Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Forbidden/Taboo, Year of Reviews - 2023

Review – Forbidden by Tia Louise

Forbidden; Hamiltown Heat #4
(standalone within an interconnected series)

Publication Date: January 12, 2023

Genre/Tropes: Forbidden/Age-Gap/Student-Professor/Intrigue Romance

Author: Tia Louise

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


Forbidden perfection!!

Dirk is one dirty talking dream that flew right into the deep recesses of my forbidden heart. Seriously, who knew that Hutch’s little brother was such a panty-dropping dreamboat? Fantasy fulfilled, thank you Tia!!

I never would have guessed the total plot perfection that Forbidden tied up with a beautiful- no stone left unturned- bow. It is reading magic and I love when that happens. Plus…the epilogue…oh, the epilogue, is pure gold!! So, with all of that being said, while this can be read as a standalone, for obvious reasons as you can see above and for the most reading enjoyment, I wouldn’t miss out on the rest of the series, why would you want to, but you can if you want to.

Dirk Winston begins teaching at a college about an hour away from Hamiltown. Putting his teaching degree to use he decided he needed a break from cybersecurity and all of the loving relationships that have sprung up around him. While he loves his brother and newly found family, he just needed to get away, but it seems that even when trying to get away from everything, he just can’t seem to escape his past.

When Rainey enrolls as a student under the false name of Reanna Lorak, changing her appearance from the last time Dirk would have seen her on any kind of surveillance camera, Rainey now looks like a typical college senior. She’s given a mission to retrieve a ledger that contains secrets only her organization would understand and that her new leader desperately wants. Rainey may take the mission under the pretences of handing it over to her boss, but she has own mission in mind, getting revenge for her father. It also doesn’t hurt that upon meeting Dirk that there is an instant attraction for the Professor and considering the life she’s led, she decides she wants him for herself. It’s forbidden on so many levels, but something this forbidden feels so right.

Forbidden is super high heat, with a wrap up to an ongoing storyline, but can also be followed along for any reader who has just jumped in. If that’s you, you will want to go back and read the rest, trust me!! You will fall in love with the rest of the cast by the end of this book and want to know everything.

I can’t decide who my favorite couple is, so I’m not going to…I love them all!!

I have one job: Get close and take him out. The only problem is, I want him more.

I was barely five when I lost my brother; seven when my father was murdered.
Overnight, I was taken by my mysterious uncle, grafted into a world of crime I didn’t understand and couldn’t escape.

The first ten years, I did my best to blend in.
The next four, I reinvented myself, growing stronger, searching for answers.
Now I have one assignment—take down the man who knows our secrets.

Professor Dirk Winston is my target, and I’m expected to be a good soldier, disguised as a good student.
Only he’s not the passive bookworm I expect.
He’s ripped muscles, bedroom eyes, dirty mouth, and ready for a fight.

But I’ve got plans of my own, and this hot teacher is going to do more than give me grades and take my panties.
He’s going to help me get revenge.

(FORBIDDEN is a five-alarm-spicy age-gap, student-professor romance with secrets, lies, and answers to all your questions. No cheating. No cliffhanger.)

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Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2023

Review – Tempting the Neighbor by Ashley Muñoz

Tempting the Neighbor

Tempting the Neighbor; Mount Macon #2
(Standalone within an interconnected series)

Publication Date: January 13, 2023

Genre/Tropes: Contemporary/Close Proximity/Enemies-to-Lovers Romance

Author: Ashley Muñoz

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


Muñoz writes books that pack such an emotional punch that at the very end it never fails that I want to go back and immediately reread the entire book so I can experience the build up all over again. I am an emotional mess now at the end of Tempting the Neighbor that it also rekindled how much of a mess I was after Resisting a Grump – Muñoz has struck again.

Ashley Muñoz leaves bread crumbs throughout every story she writes and it may seem insignificant at the time I’m reading it, but I’ve learned that her words, every single word, is an important ingredient to the final product. She’s a master at crafting her finished piece and it always requires a lot of tissues when I finish reading.

I won’t hesitate and say that I wondered if this book might be the first that wouldn’t end up giving me all the feels, but…yes, there is a but, so wait for it. Colson and Nora were very much on opposite sides of the fighting ring – a true enemies to lovers with brash outspoken feelings towards one another and they never hesitated to voice it. However, on the inside they smoldered and that is what kept the hope alive for me. I knew they actually wanted one another and they didn’t mean the hateful words they were slinging back and forth.

Their chemistry just boiled differently and let’s face it, as a reader, it can cause bangxiety to set in, but given the way I was crying at the end, I never should have doubted Muñoz in the first place. Colson and Nora do not have an easy road, nor do they fall into a cookie cutter formula of a lot of friends-to-lovers tropes I’ve read, I also know that is why all the feels hit just a little bit harder and this book was magic.

Tempting the Neighbor has all of the great things that make romance books great; best friends who discuss trashy novels – hello, that is always the best, a dirty talking hero and I’m talking five alarm, burn your panties right off, kind of dirty talking hero with cinnamon roll tendencies, especially for his best friends three little girls–instant ovary burst right there, and just enough information for the next book to leave me salivating. This book was a total win!

This entire thing started because of a faulty tree.

Becoming a homeowner is not all it’s cracked up to be, let me tell you that right now. Especially in the dead of winter, when apparently trees can just fall in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

Did my next-door neighbor help me remove said tree? No, he did not…

So, really…he left me no choice.

I broke into his house.

While I only intended to steal a little warmth and maybe a cup of coffee, I fell victim to his jacuzzi tub.

But he returned early and that’s really when things went south.

Instead of a cold glare or icy reply, all of which I fully expected from my disagreeable neighbor.

Colson Hanes offered to make me breakfast.

Then he asked me to stay…

Find more of my reviews on Amazon under Kayreader
on Goodreads under Kay Daniels Romance
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