Protect (Protect, #3)

Protect by Olivia Ryann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A satisfying series

I enjoyed this book, and this series. I didn’t feel quite as much suspense in this final book as I did with the previous one, but I still really liked it.
I am torn on the inclusion of multiple villains in this series. On one hand it keeps it fresh, but on the other hand I also love singular super-villains that seemingly can’t be bested.
I am happy with the way this ended, but I was hoping for resolution on Damen’s runaway wife, mentioned in a previous book. In the absence of that I’d love to see Damen and Arsen get their own books/series. From my lips to the author’s ears! 🙏

Update: Damen and Arsen DO have their own books!

This series was my first read from this author, but it won’t be my last!


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This dark tale of obsession, beauty, and lust is by Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller Vivian Wood. She writes dark romance as OLIVIA RYANN.
I wake up in the wreckage, ready to fight for Rue. Only she is gone, stolen away by my archenemy. I start to see red. No one touches my girl and expects to live. The deck is stacked against us. Emotions are running high. There is one thing that no one else realizes, though. Rue is mine, and I will get her back if it is the last f*cking thing I do. Reading Order: Provoke (Protect Series FREE Prequel) Punish (Protect Series Book 1) Possess (Protect Series Book 2) Protect (Protect Series Book 3)

Possess (Protect, #2)

Possess by Olivia Ryann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oooh! The suspense!

This was the most suspenseful book yet from this series! Loved it!
This book came out swinging- sexy times, suspense, TWO villains to worry about, a hero who messes up and has to make amends, a dark past coming to light, and a misunderstanding. Yasss, girl!
I flew through these pages, and am now off to the next one to find out what happens!


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This dark tale of obsession, beauty, and lust is by Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller Vivian Wood. She writes dark romance as OLIVIA RYANN.
There is something blooming between my captor and I, hot and wet and fragile.Lust. Obsession. Maybe it’s even love.But there are still secrets that stand between us, looming large over whatever happiness we might find together.Dangerous secrets. Things worth killing over.If I reveal my secret to Dryas, he very well might die to protect me.The last thing I want is to confront those that hurt me without him at my side.But I might not get a choice, if Dryas has his way…Reading Order:Provoke (Protect Series FREE Prequel)Punish (Protect Series Book 2)Possess (Protect Series Book 3)Protect (Protect Series Book 4)

Punish (Protect, #1)

Punish by Olivia Ryann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Now we’re talking!

Yes! I needed this!
I really liked this book and its prequel, and can’t wait to dive in to the next book in this series. Head’s up- this one ends in a cliffhanger.
I enjoyed the growth of the relationship between the two main characters, but I did think the progression of Rue’s comfort level with Dryas seemed a bit quick. She sped right from terrified to accepting physical contact. Zero to a hundred, real quick. That said, it lent some realism for me that Rue experienced shame after encounters with Dryas. After the brainwashing she experienced in her youth that only makes sense.
This was a quick read in that I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us! Have we seen the last of Father Derrik and the prince? I hope not, because they deserve some karma. Like, maybe a high-five. To the face. With a chair.
Also, what happens with Rue’s sister? Does Rue get un-brainwashed? Does Dryas get his revenge? Does Rue?
I need answers! Off I go to get them!


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A dark tale of obsession, beauty, and lust! Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller Vivian Wood writes dark romance as OLIVIA RYANN.
Stolen and abducted… yet in the same stroke, saved.On one hand, I escaped certain death at the hands of people who have already hurt me.On the other, now I’m trapped with him.The rival of my abuser, who is every bit as terrifying. Dark and sinfully handsome, he wants me.He wants me to turn my back on the religion that has raised me.He wants me to spread my legs for him and him alone.He wants to punish me. He wants to teach me to like his lessons.Or else he’ll kill my little sister and turn me over to the men who controlled me before.Either way, I will have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices that have lasting consequences.I walk on the knife’s edge between falling prey again and completely losing myself.And if I’m not careful, I may end up worse than dead…Reading Order:Provoke (Protect Series FREE Prequel)Punish (Protect Series Book 1)Possess (Protect Series Book 2)Protect (Protect Series Book 3)

Provoke (Protect, #0.5)

Provoke by Olivia Ryann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Sort of an extended hook

I am intrigued. I am intending to carry directly into the next book to find out what happens next. So- mission accomplished, prequel!
I need to know what happens to Rue. I need to know who her father is. I need to know what is happening to these girls. I just need to know everything!


