Review
Book Reviews, Dark Romance, Paranormal/Science Fi/Fantasy Romance, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Under the Cover of Darkness by Emma Luna

Under the Cover of Darkness; Twisted Legends Collection
(Standalone within a shared world series)

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Twisted Legend/Dark/Asylum Romance

Author: Emma Luna

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars

Review/Synopsis:

Review:
What is real and what is myth? Do you believe the boogeyman can harm you in real life? In Under the Cover of Darkness those thoughts and possibilities are brought to life in this twisted tale. This book held me and didn’t let go from start to finish.

I read pretty much anything under the giant romance umbrella, but if there is any potential trigger for me it is a story that contains drug use. It’s not an automatic trigger for me, because as much as I’d love to believe in all things romance and that love always wins and makes everything better, unfortunately living with a family member who was an addict where it eventually took his life, I know the hard truth surrounding drug use and that love isn’t the magical cure. However, like I said, because it isn’t a hard and fast no for me, I love an author who approaches this topic with a realistic approach, with a dash of love because that is what life is also about.

Okay, enough of the sad…Dylan is admitted to a psychiatric facility because he is an addict. He is forced to attend there for six months or his other alternative is jail. This is his last chance, get clean, get help, sort out your life…or pretty much don’t come back to the band. While Dylan isn’t thrilled with either option in the beginning, because what addict is, he chooses the facility. It’s a choice that has major life altering changes in ways he never could have imagined…but perhaps ask any addict who changes their life around and they may tell you looking back how different their life is to what it was. I’m just not sure Dylan was expecting a walking urban legend to grace Lakeridge’s halls.

Addy’s only goal is to eventually be released from Lakeridge, but until she can convince her doctor that she is of sound mind she just may become a permanent resident. Addy blames herself not only for her forced stay, but also for her manifestation of the Slender Man who visits her in her nightmares. He punishes her for her sins and until her mind is stable enough to release these night terrors she may never be free. No one believes her, not her doctor, not the other residents, no one until Dylan arrives, but could he be another manifestation as well?

Dylan and Addy form a bond over their turbulent pasts and now their current situations, their relationship grows even when they are encouraged not to form attachments. What is that saying…something forbidden only makes it sweeter? Okay, that’s not really the case with these two, instead, their bond keeps pulling them together no matter what the obstacles may be. It’s unshakable and unbreakable. For the first time they both have found something that extends beyond drugs or soul crushing pain…they have found love.

With suspense, mystery, and a whole lot of darkness in this twisted tale what I loved most of all is the overall theme of working to get better. Dylan’s mental health never fell to the wayside and even though Addy’s mental well being was twisted up in a tale of an urban legend it was also taken into consideration with the overall mental health plan. So, circling back to my initial, could this be a trigger for me…it wasn’t. I really respected Emma in dealing with Dylan’s addiction the way she did and never once letting it fall to the background.

I’m also trying not to give too much away in regards to the twisted myth part of the story…which is big part of the book. It’s best to discover the terrifying Slender Man for yourself and dive into the urban legend without too much knowledge. Enjoy!!

Synopsis:
ADDY
I thought the suffocating loneliness of the last two year were bad, but then I was sent to Lakeridge Psychiatric Facility.
On the outside it’s disguised as helpful brochures and friendly doctors who have vowed to help, but the real truth is just below the surface, lurking in the shadows, and haunting my dreams.
At night he comes—taunting and abusing me. Bending me to his will, and making sure no one believes me.
That is until Dylan.
I can touch him and see him, but if my mind is capable of creating such horrors like my nightmares, can I trust that he’s real?

DYLAN
I’m no stranger to breaking rules and living on the edge. I guess it kind of comes with the territory of being a rockstar. But when I’m forced to attend Lakeridge, to serve my time and get sober, I’m met with the one thing I know I can’t have.
Addy.
I know we don’t have a chance, not unless I want to get kicked out of here, and made to finish my sentence in a proper prison. Still, something about her calls to me.
There is more to the marks on her pale skin than the doctors say, and her nightmares seem to be a little too real.
Digging deeper into the madness, I’m left to question, can nightmares really leave scars? Or am I becoming mad too?

Author Note
Under The Cover Of Darkness is a dark contemporary romance retelling of the Slender Man urban legend. It’s part of the Twisted Legends Collection, which is a shared world with other authors. All the books can be read as standalones, but if you like urban legends twisted into romances, then you will want to collect them all. Due to mature themes, this book is not intended for anyone under the age of eighteen. There are scenes in this book that may be a trigger for someone people.

