Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Cowboy Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Wilder by Anna Brooks

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Wilder; Ryder Ranch #2 
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: August 26, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Contemporary/Second Chance Romance

Author: Anna Brooks

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



A steamy, multiple chance love story, that began as young love and blossomed into a forever kind of love.

Wilder Ryder and Frankie Young met multiple times throughout their youth and those times had a lasting impact on who they became and who they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with into their adulthood.

These two crossed paths over and over and seemed destined to be together, but obstacles keep getting in their way. They have HUGE chemistry together and Wilder is hawt…dang…he’s super hot, but is attraction enough to keep them together?

I felt like this second Ryder book is deeper in the feels, but that could be the artist nature of Frankie and the sensitive nature of Wilder. As the second child he’s very in tune to his siblings and losing his mother affected them all, but that loss made him dialed in to his feelings and then up front to what he wasn’t willing to lose in the future. However, when he let go, which there was only one spot he actually let go…watch out because Wilder is Wild.

Frankie also took on a lot of responsibility at a very young age. Her sister got pregnant very young and Frankie stepped up and helped out raising her niece, but she never lost her shine and started a business, all at the suggestion of a young boy she met long ago.

These two are magical everytime they are together and I love returning to Ryder Ranch to see old friends and meet new ones.


I was too young to understand the beauty of what I held in my arms when she crashed into my world.

Frankie Young was never far from my mind, so when she came back into my life after nearly a decade, it was as if no time had passed.

After we reconnected in more ways than one, there was no denying what we had was extraordinary and, I thought, forever. But when she discovered something I’d been hiding, she gave up on us without giving me a chance to explain.

My lies broke her heart, but her walking away shattered what was left of mine. I thought that was the end for us… until Frankie and I found ourselves bound together for life. While we navigated our new found destiny, not only did we have to fight for each other, but we had to protect our future from someone who didn’t want us to have one together.

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

Review – Cross by Shantel Tessier

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Cross; Dark Kings #3 
(An interconnected standalone within a series)

Publication Date: August 20, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Mafia/Dark Romance

Author: Shantel Tessier

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



An adrenaline filled ride filled with Kings and Queens. It’s written by the Queen of smexy darkness so of course Cross lights up the pages with all of his smolder and grit, but not to be outdone, his gorgeous woman is right by his side tossing the match on anything the Kings can’t bury in the Vegas sand.

Alexa and Cross are a perfect match for one another. From the very beginning of the story Cross is a character that is full of raw emotion. His honesty, his pure hunger for basically everything, including Alexa, burns through him. He doesn’t do anything halfway, so when he decides he wants her, that primal desire ignites into a carnal hunger that even he can’t explain…except that it could be love. However, will Alexa love him, the true him, once all the smoke clears? The monster that lives inside and craves the fire and wants to watch the world burn.

Alexa, aside from Jasmine (and yes, I know she’s still just a secondary character), has turned into one of my favorite heroines in this series. I love that she doesn’t play games, gets offended easily, or run screaming from things that go bump in the night…things that the Kings are notorious for. Alexa is bold and she isn’t shy about what she wants from Cross, which initially is just time spent in his bed, or over a table, or in a chair, or…well you understand. She isn’t looking for anything long term with him and she has no qualms about women who just want a good time and pretty much throughout her time spent with Cross, he’s the one who has to approach her, or more times than not-tell her, because he is a caveman, and every single time he draws a line in the sand and wants more she likes to argue about it. Their relationship, per say, is all kinds of adorable, in the most non-adorable way possible because they are not pursuing a relationship AT all, but sort of stumble into one. Like I said, they are perfect together because they are both a little clueless when it comes to relationships and yet they are both surrounded by lots of couples.

Never forget that this is a dark, mafia book. There is a lot of plot going on around them, but all of that is just frosting on an already delicious cake. Shantel interconnected all of the Kings and other secondary characters extremely well throughout the book to really keep things going while Cross and Alexa try to figure each other out.

Cross has become my favorite King, so far. However, Bones is stacking up some promising factors, but this book is not about him, so back to Cross who I’m completely in love with. Cross is damaged, there is no doubt about it, but I’d also say of the four Kings, he’s the softest. That is like comparing him to a porcupine I know, but I’m sticking to my comparison. Porcupine’s afterall still have a soft underbelly and Cross has a totally soft center when it comes to Alexa. These two truly are a perfect match.

This book has a lot of interconnections to the rest of the series and while Cross can be read as a standalone, it would be better enjoyed if the entire series is read in order.


Have you ever stood next to a fire and felt the heat of it on your skin? Stared into the flames and thought how amazing it would be to be that free? It changes direction with the wind, destroying everything in its wake.

That’s what she felt like.

Alexa was a wildfire that torched everything she touched, and I couldn’t wait to be consumed by her.

She was off-limits. Even though I promised to stay away, I couldn’t resist. She was the spark I had been missing in my life. The fire I craved. I knew from an early age I was destined to burn in hell, but she was born to walk through fire.

I was single-minded, focused, and independent. Just how my mother raised me. I didn’t have time for anything other than myself and work.

Funny how everything can change in an instant when you least expect it.

A King entered my life.

What was supposed to be one night ended up being too many to count. He was afraid that I’d see his darkness, but I couldn’t get enough of him.

After all, a fire burns the brightest in the dark of night. And it only takes one match to cause total devastation.

CROSS is the third book in the Dark Kings Series and can be read as a standalone. Due to mature content and themes this book is recommended for readers aged eighteen and over. This novel may contain triggers.

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Cover Reveal - 2021, New Releases

Secret Cover Reveal – LOVE ON THE LAKE by Helena Hunting

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes an all new romance.

Releasing on March 15th, 2022, Love on the Lake is the second book in the Lakeside series and will be available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Reserve your copy today, exclusively on Amazon →

Add LOVE ON THE LAKE to Goodreads:

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Love on the Lake
Lakeside Book 2
Releasing March 15, 2022

Teagan Firestone has always been the dutiful daughter, especially since her mom died. But as her father finally begins to move on, it’s her turn to do the same. Her destination: Pearl Lake, a close-knit community with an entrepreneurial spirit and secrets of its own.

One of them is Aaron Saunders, who dropped out of college to work construction for Pearl Lake’s upper class. He’s a mystery and has a playboy reputation—that is, until he meets Teagan. Neither of them is looking for love, but in a town this small, it’s hard not to let your heart get involved.

As their romance heats up, Aaron’s elusive past comes to light and Teagan is there for him, bringing them even closer together. But when Teagan is forced to face her own demons, her inability to accept the support of friends and family threatens the life she’s worked so hard to build.

Can Aaron love her, even when she can’t love herself?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Cover Design by Eileen Carey

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About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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