After You (Because of You #2)

After You (Because of You Book 2)

After You by Sam Mariano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So good

I should just start leaving 5-star reviews for Sam Mariano books before I even read them… they have all been amazing, and After You was no different.
I experienced a range of emotions reading Nicole and Derek’s story. I was frustrated, sad, mad, happy… repeat. The fears Nicole had, and why she had them, felt genuine. They were logical given the experiences she had. It made the story believable, and thus enjoyable. The portraits painted of their personalities and backgrounds were in line with their reactions. The relationship took a VERY broken, rocky path, but they both cared. They both wanted it. Against all odds.
I loved the fight they both had, even if they didn’t have it at the same time.
Recommended, as always!

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This is not a standalone, this is book two of a same-couple duet. Because of You should be read first so you can follow the story.

Blurb from Book 1 (Before You) below:

When the only thing that’s remembered about your mother is how she died in a murder-suicide killing the wife of her ex-boyfriend, you know life isn’t going to be a piece of cake for you. Add to that a never-present father with more affection for his beer bottle than his daughter, and a too-hot-for-his-own-good surviving son of the victim of said “accident,” and you have a problem—or at least, Nicole Harmon certainly does. 

When the surviving son, Derek Noble, sees an unsavory opportunity for revenge in the form of a heated one-night-stand, he decides to take it. It is intended to be an unkind but relatively uneventful interlude, but turns into the catalyst that unknowingly casts Derek and Nikki into the shadow of their parents’ sordid past. 

What begins as a hateful game of revenge soon evolves into something they never expected and a love neither of them ever wanted. With the fragments of their tumultuous family history hanging over their heads, the second generation of star-crossed lovers begin a love story all of their own…



Stitches by Sam Mariano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bow to Queen Sam

She did it. She did it again. I don’t even LIKE menage stories, but I read this because… because Sam Mariano wrote it. And you know what? It’s EXCELLENT.
In my head I still don’t understand the menage scenario, but this? It works! I believed in these characters. I believed in their story. I believed in their feelings, and the realistic, messy dynamic between them. This author took something I don’t understand, and don’t find appealing, and made it hot. Believable. Sweet. Appealing.
Man, she is good.

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I suppose it all started half a lifetime ago when a mean-looking kid named Griff walked into my life.
When we found the stability in one another we couldn’t find in the world.
When two lonely kids became brothers.
As kids, we had no place in the world, so as men, we made our own. We took on everything together, building our own empire—partners in business and in life.

I guess that’s where it got complicated.
When I fell in love with Moira, and Griff had to share me for the first time.
When he liked what belonged to me just a little too much, and he started avoiding both of us until he came up with his own shitty way of coping.

I don’t know exactly when it all started, to be honest, but I know when it all fell apart.
There are exactly two people in the world who have my love, so what the hell am I supposed to do when holding onto one means losing the other?
What I always do, I guess.
Handle it.

Enigma: The Final Chapter (Enigma #4)

Enigma: The Final Chapter (Enigma #4)

Enigma: The Final Chapter by Shandi Boyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good series

I really like the stories in this series, and the author does a great job keeping the intrigue level high. That said, I felt like the bulk of the suspense was concentrated at the beginning and the end. I felt a bit of a lull in the middle of this one. Still, there was no chance I wouldn’t read it. I needed to know what happened with Isabelle and Isaac! And I loved the bumpy road that got them there.
As with the previous books in this series this one would have benefited from some editing work.
Overall, a recommended read. 🙂

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The final chapter in the tumultuous love story of Isaac and Isabelle has finally come to fruition. 
An emotional and heart-clutching tale that will capture your attention from the very first page, and not let go until the very end. 

Will Izzy survive her kidnapper’s clutches? 

Will the Enigma finally be revealed? 

Will their love withstand the greatest test? 

Join the much-loved couple on their final journey as they tiptoe precariously through the trials and trepidation of living in a world that is hazed by the shadows of black and white. 

Will they find their happily ever after in the darkness of the gray?

Enigma: The Mystery Unmasked (Enigma #3)

Enigma: The Mystery Unmasked (Enigma #3)

Enigma: The Mystery Unmasked by Shandi Boyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That cliffhanger!

Thank goodness this series is already out up to book #9 because I would be all flavors of mad right now if I had to wait any period of time to find out what happens next!
I thoroughly enjoy the friendship between Isabelle and Hugo, and the way he reacts to her emotions. I love how he is the guardian angel of their relationship, standing vigil when either one of them needs a nudge in the right direction. Earlier in the series Isaac needed the nudge. In this book it is Isabelle who needs the nudge.
I like the dual POV because it gave insight into the intentions a character had when they did something otherwise cringe-worthy. Isaac’s behavior when Isabelle went to the club was… less than impressive. But, when told from his POV it was less maddening.
Overall, I really like this series thus far. Can’t wait to dig into the next book!