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Review
Book Reviews, Dark Romance, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Pen Pal by J.T. Geissinger

Pen Pal
(Standalone)

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Dark/Mystery/Alpha-Dominant/Intrigue Romance

Author: J.T. Geissinger

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars

Review/Synopsis:

Review:
Completely blown away! Not only was I moved to the point of speechlessness, but I felt ALL the emotional things that once I finished the book still keep leaking out of my eyes.

I feel completely gobsmacked. I fell in love with the beautiful love story and followed along trying to find all of the twists before they happened, but alas…I never saw the train before it ran me over. Holy smokes!! What a fantastic book!!!

I don’t even know where to begin without giving even the teeny-tiniest hint away at the ever evolving mystery or intrigue that grew throughout the entire book. Between the pen pal letters, secondary characters and main character plot development the entire book held me in its grip, gave me goosebumps and has basically left me with a lasting impression that will not be leaving any time soon.

Yes, this book is HAWT, and yes that needed to be capitalized, but it also delves into subjects well beyond the smexy, smutty times and I loved those just as much. Soooo, let’s recap what I haven’t been able to say, but I’ll reiterate anyway…WOW, just WOW!! Amazing book!

Synopsis:
The first letter arrived the day my husband was buried. It was postmarked from the state penitentiary, and contained a single sentence:

I’ll wait forever if I have to.

It was signed by Dante, a man I didn’t know.

Out of simple curiosity, I wrote back to ask him what exactly he was waiting for. His reply?

You.

I told the mystery man he had the wrong girl. He said he didn’t. I said we’d never met, but he said I was wrong.

We went back and forth, exchanging letters every week that grew increasingly more intimate. Then one day, the letters stopped. When I found out why, it was already too late.

Dante was at my doorstep.

And nothing on earth could have prepared me for what happened next.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WARNING:

This novel is a non-traditional romance with a non-traditional ending and contains content intended for a mature audience only. Due to explicit language, graphic sex, detailed depictions of death and grief, intense power play dynamics, and other possible triggers too numerous to list, it is not suitable for sensitive readers.

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Review
Book Reviews, Dark Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Apathy by L.K. Reid

Apathy; Secrets of Winworth #1 
(#1 within a series)

Publication Date: September 20, 2021

Genre/Tropes: New Adult/Occult/Dark Romance

Author: L.K. Reid

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

I had to sit and really let this book soak in once I was finished. It’s been running through my mind over the last few days, and not that other books don’t, but this particular book was like the blurb warns…once you enter Winworth you don’t leave.

Apathy is a dark mystery, that is seeped in twisted thoughts and drowning in wicked madness. Everyone at one point or another is a suspect in the crimes happening throughout the town.

Every.

One.

No one is safe from the suspicion that is running rampant. The plot twists and winds in a way that I never could pinpoint or nail down anyone in particular and I was completely thrown off by the shocking cliffhanger. That almost never happens when I’m thrown off base, so perhaps that is why this book is still reeling in my head. Excellent job L.K. Reid!!

Skyler, for most of the story, is drowning in pain, emotional turmoil, grief, and deep, deep sadness. She is beyond what I would call depression. She is swirling in darkness for how deeply she is struggling, but why she’s suffering, we don’t know the depth of her pain for a large chuck of the book. As the pieces come together her mental state begins to make sense, but coming out of that deep pool…is it really for the best? GAH!! Go back Skyler!! She is going to need so much therapy.

Ash is a new student in their school and quickly works his way into their group. He came to town with his own nefarious plans, but is he the one causing things to implode, or could he be Skylar’s salvation? There is a lot of shadow surrounding him, but his character slowly comes to light the more we get into the book. Is he good, is he bad…there is so much to uncover!?!

There is a lot at work that I will not give away, because I loved being shocked and finding out the secrets myself. However, know this book is dark and covers some topics that may offend some readers, so heed author warnings incase that happens to be you.

This is only book one and with a big cliffy, there is a lot more to dive into back in Winworth. Welcome to the darkness.

Synopsis:

There were sicknesses in this world even holy water couldn’t wash away.

In vicious nights, beautiful monsters lay.
Some with faces known, some ready to play.
Unsure of a friend, unsure of a foe,
Be certain of nothing you think you know,

Because what once enters Winworth,
never leaves again.

Skylar Blackwood thought she knew what monsters looked like.
But in Winworth, nothing is what it seems.

Not the arrival of a stranger with eyes that see too much, and lips that taste like danger.
Not the young women who begin disappearing in the night.
And certainly not the people in the sleepy town she grew up in that begin to turn on one another.