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A taste of this dark tale of obsession, beauty, and lust… FREE! Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Bestseller Vivian Wood writes dark romance as OLIVIA RYANN.
I meet her in a wedding dress, walking down the aisle towards my sworn enemy. Our eyes catch from across the room. And monster that I am, I know I have to have her.Not just because she is precious to my sworn enemy… but also because her wide blue eyes tell me things.That she’s afraid of me. That she’s even more afraid of my enemy.That she’ll do almost anything to escape him.I seize on her fear.I abduct her, while she’s screaming and fighting me.And that’s when our story begins.Reading Order:Provoke (Protect Series FREE Prequel)Punish (Protect Series Book 1)Possess (Protect Series Book 2)Protect (Protect Series Book 3)

The Contract: A Mafia Vows Prequel (Mafia Vows, #.5)

The Contract: A Mafia Vows Prequel by S.R. Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A tasty appetizer

The Contract is the prequel to The Debt, book one of the Mafia Vows series. It had a good pace, and kept me interested. Maya does come across as a bit vapid, but maybe that’s part of her character evolution? I am continuing the series, so I’ll find out soon.

This is definitely not a standalone- you’ll need to get the next book unless you don’t intend to continue. The good news is that, as of today (9/5/2019), all three books in the series are now available. Hooray!

My curiosity is piqued, which was the point, so I’d say mission accomplished. Onward to the next one!


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In my world, family and honor are everything.
In my world, women are powerless.
In my world, men call all the shots.

My uncle is a mafia king, and my father wants the same power. I am a pawn in their games – to be used and traded.

Two weeks ago, I was promised in marriage to a man I barely knew.
Two days ago, I discovered that man liked to torture women for fun.
Two hours ago, I begged my mother to stop the marriage.
Two minutes ago, I found myself promised to another man… to my uncle’s terrifying enforcer.

The only way to avoid marriage to a madman is by becoming the bride of a murderer.
He’s six-feet-five of sheer muscle and power, and he scares me as much as he excites me.
Ruthless, merciless, and without fear, his cruel smirk tells me he is going to enjoy having me at his mercy.

He might own me, but I’m not giving in without a fight.

**Please note this book contains adult and dark themes and suspense, so please be aware that trigger warnings do apply!**

Convict (Sin City Salvation, #2)

Convict by A. Zavarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


5 amazing stars!

“You shouldn’t want this, Birdie,” I growled. “Tell me to fucking stop.”

Aaagh- I loved this book. Even more than the first book, Confess. Don’t get me wrong- loved ’em both, but this one edged ahead for me.

I did feel some kind of way about Ace’s treatment of Birdie in a few of the scenes, and was glad when he later felt bad about it. I’m cool with my book heroes messing up- it makes them human. But they better be sorry about it later.

The backgrounds of these two main characters were so unimaginably tragic, and yielded two such profoundly damaged people. At different points both of them get separately warned off of the other, told they aren’t capable of love or relationships. Friendship, even. I wanted to shake those side characters and tell them to leave these two the hell alone to figure it out. With their own innate fears and insecurities they sure didn’t need other people weighing in on why it could never work. Let ’em try, people! Dang!

Anyway, I think the author did such a great job with these characters. As always these books had well developed characters, strong stories, great suspense and pacing, and smoking hot sexy times.
Time to take another spin through the A. Zavarelli book list to make sure I haven’t missed anything because her books are easy one-clicks.

Please never stop writing books, A. Zavarelli! ❤


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From USA Today bestselling author A. Zavarelli comes an enemies to lovers romance full of blackmail, emotional twists, and explosive chemistry.

From the shadows, I’ve tracked her every move.

I was just supposed to watch her. But now, I can’t stop.

She’s my obsession. My addiction. My poison.

Watching her isn’t enough.

The savage in me won’t be satisfied until I take her and make her mine.

One taste and I’m hooked. Too bad for her… I’m never letting her go.

***

Stalked. Hunted. Captured.

He took me from my life and locked me away in his compound.

The ex-con. The big bad biker. Inked, bearded, and inhumanely sized.

And yet, every time he looks at me, I melt.

This broken beast hides demons behind those brutal eyes. I hate him… and I crave him. His touch, his words, his lips.

When my enemies come for me, he vows to protect me as long as I do what he says. I’ll be secure in this prison he created for me.

But who will protect me from him?

Convict is a full length standalone within the Sin City Series and has a complete ending.

Confess (Sin City Salvation, #1)

Confess by A. Zavarelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


WHAT IN THE WORLD! In a good way. 🙂

She should have pulled away, and I should have stopped. But neither of us moved. And when my fingers found the tender flesh of her throat, I drew her closer, tasting what was never meant to be mine.

