Ghost (Boston Underworld #3)

Ghost (Boston Underworld, #3)

Ghost by A. Zavarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Edge of my seat!

Wow, what a ride! This story had suspense, mystery, personal growth, and heartbreaking moments.
Alexei and Talia are both broken people who have been mistreated by their families, and betrayed by nearly everyone who ever got close to them. It makes for an interesting dynamic. Alexei brings Talia into his home under the belief that he will not/cannot ever love her, a belief which he shares with Talia, much to her dismay.
I really liked the backstories of why the characters are they way that they are. They are sad, no doubt, but they felt thought out.
I loved the character of Magda. She gave Talia an anchor, a safe place when things between her and Alexei weren’t going very well. She was the mother figure Talia never had. And she was the same for Alexei.
Franco was an excellent character as well. He was one of the only people that Alexei trusted, and he looked out for Alexei time and again. I also enjoyed the overlap with the previous books both in stories as well as characters.
I am really loving this series, and am so glad to have discovered it! Can’t wait for the next one!



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Talia. 
I have always been a bird. Caged by one prison or another when the only thing I ever wanted was to fly away. 
Sold. Beaten. Starved. Drugged. 
Nothing scares me anymore. 
Until him. 
He makes the numbness go away. 
He is hazardous to me. It has nothing to do with his mafia lifestyle, and everything to do with what he offers. 
A gilded prison. 
A retreat from everything that I once knew. The reality I have no desire to return to. 
He thinks he’s caged me, but soon… 
I’m going to fly. 

Alexei. 
I live by a code. The Vory code. 
In this mafiya world, there are traditions. 
Expectations. 
She does not care for these things. She does not care about anything. 
She thinks she has me fooled with her haunted eyes. 
What she can’t know is that I see her better than most. 
She wants to fly. 
But I’m going to clip her wings. 
And make her my wife. 

**This is a DARK mafia romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating.**

Reaper (Boston Underworld #2)

Reaper (Boston Underworld, #2)

Reaper by A. Zavarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


LOVED IT

Thank god this is a series of six books because I sure can’t get enough of these sexy, swaggerific Irish men. This book had not only suspense and maddening misunderstandings (❤), but even made me laugh out loud until my eyes watered. I don’t believe that has happened to me before with a romance novel. It’s the scene where they need tape. That’s all you’re getting out of me- you’ll have to read it yourself.
Loved Ronan and Sasha together. Both are so damaged in their own ways that it just… kind of works, somehow. They understand each other (eventually). Their own damage probably works in their relationship’s favor in that capacity. It gave the story some tug-at-your-heart moments that I don’t recall experiencing in the first book. And I like that when the books in a series are quite different.
Overall another great read from this author, and I can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series.
Recommended!



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Sasha. 

He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal. 
An Irish mobster. 
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package. 
But there’s also something off about him. 
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions. 
Sometimes I question his humanity. 
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word. 
But we share a secret, he and I. 
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind… 
He won’t have a problem killing me too. 

Ronan. 
I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again. 
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross. 
I watch her. She doesn’t know it. 
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too. 
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows. 
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay. 
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her. 
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.

Crow (Boston Underworld #1)

Crow (Boston Underworld, #1)

Crow by A. Zavarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Started a bit slow, but then… wow!h
I struggled to get through the prologue and first couple of chapters (inner dialogue: keep going- the reviews are good!) and MAN, am I glad I did.
Once this book got going it rode along on greased rails- couldn’t put it down! Suspense, mystery, super hot sexy times, a take-no-prisoners heroine, a hot hero that had me picturing Colin Farrell circa 2003 (as in his S.W.A.T. days). ALL the… cold showers.
All in all, although skeptical about it in the very beginning, by the end I was obsessed with this story and these characters.
Five enthusiastic stars- can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Recommended!



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An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart. 

I had a plan. 

Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right?

Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I just wanted a soldier. Someone I could flirt with to get me in the door. 

That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either. 

Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission. 

Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong- and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him. 

Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.

