Book Reviews, Mafia/Gang/Secret Society Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Savior of Regrets by L.A. Cotton

Savior of Regrets; Verona Legacy #4 
(#4 within a series)

Publication Date: August 20, 2021

Genre/Tropes: New Adult/Mafia Romance

Author: L.A.Cotton

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



A hard won love story where monsters are slain, secrets are uncovered, and a story that reminds us how important family can be.

Matteo is a family man, raised to respect women, protect his sister, and wants a true love like his parents have sustained and like his cousins have recently found. Matteo wears his heart upon his sleeve and his bleeding heart gives him high marks as a great book boyfriend. I absolutely adore his sweetness mixed with his protective nature, loyal and true, he is the perfect fit for a woman like Caitlyn. I wanted to wrap Matteo in huge hugs throughout the entire book as this story is emotional. From start to finish Savior of Regrets is a brilliant love story filled with secrets, lots of character cameos (which I loved), and so many emotional moments.

There were lots of times I wanted to kick Caitlyn in the pants. She is a character that I felt for, her situation is horrible and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but she is stubborn to a fault. She holds that stubbornness instead of opening up and it isn’t until her monster comes to play that things makes sense…so needless to say, Caitlyn has secrets. Dark secrets that she’d rather leave in the past, but unfortunately the past comes calling.

Matteo met Caitlyn about eight months ago and they shared an unforgettable night together. When fate landed Cait in Matt’s path once again he wasn’t about to let her slip through his fingers again and promised that he would do anything to gain her trust and make her stay, but more than anything he wanted her to stay of her own choosing and choose him because she felt the same about him.

To Matteo there is nothing more important than family, but the group dynamic is beginning to change between the cousins. Nicco is taking on more as a leader with his father’s health failing. Enzo’s darkness is still there, but his edges have smoothed out thanks to Nora and where does that leave Matt with his best friends, his cousins, his blood brothers moving forward and he always feels like a fifth wheel among them? Gah…I wanted to reach through the book and hug him so hard.

While you could read this book as a standalone, it would be better enjoyed reading the series in order, if nothing else I would at least recommend reading the prequel, Angel of Tears, (which is currently free) to understand the strong connection between Matt and Cait and the one night they share together.


Savior of Regrets: A Mafia Romance

Caitlin O’Connell hides the scars of her past.

Lost. Alone. Afraid.

When she wakes up in the hospital, broken and bruised, Caitlin has no choice but to accept help from the Marchetti crime family… and the one guy she never thought she’d see again.

Matteo Bellatoni wears his heart on his sleeve.

Loyal. Determined. Devoted.

Watching his best friends find love has left him wondering if he’ll ever have that… especially, since he’s pretty sure he already let his soulmate slip through his fingers.

When Matteo and Caitlin’s paths cross unexpectedly, all those feelings come rushing back, and he’s determined to prove to her that some guys are worth the risk.

All is not what it seems though.

Caitlin isn’t the woman he thinks she is, and her secrets might be too big for Matteo to overcome. But he won’t give up without a fight. Even when the past catches up with her and threatens the family he loves so much, Matteo refuses to let her go.

Because he lost her once…

He won’t lose her again.

* Savior of Regrets is a 80,000 word story set in the Verona Legacy world. Due to mature content that some readers may find distressing, this book is recommended for readers 18+


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Angel Of Tears

Angel of Tears – a series prequel

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Blog Tour - 2021, Contemporary Romance, Excerpt/Teaser Share, Year in Releases - 2021, Year of Reviews - 2021

Blog Tour – Love at First Hate by Denise Grover Swank and AR Casella

Love at First Hate, an all new not-to-be missed enemies to lovers contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank and USA Today bestselling author A.R. Casella is available now!

The first book in a new series by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella, authors of the USA Today bestselling Asheville Brewing series.

She wants his story. He wants his secrecy. Too bad he can’t stay away from her.


Blogging about bad dates used to be fun, but a girl can only take so much foolishness. So I broke up with my job.

Okay, full disclosure, I was fired. It’s a long, sordid tale, involving my sourdough starter—RIP, Fred!—and my ex-boss’s serious lack of humor.

Newly funemployed and in need of a break, I go to Asheville to dogsit for my sister…and stumble onto a scoop big enough to put my fake-dating days behind me forever.

Augusta Glower, local success story, wrote a bestseller about the self-help group she started. People think her system works, and copycat Bad Luck Clubs have sprung up nationwide. Something feels off, though, and a little poking around by yours truly suggests she stole the idea.

