Book Reviews, New Adult, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – The Rebel by Sophie Lark

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The Rebel; The Kingmakers #2 
(#2 within a series)

Publication Date: May 5, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Mafia/Forbidden/New Adult Romance

Author: Sophie Lark

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



Completely ensnared from page one! I loved returning to The Kingmakers and even more so with the characters running the show this time around.

If you read The Heir, you might remember Zoe as the friend living on the same floor as Anna. Zoe mentioned being engaged to a horrible human being and she kept to herself a lot of the time. You might also recall Anna and Leo’s cousin, Miles, who could procure pretty much anything for a price. This is their story and we find out all of the reasons why or behind these very characteristics. While reading the first book is one I wouldn’t want to miss, you can certainly jump into The Rebel and enjoy their love story as a standalone.

An extra delight I wasn’t expecting, is Zoe’s sister, Cat. She was an bonus with a running storyline alongside Miles and Zoe that interweaves with theirs, but also is very much in her own world as well. She arrives at Kingsman Academy as a freshman, wide eyed and having zero knowledge of the mafia world. I thoroughly enjoyed her fresh look at the people and happenings around her, while she discovered her footing in a brand new society.

Back to Zoe and Miles, they were everything and more I could have dreamed of in a forbidden love love story. Honestly, when I met them in the last book I never would have pictured of them together, much less where they ended up, but whowza!! They blazed in a steamy, passionate, mind blowing kind of love.

The Rebel is full of all the things that you want in a forbidden love story, especially between two people who desperately want to be together, but are restricted in every possible “Romeo and Juliet” kind of way. Not only is there an actual marriage contract between Zoe and her fiancé, Rocco, who is a complete and total psychopath, but there are spies all around campus who will rat out any misdoings, and there is the with the whole “eye for an eye” rule at school. If any student gets caught doing anything wrong he or she wouldn’t just get kicked out of school, for a grievous crime he or she would be killed. This school takes punishment to a whole new level. Most students handle misdeeds at their own level, because no one wants a serious punishment handed back to them, but death is hard to escape.

I really couldn’t put this book down as I was so engrossed from not only how Zoe was going to escape her horrid fiancé, but also Cat’s new adventures. These sisters made the book very exciting and Miles may have come off a rule breaking sluff, but he’s super dreamworthy for the right woman, which just so happens to be Zoe Romero.


I Want The One Girl I Can’t Have…

Zoe Romera is trapped in a marriage contract with the most sadistic psychopath at Kingmakers.

She couldn’t be more off-limits. Stealing her from Rocco Prince would break the most ironclad rules of the mafia world.

But I have to have her. She’s my soulmate. I want her, or no one at all.

I’ll do anything to save her. Rocco will do anything to destroy her.

I’ve got one chance to achieve the impossible…

“The Rebel” is is the second book in the epic dark mafia Kingmakers series. It’s a forbidden romance, full of jealousy, desire, and a hero who will do anything to save the woman he loves.

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Book Reviews, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Calculated Risk by Marie James

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Calculated Risk; Blackbridge Security #5 
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: May 11, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Security/Suspense Romance

Author: Marie James

Review Rating: 4.5 Gold StarsThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_1368-6.jpg




We return to the security world of Blackbridge and all those hot men who make the world a better place.

Calculated Risk is a slow burning romance between Quinten Lake and Hayden Prescott, two very different people when you look at them from the outside. Quinten is a gentle giant of a man who is a problem solver covered in tattoos and a beard. He works with a lot of high profile cases, your hollywood starlets, government screwups, basically he has the patience of a saint when he’s able to come in and clean up all of their mistakes. Where as Hayden is a petite woman with a fiery attitude, but works as an accountant in her nine to five job and normally dates boring intellectuals.

These two most likely would never have met under normal circumstances, if it wasn’t for the home invasion that Hayden was a victim of which in turn caused her best friend to sign her up for a gun safety class at Blackbridge Security. 

Taking back control of her life isn’t easy and honestly, being the victim of anything traumatizing isn’t easy to come back from, however, a large portion of this story revolves around gun safety and taking back part of yourself. As much as I’d like to focus on the part of the story that was lacking around the suspense of why the home invasion happened (this was my tiny ding in my 5 star rating) and then later revolving around more of what was going on in Hayden’s life, I really, really respected everything else. With the way the world is going and everything in the news I truly enjoyed reading this.

I felt a true connection to Hayden and how she approached gun safety class. I’ll be honest, I was walking in her shoes. I felt everything she was, right up to the point of her handling a gun because I’ve never done this, but I could still imagine those same trepidations that she felt. I also respected Quinten immensely. He was patient and caring and very respectful of every woman who was in his class. As much as Quinten originally complained about teaching, he was actually the perfect team member to do it. 

Lastly, my favorite part is always revisiting past characters and of course my favorite among favorites is Wren and Puff Daddy. They are there as well as several other gorgeous team members. I’m also very excited for the next book because we get lots of hints dropped here and it looks to be juicy.