This book. It exhausted me. My emotions ran the full gamut. I was happy. I was sad. I was hot and bothered. I laughed. I cried and cried, and checked reviews for information to see if I should go on.
This was good. Really good. Lucian is a bossy, seemingly sorta mean alpha guy, and damned if I don’t just love those. Granted, he is kind of weird in the beginning with the way he goes about things- it has kind of a fatherly ring to it (such as ordering her to go sit in the corner), but whatever. I still grew to love him. Just as our heroine did.

“I shouldn’t be doing this to you.” His voice held so much agony, I couldn’t stand it.
My fingers wrapped around his face, forcing him to look at me. “I want you to.”


I enjoyed the backgrounds of both of the main characters. Not because they were happy or good (spoiler: they WEREN’T), but because they made sense for their hangups/issues. I was hoping that Gypsy connecting with a local Roma gypsy might yield some kind of information on or connection with her mother, but I suppose I can’t win ’em all.
I was a little taken aback by a turn of events in the book, but so happy about the outcome that I was willing to suspend belief a bit about the journey of getting there. I won’t comment any further about that.
I definitely recommend this book. I just can’t believe it took me this long to read it!

Lucian nipped at my throat, his words so low I barely heard them. “You’re going to ruin me.”

PURE FIRE!


TRIGGERS: there are some pretty harsh triggers “off-screen” (past events that are referred to)- sexual exploitation/assault of children, death of a child, physical abuse of a child.


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One contract. Two signatures. A marriage of inconvenience.

Gypsy

Lucian West isn’t husband material. He’s a stiff in a suit. Granted a hot one, but still. He’s one of the most hated men in America. An arrogant alpha. A ruthless attorney.

He gets what he wants in the courtroom, and outside of it.

Now, he wants me.

For reasons I can’t fathom, he’s determined to make me his wife.

He makes it clear he’s not above blackmailing me to put a ring on my finger.

The man might be richer than sin with devilish good looks, but hell will freeze over before I ever give my heart to him.


***

Lucian

I don’t do love. I don’t even do relationships.

But all of that changes when I stumble upon the tragic, beautiful woman confessing her sins in the dark of night.

She’ s supposed to be nothing to me. Nothing but a wife. Her smart mouth drives me crazy. Her attitude brings out the beast in me. I want to protect her. I want to bring her to heel. I want to own her pretty lips.

She belongs to me, she just doesn’t know it yet.

I’ve already made her mine in name. Now it’s time to claim the rest of her.


Explosive chemistry. Plenty of angst. Packed with emotion and dark themes. Confess is a standalone within the series and has a complete ending.

Twisted Bonds (The Camorra Chronicles #4)

Twisted Bonds by Cora Reilly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


More of Cora’s Camorra? Yes, please!

Yep. This was what I needed. I’d been so excited for Luca’s book prior to this one, only to not love it as much as I’d expected. It was still good, but not quite what I’d been starved for. There was too much overlap with the previous books for me. Now, this one here? This one did it for me. There was still overlap (with Remo’s book), but it seemed more separated to me. It didn’t feel like I was re-experiencing the same events. Perhaps because Luca’s book was the POV of other half of the featured duo whereas THIS book took place during Remo’s book, but in the dual POV of a different couple. We get to know what was happening off-stage (with Nino and Kiera) during that time, and then the book continues on beyond the end of Remo’s book to give us new adventures. Yes please! I always need more Camorra! I can’t WAIT for Nevio to grow up into a complete hell on wheels. He will drive Remo crazy, and I’m gonna love every second of it.
Anyway, I enjoyed the struggles (that sounds mean, but I don’t mean it like THAT) Nino and Kiera experienced. I loved getting more of a glimpse of how Adamo dealt with the aftermath of his time with the Outfit. Speaking of that, I loved getting the tension and reactions of the Vegas set while Adamo, and then subsequently Remo, were held by the Outfit. We missed out on that with Remo’s book. We also got to know Savio better in this book, and what a book he will have when it comes out (that bad, bad Savio!). Adamo and Savio are growing into their own; no longer just the kid brothers, but now men in their own right.
I so love this world that Cora Reilly has created. I hope she never stops writing about them. In ten years I want to be reading about Remo’s great-great grandchildren. Fingers crossed!


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Can you ever truly leave the past behind in a house full of haunted souls?

Kiara always wanted a loving family she could take care of. She never thought she’d find it with the Falcones.
Nino and Kiara both lost part of themselves in their traumatic childhood. Together they’re trying to recover the missing pieces, but they aren’t the only broken souls in the Falcone mansion; Kiara fears that not all of them can be saved. Determined to protect her new family and the future of her dreams, she’s on a mission to help each of them in her own way, even if it means stacking up secrets.