There’s one problem. I have to prove it, and the guy she ripped off—super-hot house flipper Caleb Reynolds—seems to…well, hate me. Which is too bad since his secrets aren’t the only thing I’d like to peel away.

* * *


Molly O’Shea is my worst nightmare.

Is she sexy as sin? Well…yeah. Does she smell like honeysuckle and trouble? No doubt. Is she determined to dig up my secrets with a backhoe? I’m pretty sure she got a two-week rental. But I’ll never talk. If the reason I started the club gets out, my whole life will implode.

So why is she so damn irresistible?

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It’s steeper as we approach the summit, and I turn back to make sure she’s still behind me and not faltering on the loose rock. When we reach the steps to the observation area, I let her go first so I can watch her reaction. Around the corner there’s a stone patio, and she gasps as she walks across it to the low rock wall surrounding the space. 

The sunrise is everything I hoped it would be. Clouds hang low in the east, providing enough cover to let the rays of the sun paint the sky with pinks and deep purples. Beneath the sky stretch the peaks and valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A thin river runs in the distance. Rhododendrons blossom all around us.

I move next to her and see she’s shivering in that stupid T-shirt and shorts. It’s windy up here and colder than on the trail. At least we were moving back there and protected by the trees and bushes. Now that we’ve stopped and are standing out in the open, we’re being pelted by gusts of cool wind. Without thinking, I press my side into hers and wrap my arm around her back, covering her upper arm with my hand. I can feel goose bumps under my fingers. 

“What are you doing?” she asks, but it’s not adversarial. She’s challenging me to admit the truth. 

You’re sexy as hell, and I want you more than I’ve wanted a woman in a very long time. 

But while that’s true, it’s not the only reason I drew her close. She’s also cold, and I don’t like seeing her uncomfortable. 

Somehow, admitting to that seems more dangerous. 

“How many times do I have to tell you that I want to see the sunrise?” I ask, purposely sounding annoyed. “You’re freezing, so you’d be complaining in about three seconds. Now I get at least three more seconds to enjoy the view in peace.” 

She looks up at me, and I can tell she has a smart-aleck response on the tip of her tongue, but she doesn’t speak. 

Jesus, I want to kiss her, not to keep her quiet like I’ve insinuated, but to taste her lips, her tongue… 

I want to taste every part of her.

From the look of surprise on her face, she must see my raw hunger. When she jerks her gaze back to the living work of art before us, I can’t decide whether I’m relieved or disappointed. 

Her body leans into mine, though, and I feel the heat of her nestled against me. 

“It’s beautiful,” she says. 

This view never ceases to steal my breath and remind me that the world is bigger than my problems. But for the first time since I began making these hikes, I’m sharing it with someone other than a random fellow hiker encountered on the trail. I’m spending this moment that I usually reserve for myself with Molly, and the two of us are in our own little world. 

I glance down at her, smiling to myself at the awe on her face. One of the many faces of Molly O’Shea, and I have the disadvantage of being attracted to every one of them. 

About Denise Grover Swank

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in her own mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

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About A.R. Casella

A.R. CASELLA is a freelance developmental editor by day, writer by night. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a variable number of fish. Her pastimes include chasing around her toddler, baking delicious treats, and occasional bouts of crocheting. Any Luck at All, co-written with New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank, is her first book.

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Blog Tour - 2021, Contemporary Romance, RomCom, Year in Releases - 2021, Year of Reviews - 2021

Blog Tour – The Society #StalkerProblems by Ivy Smoak

Today we are celebrating the release for THE SOCIETY #STALKERPROBLEMS by Ivy Smoak by participating in the blog tour. This title is a new adult, contemporary romance. Join Ivy’s Group for access to bonus content from the book and visit Ivy on her facebook page for exclusive news.

BUY THE BOOK HERE (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US | Amazon International | Paperback | Hardback


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The Society #StalkerProblems by Ivy Smoak

A Contemporary Romance

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Book Blurb:

I got an invitation to an illicit club.

They say they’ll grant me three wishes.

They say they’ll make all my wildest dreams come true.

All I have to do is sign the contract.

Is it too good to be true? I’m about to find out.

Warning: This is my steamiest book yet. Like…super steamy. You’ve been warned. Welcome to the Society…

BUY THE BOOK HERE (Kindle Unlimited):

Amazon US | Amazon International | Paperback | Hardback


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Ivy Smoak is the international bestselling author of The Hunted series.

When she’s not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult.

She lives with her husband in Delaware.


