Tormentor Mine

Tormentor Mine (Tormentor Mine, #1)

Tormentor Mine by Anna Zaires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sucks you in

This is my third series from Anna Zaires, and based off of this first book I suspect it will be my favorite. Twist Me, while good, was a touch too dark for me. I never came around to liking Julian. But Peter Sokolov? Yes, please. Ok, he tortured her at the beginning. But, even then, he softened to her and stopped. When presented with the choice of forcing her versus waiting he decided to wait (are you taking notes, Julian?). He wants her. All of her- not just her body. And he is willing to be patient to get it.
And so, a bright start to this series! Suspense, romance, angst, heat… all of my favorite elements.
I love this author’s writing, and am so excited to have found a series with a hero that seems to be right at my comfort level as opposed to well past it.
Can’t wait to read the next one!

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A new dark romance from New York Times bestseller Anna Zaires

He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance. 

Now he’s back, but he’s no longer after my secrets. 

The man who stars in my nightmares wants me. 

Heavy Equipment

Heavy Equipment

Heavy Equipment by Skye Warren

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So short

It is hard for me to rate a novella. I enjoyed it for a novella, but I wish it had been longer. I would have liked to read this as a full-length novel. It felt so rushed, like they went from point A to point L in only 49 pages.
Still, in trying to rate this as a novella- I liked it. I just didn’t have enough time to get attached to the characters. However, I’m really into the whole “initially reluctant” thing, so it scratches that itch.
Overall, a good novella. But, if you are used to full novels you may find this frustrating.

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I’ve been raised as the good, obedient daughter, but I never expected to be sold to pay my father’s debts. Cold. Rough. Merciless. The foreman of the construction crew is going to make me pay every last cent.

Author’s Note: The hero is Asher Cook, the construction foreman from Survival of the Richest, though this is not part of the series and can be heard as a standalone.



Bossman by Vi Keeland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just what I needed

Aaah. I’ve been reading non-stop dark/ suspense romance, and needed a fluffy palette cleanser. Bad. And Bossman came galloping in to save the day. 🙂
I loved the characters, loved the story, loved the back stories. I loved the quirk where Chase launches into elaborate made-up stories when the opportunity presents itself. It just made his character that much… more. I also loved that the female character was a professional in her own right… not a secretary. Not an Administrative Assistant. Her last job before working at Parker was as a Marketing Director. Yay! Strong, professional woman character! And she tells him off when he is being dumb. More than once.
An excellent, breezy read! Recommended!

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The first time I met Chase Parker, I didn’t exactly make a good impression.

I was hiding in the bathroom hallway of a restaurant, leaving a message for my best friend to save me from my awful date.

He overheard and told me I was a bitch, then proceeded to offer me some dating advice.

So I told him to mind his own damn business—his own tall, gorgeous, full-of-himself damn business—and went back to my miserable date.

When he walked by my table, he smirked, and I watched his arrogant, sexy ass walk back to his date.

I couldn’t help but sneak hidden glances at the condescending jerk on the other side of the room. Of course, he caught me on more than one occasion, and winked.

When the gorgeous stranger and his equally hot date suddenly appeared at our table, I thought he was going to rat me out.

But instead, he pretended we knew each other and joined us—telling elaborate, embarrassing stories about our fake childhood.

My date suddenly went from boring to bizarrely exciting.

When it was over and we parted ways, I thought about him more than I would ever admit, even though I knew I’d never see him again.

I mean, what were the chances I’d run into him again in a city with eight million people?
Then again…

What were the chances a month later he’d wind up being my new sexy boss?

Matteo: A Dark Mafia Hate Story

Matteo: A Dark Mafia Hate Story

Matteo: A Dark Mafia Hate Story by Ginger Talbot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A hard read

Wow- this was a hard one to finish. Part of the way through I was already composing my angry incredulous review in my head. I was tempted to quit, honestly. But I stuck it out until the end, and I’m glad I did. If for no other reason than to find out that not everything was as it seemed. I NEEDED to finish it because, quite frankly, this one was going to haunt me if there wasn’t some kind of redemption.
I was so frustrated for Natasha, and how much she was being made to suffer. I was angry about the way her family treated her from the beginning. It seemed that she had never really known love, and through a cruel twist of fate she ended up with Matteo and would spend the rest of her life as a loveless slave. I was glad to see that didn’t happen.
The mob lifestyle painted in this book is horrific, particularly for the women. To be fair, I’ve read some pretty horrific real-life stories about mob women, so it is probably not super far-fetched that wives are treated as described in the book.
This was my first read by this author, and I will definitely be back for more!
If you like a dark read along the lines of Aleatha Romig, Willow Winters, Sam Mariano, and Anna Zaires I suspect you would enjoy this book.