Overall read 4.5 stars



As the fixer for Blackbridge Security, Quinten Lake is the man that comes in and cleans up after people make stupid decisions.

Which means he didn’t want to be the one teaching lustful women gun safety.

There were guys on the team better suited for the task.

Get in and get out, that’s his motto, something he lives by not only at work but also in his personal life.

And he could be doing just that if it weren’t for the internet.

But if #BlackbridgeSpecial wasn’t trending online he would’ve never met Hayden Prescott.

He wouldn’t be wondering why she won’t make eye contact with him.

He’s supposed to teach her the skills to protect herself, but his ego is encouraging him to be her means of protection.

She isn’t impressed, and he’s left wondering if she’ll ever open her eyes and finally see him.

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Book Reviews, Dark Romance, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Consumed by Deception by Rina Kent

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Consumed by Deception; Deception Trilogy #3 
(#3 within a trilogy)

Publication Date: May 6, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Trilogy/Mafia/Dark Romance

Author: Rina Kent

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



Rina Kent has crafted the perfect villain that becomes the hero within his own story. I am so addicted to this whole world that I feel like I will starve until the next time I’m able to return.

Everything comes full circle for Adrian and Lia; their love, their deceptions, their betrayal, it all comes to a head, while their story weaves back together and all of our questions are finally answered.

What I love most about reading a story like the Deception trilogy, is that is was not only broken apart and then woven back together (which was mind blowing and absolutely brilliant), but the love story between Adrian and Lia was unique each time we jumped into a new book.

Adrian is a monster, but he is Lia’s monster. Adrian is the man she needs and craves no matter what point or timeline they are in. The same can also be said for Adrian and how he feels about Lia, although his falls more along the line of an obsession. If he had his way he would lock Lia away in a tower and ravish her from sun up until sun down. However, his monster also recognizes that Lia is already locked away in her own tower within her mind and while Adrian claims to be no hero, he does provide the keys which help Lia escape. He claims he’s a villain, which by any other standard he is; he’s a criminal, a killer, etc…, but within his own love story he is most certainly a hero.

Adrian is so unlike other anti-hero I’ve come across. He doesn’t soften over the course of the trilogy, nor does he apologize for his beastly ways, he certainly doesn’t change his profession, he is truly and unapologetically himself, which is really why readers – myself included, love him. I don’t believe for one second that Lia ever wanted to change her husband, the draw to his rawness is truly the temptation of the man himself.

Lia herself deeply enjoys being desired and craved, she just doesn’t admit out loud, and why would she it gives up some of the power she has. Her character has changed the most throughout the entire trilogy and is probably one of the most fascinating characters Rina has probably written. I love how bold she becomes and really claims a huge chunk of what she wants to become in a mafia wife, while still maintaining that softness that Adrian loves about her. Jeremy and Adrian are her entire world and you can tell that her son is a lot like of both of his parents. Jeremy is incredibly sweet and intelligent. I can hardly wait to see what Rina does with this next generation of children.

This entire trilogy is YESSSS, loved it, and again, I will be sad until I can return to this world.


My husband. My monster.

The truth isn’t always what it seems.
Lia doesn’t realize that, but she will. Soon.
I chose this life. This road. This twisted arrangement.
For her, I made a deal with the devil.
For her, I toyed with fate and death.
There’s no going back.
I stole her and like any thief, I won’t return her.
Lia is my addiction. My obsession. My love.

This book is the final part of a trilogy and is not standalone.

Dark Marriage Romance.


This book is part of a trilogy and is not standalone.

Deception Trilogy:
#0 Dark Deception
#1 Vow of Deception
#2 Tempted by Deception
#3 Consumed by Deception

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Cover Reveal - 2021, New Releases

Cover Reveal – The Hate of Loving You by Maya Hughes


Title: The Hate Of Loving You

Series: Falling Trilogy #3

Author: Maya Hughes

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Najla Qamber

Release Date: May 6, 2021


Six years ago, in the dead of night, I woke up to a cold bed and an even colder future without her.

I would’ve followed her anywhere and she left.

I thought I’d moved on and left all she meant to me behind. But a first love is never easy to forget. Even harder when I once felt our love is inevitable–inescapable. And I’ve been proven right once again.

One night brings us back together and derails our lives. We’re sent on a collision course with a future apart and even scarier–a future together. I’m back basking in the warm glow of her gaze and burning with the unquenchable fire of her touch.

We’ve walked this path before and our shattered hearts have been pieced back together. As easy as it would be to run again, I can’t stop wanting her.

This is our final chance to have what we’ve always wanted–each other. Or it’ll be our ruin.

The final book in the Fulton U universe sports romance, Falling trilogy.

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Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum. 






#THOLY  #mayahughes #newrelease #comingsoon #sportsromance #forgiveness #secondchance #bookshelf #romancereaders