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Before Isabelle, my every accomplishment was measured by the success of my empire, the wealth in my bank accounts, and my prestigious reputation. Now, none of that matters. I would give it all away in an instant if it meant she was safe and protected. 

Maintaining control in a rational and astute manner is what has made my empire the success it is. But the one thing I want to control the most is the one thing that is uncontrollable. 

But I won’t give up. 

I’ll fight to protect Isabelle until my very last breath. I’ll fight until my hands 
become that stained, they’ll never have the opportunity of becoming clean. 

I’ll never give up. 

Because Isabelle is mine, and I protect what is MINE. 

Author warning: adult content, sexual references and sex scenes.

Unraveling an Enigma (Enigma #2)

Unraveling an Enigma (Enigma #2)

Unraveling an Enigma by Shandi Boyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great story

I love this series so far! Again in this book I found the grammatical errors distracting, but the story is still good. This one ends on another curse-inducing cliffhanger, but it’s ok- Kindle Unlimited and a fully-released series got me feeling all relaxed. The minute I post my review I’m on to the next one. 🙂
The suspense of how/when Isaac would realize that Isabelle was not lying to him (not about divulging on him, anyway), and would believe she was trying to defend him, kept me flipping pages like a fiend.

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I’ve known for months that Isabelle was hiding something in her beautiful chocolate eyes. I just had no clue that it was something so mammoth. Over the past five years, I’ve become accustomed to the vicious ploys some women undertake to capture my attention. The spilled drinks, the damsel in distress. Hell, I’ve even been propositioned with money from wealthy business associates in my industry just for the chance of occupying my bed for one night. 

But Isabelle was by far the most elaborate ruse I’ve ever come across. The woman that invades my every waking thought is an undercover FBI Agent. A stringent ruse to pry me of privy information that no one outside of my inner circle has access to. 

I’ll give it to her, though. She performed well. She played me like a f*cking fiddle. 

Only now, after being arrested by Isabelle, do I realize that all of my assumptions and thoughts I had compiled on her have been terribly inaccurate. I don’t really know her at all. She is practically a stranger. 

Or she will soon become one.

Enigma of Life (Enigma #1)

Enigma of Life (Enigma #1)

Enigma of Life by Shandi Boyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is my second book by this author. I really enjoy her stories and her characters, but I admit there are a noticeable number of grammatical errors that are a bit distracting. I will still be reading the whole series, but I wish the errors hadn’t made it to the final copy. Sigh.
The suspense of Isaac and Isabelle’s relationship is smoking hot, and I really felt for her with his hot and cold attitude toward her. I would have moved and changed my number for sure… #bye.
Isabella sticks it out and finally gets a rare glimpse at the real Isaac.
Cliffhanger warning! And with that- off I go to read the next one! 🙂

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Enigma: a person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand.

Isaac Holt is the very definition of an enigma. He is mysterious, dangerous, alluring and knee clankingly gorgeous. After one chance meeting, I was falling at his feet, literally. His magnetizing allure has the ability to electrify all of my senses with the simple touch of his fingertip.

But no matter how much my body craves Isaac’s touch, I can’t have him. Morally and ethically, he is off limits. He is the enemy. My rational thinking head logically understands this, but my lust-driven heart needs more convincing. 

A story about two people who are destined not to be together. This is not your typical love story. 

Not everything is black and white. There is a whole heap of gray that no one pays any attention to.

Author Warning: This book contains open door sex scenes, adult references, swear words and adult scenes. This book is only recommended for 18+ readers. It is a series.

I Married a Mob Boss (Enigma Book 9)

I Married a Mob Boss (Enigma Book 9)

I Married a Mob Boss by Shandi Boyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a twist!

I loved the concept of this book, but honestly thought the very beginning was a little… off. Maybe too instalove?
That said, it got so much better. I loved the twists. Loved the emotion and drama surrounding the building of Rico and Blaire’s relationship. There was a particular part in the book that actually made me cry. This is only the second book (out of over 150 at the of writing this review) of this genre to make me cry. So that says something.
Although this is said to be OK to read as a standalone it mentions things that didn’t happen in this book, mentions characters out of the blue like the reader knows who they are and what their story is. I found that distracting. This was my first book by this author so obviously I haven’t read the other books in the series yet, and I wish I would have. I highly recommend this book, but I would read the rest of the preceding books in the series first.

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I thought waking up hungover with no recollection of the previous twenty-four hours was going to be the worst thing I’d encounter during my whirlwind trip to Vegas. It wasn’t… not even close. Not only did I wake up in a strange room with a gold band wrapped around my finger, I witnessed something no woman should ever see. If that wasn’t unscrupulous enough, the unspeakable act was done by my husband; the stranger I married. 

With freshly signed alimony papers and a guilt-riddled heart, I left Vegas praying that what happens in Vegas truly does stay in Vegas. My hope was left for dust when the small fragment of my life I tried to forget collided into the present. 

Can the guarded, tortured man I married keep me safe when he is the one I need protecting from the most? 

