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

Review – Kept Bride by Alta Hensley

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Kept Bride; Secret Bride #2 
(#2 within a trilogy)

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Trilogy/Dark/Suspense/Psychological Romance

Author: Alta Hensley

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



This trilogy is so original, unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s mind-bending, a psychological twister that is a total page turner.

Kept Bride picks up right where Captive Bride left off. This book cannot be read as a standalone. Where Christopher was the trapped prisoner in the first book and Ember, although was kidnapped years ago, was there to help sooth and help calm Christopher. This time around as they have fled captivity from the madman who forced them into marriage, Christopher and Ember are now living in Christopher’s world where their positions have shifted. They may appear free, but instead they have exchanged one cage for another. Is love enough to save them from the outside forces that live in Christopher’s world?

Alta Hensley has crafted a physiological twister that will keep you guessing who is there to help this couple and who is there to push them back in their gilded cage. It is such a fast paced ride, completely page turning and impossible to put down.


My history is forbidden.
My story, dark and twisted.
My future decided.

I know I don’t belong in this decadent world—his world.
Money, power, and dark secrets surround me now.
I submit to it all to be his perfect obedient wife.

They stalk my every move, watching me, judging me.
I’m in the same prison just with different guards.
But all I care about is him.
His eyes, his touch, his hold over me.
I’m forever his kept bride, even though they all try to steal me away.

Kept Bride is part of a trilogy and should not be read as a standalone:

Captive Bride by Alta Hensley Kept Bride A Dark Romance (The Secret Bride Book 2) by Alta Hensley Taken Bride A Dark Romance (The Secret Bride Book 3) by Alta Hensley

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Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – The Sweetest Thing by Maya Hughes

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The Sweetest Thing; SWANK #2 
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: July 1, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Roommates-to-Lovers/Contemporary Romance

Author: Maya Hughes

Review Rating: 4.5 Gold Stars4.5 stars



A back and forth banter with lots of high and lows. Sabrina is a girl down on her luck and Hunter is a man completely closed off to pretty much everything so having someone move into his personal space is HUGE!! This new addition to the SWANK world brings it all; laughs, emotions, and tie ins to Maya’s other worlds.

Sabrina begins this book with her down-on-her-luck, really needs a helping hand, hates where her life has landed, but made me chuckle at it all – because haven’t we all been there. Wearing our worst outfit, no makeup, hair in a disarray, and that’s when you see someone you never wanted to see. That, in a nutshell, is Sabrina’s opening and I loved every moment of it.

Hunter, on the other hand, has never lived with anyone. No roommates in college, no roommates after college, no sleepovers with women, nothing , nada. Granted, he’s not a slob, or any such thing, he just has other issues. He is a man full of issues, but when his grandmother says he’s getting a roommate (after all it is her apartment he’s living in) he really can’t say no.

As a huge fan of Maya’s books my favorite parts were when characters from other worlds stepped in or were mentioned, afterall, SWANK deals with entertainment whether it is with sports, music, weddings, or hosting large events. The whole concept of SWANK works well as a tie in to lots of her other books and it brings me great joy every single time they crossover.

Hunter and Sabrina bicker and banter through most of the book, so it’s a slow burn for sure. Hunter has never really allowed anyone in, his friends included, so allowing Sabrina in is a huge step indead.

I would have loved to see Hunter break down some of his walls a little earlier, but that is just my personal preference. Sabrina is cute and quirky and I adore quirkiness and creativity in anyone, so I was rooting for her from the very get go.

4.5 stars overall due to Hunter not fangirling over Sabrina like I did.


Goldilocks has gotten a bit off track. I found her in my room, my bathroom and my bathtub to be precise.

Sabrina Mason is my new roommate. My new unwelcome roommate. Not that I have a say about it since I’m babysitting my Grandma’s apartment, which means Sabrina’s here to stay. But we’d agreed my room was off limits.

It’s bad enough my nightmares are getting worse, but having her around me makes holding it together. Her smell, smart mouth and sexy a–anyway. I can’t let her get under my skin although it might be too late. In her sloppy bun and pajamas curled up on the couch, she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. But a relationship isn’t what I need right now.

It’s hard to remember that when she’s glowering at me when I’m being an ass. We’re forced to live together for only a few more month, I can hold out until I can’t.

She’s in my bathtub and she’s not telling me to leave. So I ask the question, “do you want me to go?”
And I’m shocked as hell when her answer isn’t ‘no’.

Sabrina Mason has invaded my apartment, my life and now my dreams.

My new roommate is hiding secrets and I should know, I have more than one or two up my sleeve.

I want to discover them all and I know when I do, it will be the sweetest thing.

Each SWANK book is part of a series, but they can each be read as standalones.

The Proposal (SWANK, #1) by Maya Hughes The Proposal (SWANK, #1)
The Sweetest Thing (SWANK, #2) by Maya Hughes The Sweetest Thing (SWANK, #2)
The Engagement (SWANK, #3) by Maya Hughes The Engagement (SWANK, #3)
The Wedding Playbook (SWANK, #4) by Maya Hughes The Wedding Playbook (SWANK, #4)

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