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My name is Bailey Millhouse, and I’m so very, very lucky. I’m the daughter of a senator. I have a loving family and a bright future all planned out for me. 
But every last word of that is a lie. My whole gilded life is a lie. My real name is Natasha Dubrova, and my mother hid me as a baby to save me from an arranged marriage with the son of a mafia boss. She didn’t hide me well enough – because now my real family has come calling. 
And now they’ve taken me “home” – to my fiancé, Matteo Rossi, a beautiful sadist whose punishments batter my flesh and bruise my soul. He says he’s going to break me and make me his. I’ll never give in. I’ll never accept that this is my life. I’ll submit and pretend in order to survive – but I vow I’ll escape this house of beauty, pain and secrets, and find my way home. 
The longer I stay, though, the harder it is to leave. Underneath Matteo’s cruelty is a strange and mysterious tenderness – and a big, big secret. What can’t he tell me? Who’s the real master of this family? And why is everyone here so afraid I won’t survive until my wedding day?



Broken by W. Winters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark and suspenseful

I was torn between four and five stars. While I thought this book was great, it was not quite as great as her book Merciless, one of my short list of five-star reads. I’m tough with my five-star reviews, but I imagine this would be a five-star read to many.
There are few authors who can keep me flying through a book with no lulls, no boring sections, but Willow Winters sure is one of those authors. I have yet to find my mind wandering reading her books, never struggled to finish any of her stories. With every book I find myself ignoring my life/staying up all night/etc. to read just a LITTLE bit more.
This book was no different. I loved the characters, especially Andrew. If a spinoff/sequel ever happens… please, let it be about him.
The story of these two lovers isn’t pretty. It isn’t sweet. It wouldn’t be considered a traditional romance by any remote stretch of the imagination. It is dark. It is gritty. It is about a good man and a good woman who are both in a bad situation. Unfortunately that situation is considerably harder for her since she is in the dark about what is going on, but he tries to make it easier on her. He tells her what he can, and swears to protect her. And quite frankly, the alternative to being with him would have been FAR worse.
So, yes… the naysayers will say “he is abusive to her!” To which I say, just keep reading. You’ve got to make it to the end to really pass judgement.
Another excellent read from this author. As per the usual. Keep ’em coming, Willow Winters!

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Heartless. Ruthless. Stone Cold Killer.

That’s me. I destroy anything in my path to get what I want.

Then she showed up. Olivia Bell. She’s sweet and innocent, and in the wrong place, at the wrong time. 

Now she’s mine. My property. I own her. Given to me as a bargaining chip.

She’s not a part of my plans, but plans change. Her pouty lips and gorgeous curves beg me to break her. 

Taking her lush curvy body, and ravaging it for all its worth would be easy, but I want to earn her submission. It’s addictive. I want it. I want her.

They wanted me to break her. I am. And I’m enjoying it. Now they want to take her from me. 

Over my dead body.

Let them come for us. I’ll kill them all.

By the time I’m done, everyone will know. She belongs to me.

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

Claim Me

Claim Me (Capture Me, #3)

Claim Me by Anna Zaires

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My initial review, before my Goodreads app closed, was longer than this re-write. Can’t win ’em all.
I loved this whole series, and really loved this final book of this trilogy. I love that the author gave me plenty to be frustrated about, but then came back and satisfied all of my frustrations by the end, tying them up neatly in a clean finish.
I also love that Julian and Nora didn’t magically decide to forgive Yulia and become besties. That would have felt disingenuous after the fury they both harbored stemming from the accident in the Twist Me trilogy. Well, and I guess it was covered in the beginning of this trilogy as well.
Overall, another winning trilogy from this author. I’ll be back for Peter’s story!

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Book 3 in the dark romance Capture Me trilogy

She’s on the run.

Yulia Tzakova’s freedom comes at a heavy price. Her former captor dominates her dreams, and survival consumes her waking moments. She may have escaped, but she’s far from safe. 

In the shadowy world of spies and betrayal, nothing is what it seems. 

He’s obsessed with getting her back.

Lucas Kent’s rage knows no bounds. The danger of his job occupies his days, but hunting down Yulia is what he lives for. When he finds her, she’ll never escape again. 

He’ll do whatever it takes to keep her. 

Note: This is a LONG novel that concludes Lucas & Yulia’s story.

Bind Me

Bind Me (Capture Me, #2)

Bind Me by Anna Zaires

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m tearing through this series. I found this book to be less exciting than the first, but more steamy. I like the back and forth of Yulia and Lucas. The miscommunications and misunderstandings. They are both developing feelings, but deny it both to themselves as well as each other. It’s maddening in the best way. And when she tried to ask him for help, but he wouldn’t even let her speak, assuming he knew what she was going to say, I sighed in frustration.
Recommended! As for me I am now running off to read the next book!

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He’s determined to break her.

For Lucas Kent, his new prisoner is a maddening contradiction: compliant yet defiant, fragile yet strong. He needs to uncover her secrets, but doing so may ruin everything.