A heart-clutching, spine-tingling romantic suspense story that will have you gasping until your very last breath. 

From the author who brought you the Perception & Enigma series comes the next installment. 

Recommended for audiences above the age of eighteen due to sexual content, swear words, and adult only scenes.



Sparrow by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is my third book read by this author, and each has been better than the last!
She did an excellent job of making me dislike Troy in the beginning of the story. I REALLY disliked him. I felt terrible for Sparrow/Red for the circumstances that befell her. I mourned WITH her that she wouldn’t get the chance to fall in love due to being thrown into an arranged marriage with someone so cold.
The suspense component of what happened to her mom, why Troy had to marry her, and who really masterminded Troy’s father’s death kept me reading like a fiend. I had to know! What are the answers? Does Troy come around? Does she end up with Brock, the handsome man from the restaurant who calls her sweetheart?
I couldn’t put it down. I liked it even better than Vicious and The Kiss Thief.
Highly recommended!

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Troy Brennan

Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart-throb with steel-blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city. 

Oh, and my new husband. 

Sparrow Raynes 

That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. 
But then he caged me. 
Kidnapped me. 
And killed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up. 
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings. 

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’ll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all. 

Sparrow is an Amazon international bestseller.

The Kiss Thief

The Kiss Thief

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So many feelings!

Wow- throughout this book I kept changing my mind about how I wanted it to end… who I wanted to win Francesca’s heart. Because, let’s be real- Wolfe didn’t exactly put his best foot forward.
While there is a particularly brutal scene, there are plenty of steamy scenes (and some tender ones) as well. Overall, the characters in this story had some hurdles to overcome. A journey to take. Some growth to experience.
This was my second book by this author, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit more than the first. I will be reading more LJ Shen books.
And I recommend that YOU read THIS one.

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#1 Contemporary Romance
#1 New Adult Romance
#2 Most sold book on Amazon
#2 Most sold Fiction book on Washington Post
Top 2 book in the entire Amazon Kindle store

“My absolute favorite L.J. Shen to date. Indulgent and addictive.” – USA Today Bestselling author RS Grey
“This book will ruin you for all other books in 2019” – Bestselling author BB Easton 

From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist…

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. 

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.



Ripples by Aleatha Romig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this author, her writing, and I loved Natalie, but I had a hard time finding anything redeemable about Dexter. I still loved the book, but I wish it had been longer to give us more time to come around. Show some more redemption! If we could come around to liking Tony surely we could come around for Dexter. Maybe.
I still loved the book, but I wish there was a second one! I really want Tony to take his revenge and/or confront Dexter. I want Dexter to have the opportunity to redeem himself with both Natalie’s family and we humble readers who haven’t quite forgiven him yet. Because, quite frankly, right now I just want Natalie to earn his trust enough to have an opportunity to escape, and hope that her leaving guts him to the point that he never recovers. But I digress…
I say it again- still loved the book. Still love this author. I’ll read anything she writes. If she writes a blurb for the back of a cereal box I want to have it. On release day.
Read it now! And then write a review where you plead for more of Dexter (screw you though, Dexter) and Natalie’s story because she DID say at the end to let her know if we readers want more of them.

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Ripples: A Consequences Stand-alone Novel

You don’t have to read the Consequences series to enjoy this stand-alone novel, but if you know Tony Rawlings, you know that disappointing him isn’t an option. Imagine being his youngest daughter…imagine telling him the unimaginable…

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Sometimes ideas find you, and dreams begin as nightmares. Sometimes the truth that has been kept hidden is the key to opening a door you never knew existed. 

“You might not know me. I’m the baby of the Rawlings family, the princess, the daughter who came along later. I’m not like my older siblings, successful at everything they touch. My mother and father have provided me with every luxury as well as their unyielding love and support, but I’m not spoiled. I’m also not content. By example, my parents have shown me how love should be. I don’t know their past, and that doesn’t matter. I know what I’ve seen—two people devoted to one another. 

I don’t believe that I’ll ever find that kind of love, the kind that forgives and accepts all. And as my life falls to pieces and I travel to visit my family to face their disappointment, I’m not even looking for it. 

I’m looking for an escape…from my life as a Rawlings…from the pressure to achieve and not let others down. I dream of the time I can live for my own desires without the expectations that come with my name. 

I don’t find what I’m seeking…it finds me. Or should I say…he finds me. 

This time is different. I have a family who will search for me and find the answers. Little do we know—any of us—that my father set my journey into motion long before I was born.”

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” ~Dalai Lama

Ripples (Unabridged Version) is Natalie’s story, the youngest of Tony and Claire’s children—their baby. This story first appeared in shorter form in Glamour: Contemporary Fairytale Retellings. Due to the length restriction of each novella in that anthology, many scenes in Ripples were shortened or omitted for that anthology. This unabridged edition is the entire story—double in length and—a full-length novel. 

Please enjoy this Consequences novel along with special appearances from your favorite Consequences characters.