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Contemporary Romance, LGBTQA+, New Releases

Pre-Order Announcement – The Best Men by Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely

Bestselling authors Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely team up for the first time with

Their fling began with a drunk text and a dare…

This enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract, irresistibly sexy romance between the best man and the other best man releases January 25th in all formats. A standalone novel, THE BEST MEN comes fully equipped with all the features you know and love from Lauren and Sarina! In this romance, you can expect to find…

One wedding, two best men, three nights to sneak into his room…

In my defense, I was left alone with a bottle of single-malt and a life-long penchant for protecting my baby sister. Still, that’s no excuse to send ten drunk-texts on why her hasty marriage would be a mistake.

If only I had just texted my sister. But nope. I accidentally sent the message to her, her groom, and his super hot wingman.

I also used the phrase “super hot wingman,” so I’d like to die now.

Instead, I have to plan a wedding with the aforementioned hottie and share a too-small guesthouse in steamy Miami.

Three days in the sun with the cocky, charming former athlete who likes to push my buttons? Fine, two can play at that let’s-infuriate-each-other game.

Until Asher ups the stakes with one wildly sexy suggestion. A no-strings fling, then I go back to my single dad life in New York, and he returns to his star-studded one.

Sign me up.

But the more nights I spend with the other best man, the more I want days too, and that just can’t happen. Especially when I find out the real reason why…


✦ Amazon ➜

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✦ Nook ➜

✦ Kobo ➜

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✦ Audible ➜ Pre-order coming in November! Narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Jacob Morgan!

✦ Goodreads ➜

You’re Invited…

Can’t wait to hear more about THE BEST MEN? Have a question you’re dying to ask?

Join Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely in their first Instagram Live together and get the scoop!

Date: Thursday, August 19th

Time: 1:00 pm PST/4:00 pm EST

Location: Lauren Blakely & Sarina Bowen’s Instagram
Lauren on Instagram:
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A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible

Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s

sexy, sweet, and witty. She also writes USA Today bestselling LGBTQ romance.

With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York

Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, with

more than 55 titles on the USA Today Bestsellers list alone. She’s sold more than 4.5 million books. A Brown University graduate, Lauren likes dogs, cake and show tunes and is the vegetarian at your dinner party.

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Sarina Bowen is the award-winning author of more than thirty contemporary novels. She has hit the USA Today bestseller’s list nineteen times and counting. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. She lives with her family on a few wooded acres in New Hampshire.

Sarina’s books are published in over a dozen languages on five continents.

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Cover Reveal - 2021, New Releases

Cover Reveal – Dare Me by Brooke Blaine and Ella Frank

Dare Me, the second book in the must-read Dare to Try Trilogy from USA Today bestselling authors Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine is coming August 30th and we have the incredible cover!

The moment Bash “Miss Razzle Dazzle” Vogel sashayed into Lieutenant Kieran Bailey’s life, both their worlds were turned upside down.
What started as an easy friendship quickly morphed into sizzling chemistry that neither one could deny.
But what Kieran knows better than anyone is that when a fire burns this hot and heavy, someone’s bound to get burned.
Do they dare to risk being together? Or will the flame of this hot match consume them both?

Dare Me is book two of the Dare to Try trilogy, which must be read in order.

Reserve your copy today!
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Cover Designer: Hang Le

About Ella Frank
Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

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About Brooke Blaine
Brooke Blaine is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary romance that ranges from comedy to suspense to erotic. The latter has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts.
If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for years. Or you can reach her at

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Contemporary Romance, LGBTQA+, Release Day/New Release, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year in Releases - 2021, Year of Reviews - 2021

New Release – What We May Be by Layla Reyne

What We May Be by Layla Reyne is now live!

What we were…

Sean found love once, with his college roommate, Trevor, and Trevor’s best friend, Charlotte.
The missing piece, Sean made it possible for Trevor and Charlotte to find love too.
But then Sean left and took the love with him.

What we are…

Now an FBI agent, Sean is back in town, ten years later, to investigate a murder.
A case that pits him against his ex-lovers–Charlotte, a local detective, and Trevor, a literature professor sucked into the Shakespearean mystery.
Everyone guards their hearts, but before long, desire sparks anew the feelings that burned hot a decade ago.
That still burn true.

What we may be…

Love is within their grasp again, but as the killer escalates, it’s more than just their hearts and futures on the line.
Sean, Charlotte, and Trevor will need to work together to solve the case.
If they can’t, lives will be lost and pieces of their love gone for good.

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited   


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Meet Layla

Layla Reyne is the author of the Fog City, Agents Irish and Whiskey, Trouble Brewing, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance.

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