey and love for each other unfold.

After reading this book, I needed to go to a happy place. I literally wished I didn’t have feelings while reading this book. So I put the kindle down and went and hugged my dogs. That’s how dark this book is, you will literally need to go and hold a form of happiness after reading it!! Enjoy 🙂

Tears of Tess

Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1) by Pepper Winters

***WARNING! MY REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!***

4 esclave stars!

“Monsters find each other in the dark.”

 photo tears of tess.png

This is one of those books where I am kicking myself for not having read it already. To be fair, it’s a dark one and I was afraid of it going in. But surprisingly, I expected it to be a lot darker than it was so I was very happy that I could read this book without freaking out (at least, as much as I expected to).

Tears of Tess is about Tess, who goes on a surprise trip to Cancun, Mexico from Australia with her boyfriend Brax. The two of them have been together for two years and while she loves him, Tess is a little underwhelmed in the bedroom department. She wants more excitement, more passion, more than just flat on her back. Having trouble communicating this, the couple just sort of avoids the elephant in the room. It’s while they are out being tourists that Tess is taken, kidnapped and sold into the sex trade.

Tess finds herself as the new property of Q, a terrifying yet handsome Frenchman. Yet as much as Tess hates Q for who he is and what he represents, he is the only man who has ever been able to give her what she yearns for, and it brings her an immense amount of shame. As time goes by Tess is bewildered by his behavior and struggles with guilt over her feelings for Q and her devotion to Brax.

“I hadn’t gone Stockholmy- I hated him, knew what he did was wrong, but my body, shit, my body didn’t care.”

This is one of the few dark novels where I have genuinely ended up liking the antihero. He wasn’t perfect, but he never cast blame on Tess for the situation she was in. In other dark novels, the guy always finds a way to wriggle himself out of the blame, and Q never did this. Q admitted what he was, a monster, but he took care of Tess in any way he was able to. Was her experience in his home all sunshine and rainbows? No, but it could have been much, much worse.

Ms. Winters is a great author because she threw the reader a curve ball and made them rethink everything they had previously read, and look at the facts in a new light. I literally read this book in one sitting because I was so riveted by the story I was reading. It’s always so darn amazing to find a book like this, that captures your attention and doesn’t let go until it’s over.

“Only think of me and what I’m doing. There is intimacy in pain esclave. Let me make your pain my pleasure.”

***HERE’S THE SPOILERY PART***

So why not a perfect 5 stars? –> I really took issue with the knife rape scene with the Russian and how Q had let him get that far. I was feeling the same way Tess was after when she realized as her master he was supposed to protect her and he didn’t, he turned away. I also took issue with the rape scene, I felt it was a blatant “see, it COULD be worse!” addition to the story to make Q look better when it wasn’t needed. It wasn’t needed because we found out later he was rescuing all of these girls, so he was in fact already a good guy.

Consequences

Consequences by Aleatha Romig

4 stars!

Consequences is one of those books that has been sitting on my kindle for years, and I always meant to read it but you know how it is. I see another book and I’m like:

Anyways after my girlie Jasmine told me about her love for it, and after meeting this lovely author 3 times, and now that I’m not as afraid of dark books anymore (that’s a lie I’m still scared), I decided to crack this one open. And you know what? I could not put this book back down! No kidding, I pretty much read straight through, sneaking peeks on my kindle app while at a theme park, reading in the passenger seat of a car, sneaking more peeks at the app while I was supposed to be visiting my grandmother (sorry grandma!). I honestly didn’t stop until I was done.

Let me give you some of the plot. Claire wakes up in a strange, luxurious bedroom with fuzzy memories as to how she got there. Once the fog clears, she realizes she was abducted and brought here, and the man who did so has already done horrible things. Claire has entered into a contract with Anthony Rawlings, in which he will clear her debt and in return she will do anything he wants.

I don’t want to give much away in terms of plot, this really is one of those books where the less you know the better. I will say at 45% in, this was me:

The rest of the time you couldn’t get the book out of my hands or get my undivided attention. I was enraptured by this story and these complicated characters.