The Benefits of Bad Decisions

The Benefits of Bad Decisions

The Benefits of Bad Decisions by Lisa Suzanne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Holy wow- I did NOT see that twist coming. And let me tell you- I ALWAYS see them coming. So bravo, Lisa Suzanne- you got me!
This was my first read from this author, but I definitely see myself reading the other books from these characters. I’m glad I went into this book blind so there would be no chance of guessing the twist. I still can’t get it over it- very rarely do I not see a twist coming a mile away.
It was heartbreaking to read about the feelings Brody and Zoey were experiencing while they were apart. I definitely wanted to shake them both. “You both care about each other, fools! Fix your lives!”
But I digress… I really liked not only the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. On second thought, maybe not Jessa. She isn’t particularly likable. But, that was the point of her character. She wasn’t meant to be likable. So again, bravo!
There were a couple of spots I thought lagged a little, but overall the book kept the story moving, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. Mid-book I honestly wasn’t sure who Zoey would end up with at the end- it could have gone in a number of directions from there. I am happy about the way it all shook out, and so thankful that I won this ARC and found this author!



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After a bad decision lands me a role on a reality show, I expect it to be my big break as a TV star. Despite getting kicked off the first night, I land on my feet again when a talent agent who saw the show offers me an audition as back-up dancer for a popular rock band.

Knowing this could be my stepping stone is exciting, but the real thrill is watching Brody bang on his drums every night. It’s a bad idea for a dancer to hook up with a band member, but after he kisses me, I can’t stay away.

Facing the consequences was inevitable, and it only takes one scandalous mistake from my past to cause our complete destruction.

Bad decision or not, I always manage to come out on top… until I don’t.

Bound by Vengeance

Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles, #5)

Bound by Vengeance by Cora Reilly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Not my favorite from the series

I love this series, but this book seemed- watered down. The story dragged in places, and I agree that switching between 1st person and 3rd person, combined with the grammatical errors, was distracting. It took me out of the story. I think this could’ve been much better with some editing, maybe another element of conflict. Perhaps a discovery that the whole betrayal had been orchestrated by Anastasia in order to steal Cosimo due to some deep jealousy/feeling of rivalry? Or maybe Growl hadn’t known who his father was until it was revealed toward the middle or the end of the story? There were some tethers of additional layers, but I felt like they could have been explored a little further.
Still love the series, and still going to read the final book along with the spinoff series.



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Growl
He’d never had something to himself, never even dared to dream about owning something so precious. He was the unwanted bastard son who’d always had to content himself with the leftovers of others. And now they’d given him what only a few weeks ago had been out of his reach, someone he wasn’t even allowed to admire from afar, one of their most prized possessions. Thrown at his feet because he was who he was, because they were certain he would break her. He was her punishment, a fate worse than death, a way to deliver the ultimate punishment to her father who had displeased them so greatly.

Cara
She had always been the good girl. It didn’t protect her.
She didn’t know his real name. People called him Growl to his face, and the Bastard behind his back. Both were names he couldn’t possibly have chosen for himself. His eyes were empty, a mirror to throw back her own fear at her. He was a brutal hand of the Las Vegas Camorra.
And now she was at his mercy.

Ruckus

Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2)

Ruckus by L.J. Shen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Oooh- I was about to be MAD!

This book does a great job of building frustration- at Dean, at Rosie’s parents, at Rosie herself, at Dean’s parents… if I were a person who yelled at books, I would have been yelling at this book. Additionally, there is a part in the book that is… let’s call it a misunderstanding. And it had me ON FIRE until it got resolved. On FIRE, I say. But, everything in the book got resolved by the end. Thank goodness.
Overall, a really good read. Not my favorite book from L.J. Shen, but honestly ALL of her books that I’ve read thus far have been good.
Recommended, as always!



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Rosie 

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right. 
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking. 
He is my forbidden, shiny apple. 
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth. 
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend. 
One thing you should know before you judge me; 
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first. 
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance. 
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late. 

Dean 

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right. 
She sets my mind on fire. 
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart. 
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius. 
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart. 
This time, I dare it to try. 
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus. 
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight. 
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory. 

Dirty Headlines

Dirty Headlines

Dirty Headlines by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Loved!