One truth is undeniable, something wicked is loose in Winworth.
No one is safe, and trusting the wrong person could cost Skylar everything.

Trapped between the two worlds as secrets start to unravel, what little sanity Skylar has left threatens to shatter, leaving her with more questions than answers.

Turns out, real monsters are never what they seem.

APATHY is the first book in the Secrets of Winworth series with dark themes that might be triggering to some readers.

💚 APATHY is coming September 20!

💚#PreOrderNow: mybook.to/APATHY

💚 Add to your Goodreads TBRhttps://bit.ly/3zeaG36

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Book Reviews, Dark Romance, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – Rise of a Queen by Rina Kent

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Rise of a Queen; Kingdom Duet #2 
(#2 in a duet)

by: Rina Kent

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

The King has found his Queen! Daddy King is a delicious, filthy tyrant, and I love him!!

Jonathan King is ruthless and will burn down the earth to get what he wants. He will also do whatever it takes to make sure Aurora stays safe. So when she disappears at the end of the first book we discover a new side to the King. (my heart’s all a flutter)

Aurora continually battles with her mental status, wondering if her mental stability is genetic and if what happened to her sister or worse her father is now happening to her. The need to escape is more desperate than ever before she does something that she can’t take back, but perhaps she’s already acted on these horrible impulses and she’d never know, is this what finally took her sister’s mind?

As the plot thickens in this second half of this duet, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time with the mystery surrounding not only Alicia’s death, but also the serial killer that is Aurora’s father. Between these two mysteries there are so many questions that I not only needed to be answered, but these questions had to potential to be connected. At the center of them both it kept circling back to Aurora and Jonathan.

As their relationship grows, could it all be a ruse to cover up a decade old mystery? Is the tyrant really a soulless murderer or is Aurora really guilty of the crimes so many accuse her of?

Rina is fantastic on keeping the plot moving and keeping you guessing until the very end. Rise of a Queen is everything fans will love of the overall Royal series and it is an excellent book!!

Synopsis:

Nothing is fair in love.

This is my kingdom. My territory.
I own everything and control everyone, Aurora included.
She shouldn’t have barged into my world with no armour.
She shouldn’t have caught my attention with no warning.
Alas, she did.
Then she thought she could disappear.
If a battle is what it’ll take to protect and own her, I’ll shed blood.
Wars aren’t fair, and neither am I.

Rise of a Queen is the second part of a duet and is not standalone.

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Review
Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Suspense/Intrigue Romance, Year of Reviews - 2020

Review – A Bridge Between Us by K.K. Allen

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A Bridge Between Us 
(A standalone)

by: K.K. Allen

Review Rating:

Review/Synopsis:

Review:

A beautifully crafted tale that spans over a lifetime. Can two destined soulmates prove that hate is stronger than love or will it end up killing them before it kills their love?

A Bridge Between Us is a story between two families that began over a century ago, a long standing feud that runs deep, and the two children who weren’t born to understand the hate surrounding, but are continually pulled into the mess which ultimately destroys them over and over again.

Camila and Ridge come from opposite sides of the bridge that separates their land, but as children neither really understand the century old feud that exists between their families. Camila makes a promise to Ridge that when she takes over for her family in the future she won’t have hate in her heart and she will connect their lands and end the feud. While Ridge likes the idea of her promise, he also isn’t blinded by her fantasies. At a young age, he’s already had a tough life, losing his mother and moving in with the father he’s never met before.

This is a story that spans decades and goes through heartache, growth, and several tribulations. Even through Camila and Ridge may be soulmates they have a long, tough road throughout their entire relationship. There are outside forces that constantly push them apart. Not only a past filled with hatred, but an unknown mystery on their land and mix that with good ol’ fashioned stubbornness and Camila and Ridge’s story is full of angst and suspense.

Synopsis:

I had always known he wasn’t mine to keep, but that didn’t change the way I loved him—quietly, gently, and from afar. ⁣

As the seasons changed, the corn stalks grew strong, and the grapevines flourished with hope. But none of it mattered, not when the soil at our feet bound us in a century-old rivalry. We’d never even had a chance. ⁣

They said life flashed before your eyes on the way to death, but on that night, after my final scream burst from my throat and my world started to fade to black, I only thought of him. Of his sweet chocolate eyes, his desperately cautious stare, and his silence that carried more weight than gold. ⁣

I should have died that night. Instead, I crossed the moonlit bridge and never returned. ⁣

I let rivalry win. If only that had been enough to keep us all safe. If only we didn’t have a bridge between us.⁣

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