My only complaint was from about 60-80% marks in the book, there seemed to be excessive descriptions of things, almost like a Kristen Ashley novel, you know with the clothing and furniture? But I am going to assume maybe all of that will become important later? It didn’t bug me that much, but it’s probably why I can’t give this book a 5 star rating.

Here are all of my reactions to the ending, pretty much in this order:

And then I just picture nice, sweet Aleatha Romig making this face when finishing the book:

One Love

One Love (Gypsy Brothers #7) by Lili St. Germain

***Note: This is a review for the ENTIRE Gypsy Brothers series, minor spoilers ahead for those who have not read them yet and I will not be tagging them. So don’t read this review if you don’t want to be spoiled.***

 photo one love.png

Wow, this series was quite the journey. There were moments like this:

And then moments like this:

But overall, this was me while reading all of the books:

When Julz was fifteen years old, she was betrayed by a man she thought was family and his sons. They raped her and almost killed her, and she only escaped with the help of a young cop who faked her death. Six years later, Julz decides it’s time for revenge, and heads out of the country for plastic surgery to look like a new girl.

She heads back to the Gypsy Sons compound where she auditions with the man who ruined her life, Dornan. Very quickly Dornan becomes obsessed with Julz, who he knows as Sammi, and Julz finds herself in too deep. Julz also faces another problem, Dornan’s younger son Jase, her childhood love is also in the compound, and his presence ignites old feelings once buried.

 photo pagebreak.png

I found this series to be thrilling, shocking and enthralling. There is nothing quite like a revenge tale, and I loved reading about Julz killing off a bunch of the men who raped her. She is such a strong and believable character, mostly because even though she constantly has doubts about what she’s doing, she follows through with getting it done. I would have liked a bit more backstory on her relationship with Eliott and Jase, a little more on the connection and history she shared with them would have made it easier to see why they fought so hard to help her and keep her alive, but St. Germain did a good job of making the reader believe the romance without a lot of backstory (or to clarify, as much as I would like).

Dornan was fucking crazy. Just when I thought he couldn’t get more demented, he brought out more of his inner psycho. Like stabbing a girl in the leg while giving her oral sex? Then all of the torture scenes in book 5? I seriously thought I was going to ralph when I read the parts about knives making sucking noises in chests. Ugh. But you know what? He made a fantastic villain was the guy you love to hate.

I don’t really have a strong opinion on Jase or Elliot, to me they were background for the plot, but I love that Julz got some version of a happy ending with one of them at the end of the journey.

Thank you to Lili St. Germain, you are the author that made me enjoy dark and twisted books. Until now I haven’t really cared for them, but now I’m willing to broaden my reading horizons.

Series rating a 4.28 stars after averaging the ratings from all 7 books

Seven Sons

Seven Sons (Gypsy Brothers #1) by Lili St. Germain

4 Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ stars!

 photo seven sons.png

So, I’m not normally a big fan of dark romance. To be honest, I’m a giant chicken and it scares the shit out of me the majority of the time. But today I stood in line for twenty minutes to meet this author and listened to so many people gush about how amazing this series was. Having seen it floating around Goodreads peeps as well, I decided to give it a shot. And I am so glad I did! (PS: Sorry to Jasmine and Allison for cheating on the buddy read! Couldn’t help it this was awesome!)

At a very young ago, Julz endured a form of torture that would break most people, and it almost broke her beyond repair. Six years later she is looking for revenge, against the man who wronged her and all of his sons who helped in. Changing her appearance and her identity, she infiltrates the compound where they live. But pretty soon, Julz realizes she may be over her head, but it’s too late to turn back now.

 photo pagebreak.png

As I said before, dark is not my usual genre but I could not put this book down! I was hooked from the first page. For a 100+ page book, there was some great character development involved that is normally missing from shorter books. Many horrifying things occurred in this book so if you are easily offended this is not the book for you. I was surprised to find it didn’t bother me so much because I was reading along thinking to myself “Get your revenge Julz!!” like a total nerd.

The only thing I had a teeny tiny issue with was how quickly Dornan became obsessed with “Sammi”. It seemed to happen really quickly, but since he’s fuckin crazy it also makes sense.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series and kind of want a redo on meeting Lili St. Germain so I can fangirl properly this time.