I had this book on my reading to-do list for a while, but I just got to it this week. And boy, am I glad I did. I loved this story. Celian is so deliciously jerky, and my heart just eats it right up. L.J. Shen really feeds that part of our hearts that always thinks (hopes?) that we can turn the “bad” guy into a good guy. While it doesn’t happen in real life it makes for a helluva satisfying romance read. Celian spends this story taking one step forward with Judith, and then five steps back. And I love it. Every word of it. It was an easy, can’t-put-it-down read, and just makes me hungry for more L.J. Shen. With each book I read from her I become a bigger fan.
Recommended!



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From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new standalone, enemies-to-lovers romance. 

Célian Laurent. 
Manhattan royalty. 
Notorious playboy. 
Heir to a media empire. 
…And my new boss.
 

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand. 
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory–namely, his wallet. 
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it. 
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose. 
Brooklyn girl. 
Infamously quirky. 
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch. 
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals. 
He knows it. 
So do I. 
Every day in the newsroom is a battle. 
Every night in his bed, war. 
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

Bennett Mafia

Bennett Mafia

Bennett Mafia by Tijan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sexy and suspenseful

This was my first Tijan read, and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the family aspect with the multiple siblings, especially since several were brothers. A handful of hot mafia brothers? Nothing wrong with that!
I loved the suspenseful component, and loved that she was kidnapped. Oh dear me, but I enjoy a good kidnapping in my romance books. Must be wired up wrong.
In any case, I really enjoyed this read.



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There were always whispers about my roommate at Hillcrest Academy. 

The wealthiest of the wealthy sent their kids to our boarding school, and Brooke Bennett had been at the top, though I never quite knew why. She was fun and outgoing, but she kept quiet about her family. The only things she showed me were photographs of her brothers. 

I became fascinated with her second-oldest brother. Kai Bennett. 

He was the most of them all. Smoldering. Hypnotic. Alluring. 
Kai had eyes that pulled me in and a face that haunted my dreams. 

Then I met him. 

He came to our school with their father, and that’s when I learned what kind of family Brooke came from. They were mafia, and Brooke’s oldest brother was dead. Her father said accident, but Brooke said murder. 

Three months later, her father died, and Kai became the head of the Bennett Family. Brooke left Hillcrest for good, and that was the last time I saw her. 

Fourteen years later, I’m staring at her face on the television. Brooke is missing. 

Two days later, Kai Bennett kidnaps me. 

** This is a 120k complete standalone. 
** There is a bonus chapter from another book at the end. 

Destiny Mine

Destiny Mine (Tormentor Mine, #3)

Destiny Mine by Anna Zaires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This series, tho

I am loving this series! It is my third from this author, and most definitely my favorite. I like Peter MUCH more than Julian, and find he and Sara’s story more exciting than Yulia and Lucas’s story (although theirs was really good as well). It has so much more than a regular, boring romance- suspense, action, obsession, angst for days. LOVE it!
I love the cameos of characters from the previous series. I love the confusion Sara feels; how she questions her own feelings and, truthfully, seems to question her own sanity.
And that cliffhanger?! I was wondering how that unfinished story component would get resolved. Evidently in the fourth book.
Off I go to read the next one!



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Fate made us enemies. I made us lovers. 

In a different world, we were meant for each other. 

This is not that world. 

Note: For optimal enjoyment, it’s recommended you read the Twist Me trilogy prior to starting this book.

Obsession Mine

Obsession Mine (Tormentor Mine, #2)

Obsession Mine by Anna Zaires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Gah, this series!

So good. Love the suspense. Love the angsty push/pull of Sara struggling with her conflicting feelings about Peter. Does she care about him? SHOULD she? If she does, does it make her a bad person? Would it betray her husband’s memory?
I loved the cameos of characters from her other series as well. It’s fun to catch up with them after the fact and see how they’re doing.
Anyway, these books are going down easy like wine coolers at a high school party. Off I go to read the next one!




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I stole her in the night. Caged her because I can’t live without her. She’s my love, my addiction, my obsession. 

I will do anything to keep Sara mine.