His obsession could destroy her.

She’s determined to escape.

For Yulia Tzakova, her captor is the man of both her dreams and her nightmares: tender one moment, cruel the next. She can’t let him crack her, but resisting him may leave her broken.

A moment of weakness could cost her everything.

Capture Me

Capture Me (Capture Me, #1)

Capture Me by Anna Zaires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Boy, did I like this better than the Twist Me series books. Hooray for a hero that doesn’t rape his heroine!
Kinda bums me out that the bar has been set that low, but it is what it is.
This book had a lot going for it- suspense, hot sex. Pent-up frustration. It seemed a little short/rushed, like maybe a few extra pages here and there would have made the story… more full?
Anyway, I liked this wayyy better than Twist Me, I like Lucas way more than Julian, and I recommend this book. Off I go to read the next one!

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A new dark romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Twist Me 

She fears him from the first moment she sees him. 

Yulia Tzakova is no stranger to dangerous men. She grew up with them. She survived them. But when she meets Lucas Kent, she knows the hard ex-soldier may be the most dangerous of them all. 

One night—that’s all it should be. A chance to make up for a failed assignment and get information on Kent’s arms dealer boss. When his plane goes down, it should be the end. 

Instead, it’s just the beginning. 

He wants her from the first moment he sees her. 

Lucas Kent has always liked leggy blondes, and Yulia Tzakova is as beautiful as they come. The Russian interpreter might’ve tried to seduce his boss, but she ends up in Lucas’s bed—and he has every intention of seeing her there again. 

Then his plane goes down, and he learns the truth. 

She betrayed him. 

Now she will pay.

Beautiful Mistakes

Beautiful Mistakes

Beautiful Mistakes by Sam Mariano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Always a winner

This was it. My final unread novel by Sam Mariano. And now a darkness has descended upon me. I have no more Sam Mariano books to look forward to until she releases a new one. I can scarcely find the will to live. Each new day is but a new drudgery.
That said, I have never NOT loved a Mariano novel. This one was not my favorite of hers, and the third-person writing leads me to believe it might be an earlier work, but it is still heads and tails above a lot of what I read. This author is so very good at conveying emotion. At writing messed up, tangled webs that don’t resolve themselves into perfect little boxes tied with bows. But that is what makes her writing more real to me. Real life is messy. It’s not neat and perfect.
I LOVE this author. LOVE. If she writes so much as a grocery list, I want to read it. I will forever read any damn thing she writes after the miracle that was the Morelli series (and the Vegas Morellis series).
All hail Sam Mariano!

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Julie Kingsley has never had much luck when it comes to men.
After impulsively transferring to college in Chicago to move in with her unreliable boyfriend, a chance meeting lands Julie a job offer she can’t turn down—a nanny position caring for an adorable toddler. How hard can that be?

Turns out the job is more than she expected—not because of the baby girl, but her distractingly handsome father, who makes no secret of his marital dissatisfaction.

When Julie finally leaves her boyfriend, her new-found friendship with her employer crosses the line of propriety, and Julie’s whole world is shaken. Unsure where to turn or who to trust, Julie has to deal with the fallout from the decisions that led her to that point. 

Join Julie as she learns that, despite the pain, some mistakes are worth making.

Hold Me

Hold Me (Twist Me, #3)

Hold Me by Anna Zaires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The final book in the Twist Me series. I liked this one more than the other two, but I was displeased by Julian’s reactions to Nora during the multiple instances where he assumes he knows her feelings without asking her. He assumes he knows why she is upset she is pregnant. He assumes he knows why she is upset toward the end of the book. In both cases the truth is kind of heartbreaking, but he assumes other reasons and punishes her accordingly rather than comforting her.
Dammit, I don’t like Julian.
He acts to protect her, but I never feel like he actually loves her. And I guess I need that for it to be an HEA for me.
I finished the series. And it was a really, really good series. In a suspense-story kind of way. As far as romance I was disappointed that I never saw Julian redeem himself. I don’t care what he buys her. I don’t care if he takes her on a trip. Or takes care to give her alone time with her parents/friends. I DON’T CARE. I need him to love her. Not be so oblivious to her feelings that, when she asks to go to a park of his choosing, he sees no problem with taking her back to the park where he abducted her and put Jake in the hospital. Like she wouldn’t be traumatized by that.
That isn’t love. That’s passive aggressive and threatening.
Still, I digress. Good story, and I still recommend it. But I hope someday Julian pulls his head out of his ass.

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Captor and captive. Lovers. Soulmates.

We’re all that and more.

We thought we were past the worst of it. We thought we finally had a chance.

We thought wrong.

We’re Nora and Julian, and this is our story.

***Hold Me is the conclusion of the Twist Me trilogy, told from Nora & Julian’s point of view.***