Four brothers bound together by an unbreakable bond forged in their dark past. If one of them falls, will they all?

Reborn (Alpha’s Claim #3)

Reborn by Addison Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Started slow, but picked up

I was confused by the pacing of this book. It was pretty slow for the first half, then picked up speed more and more as it neared the end. The last parts of the book almost felt glossed over as months passed in the space of a chapter. I was disappointed because, though I raced through the earlier books, I struggled to power through the first half of this one.
Claire softens toward Shepherd in this book, though still struggles with her feelings of responsibility toward the people’s resistance, and toward her friends. As she struggles Shepherd tries to get her to connect with their baby, and puts effort into trying to bring her joy. It was good to see him trying instead of just demanding. I’m still struggling with the marked differences between traditional romances and these Omegaverse books, but I’m enjoying the story outside of that component so I’m trying not to focus too much on terms like “nest” and “knot” as they take me out of the story. But, that’s just me not being used to this type of story.
I thought the author did a great job with the villain in this book- I really hated this person. The brutality set into place, coupled with how well she had several people snowed, was a stark indicator of her being a complete psychopath.
Overall, I enjoyed this book by the end. But, I had to push through the first half.
If Omegaverse is your jam, and you can manage some tricky triggers, I definitely recommend this series. If you’re new to Omegaverse and curious as I was (and understand there are triggers) I still recommend it.


TRIGGERS- violent non-consent; another devastating trigger I won’t name due to spoilers, but if you have a particular trigger that happens to be very sad I suggest you read a review with spoilers before diving into this one.


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Shepherd must convince his precious Claire to return his love…

Before he goes mad with longing. It’s not enough to have his mate safely secured in his nest. It’s not enough that she slowly succumbs to her instincts. He wants her heart and soul.

Needs her… before it’s too late.

Thólos is coming apart at the seams, and Shepherd’s men can do nothing to stop it. Real war is on their doorstep, and unless the Alpha tyrant is willing to pay the ultimate, everything he has sacrificed will have been for nothing.

Publisher’s Note: The third book in Addison Cain’s exciting, raw, and suspense-filled Omegaverse series is a Dark Romance featuring complete power exchange.

Born to be Broken (Alpha’s Claim, #2)

Born to be Broken by Addison Cain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Detailed story and characters

Another winner! This is the second book in this series, my second-ever Omegaverse read, and my second book from this author. As with the first I am a little distracted by the language that I’m not used to, but that’s to be expected since I’ve never read this kind of book before. I generally stick to dark romance/romantic suspense, and avoid paranormal (among others). This series kept popping up on recommended lists so I decided to give it a try.
I really liked this book. There is a considerable amount of detail both in the world as well as the characters. I also really love that the relationship between the two main characters is not insta-love, and Claire doesn’t just roll over with stars in her eyes the minute Shepherd tell her to do so. She fights. She refuses. She is defiant. She does what she can (uses whatever she can) in pursuit of what she believes to be right. She couldn’t complete a task on her own, so she did what she needed to do to get the help she needed rather than throwing her hands up at the hopelessness of it all.
I am also enjoying Shepherd’s struggle. It seems like he wants Claire to develop feelings for him. To care for him. To see him as her mate as opposed to her kidnapper/tormentor/attacker/captor. Unfortunately he has never had to build a relationship before, nor has he ever even seen it done. He has seen only twisted “relationships” based on abuse, bartering, power… but not love or affection. And Claire, having never had a relationship herself, and with her mother having passed away when Claire was so young, has never had nor seen a relationship develop, either. So it’s the blind leading the blind over here. She wants him to do something he doesn’t know how to do (woo her), and he wants her to do something she’s been repelled by, and fought against, her entire life (accept her Omega status and submit to that life).
It is interesting to watch it unfold. When Shepherd does something nice is it out of affection? A desire to appease Claire? Or does he perhaps have more self-serving motivations?
I also love the side characters. Well, except Svana. That’s not to say she isn’t an excellent character from a technical standpoint- she is. I HATE her. And that is a mark of a “good” character.

Warning: there is OW drama and activity in this series.


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Desperately in love…

Shepherd took Claire against her will. Pair-bonded the Omega despite her reluctance, tying their souls together for life. Conquered her city and brought her people to heel.

Yet never anticipated he’d fall in love.

Or imagine his wonderful mate would grow to despise him to the point she’d risk her life to escape.

That cannot stand. He will find his missing mate, he will drag her home, and he will make her adore him. After all, he holds the key to his resistant mate’s compliance—the lives of her friends.

Publisher’s Note: The second book in Addison Cain’s exciting, raw, and suspense-filled Omegaverse series is a Dark Romance featuring complete power exchange.