BOOK REVIEW: Misconduct by Penelope Douglas

Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students, trying to forget her past. What brought her to this stage in her life isn’t important. She can’t let it be. But now one parent-teacher meeting may be her undoing…

Meeting Tyler Marek for the first time makes it easy for Easton to see why his son is having trouble in school. The man knows how to manage businesses and wealth, not a living, breathing teenage boy. Or a young teacher, for that matter, though he tries to. And yet…there is something about him that draws Easton in—a hint of vulnerability, a flash of attraction, a spark that might burn.

Wanting him is taboo. Needing him is undeniable. And his long-awaited touch will weaken Easton’s resolve—and reveal what should stay hidden…


I held her cheek with my hand, turning her lips to meet mine. “Say you miss me,” I whispered against her mouth. “And that you won’t regret me. Ask me if I think about you and miss you every day.”

It doesn’t happen too often that an author blows me away with two new books in such a short span of time, but Penelope Douglas is that kind of author, and her voice is always so fresh and unexpected, that I never know what kind of trill-ride she will take me on next. And while this book is so very different from any of her previous works, with somewhat older characters and new thought-provoking themes, her powerful writing style is ever-present, this time offering a forbidden love story that is so much more than it appears. I loved this book madly, finding myself addicted to its every mouth-watering scene, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone seeking not just a great book, but an unforgettable one too.

“I found myself not wanting this evening to end any way other than in his arms.”

Two strangers meet at a party. They flirt, they tease, they lose themselves in one another for a few stolen moments in time. But even as their bodies beg for more, their chance encounter all too soon comes to an end without them truly learning anything about each other. Six month later, their eyes unexpectedly meet across the empty rows of a classroom, but the excitement from seeing each other after so long disappears the moment they both realise they can never touch each other again.

“Easton was a woman I’d wanted in my bed, but Ms. Bradbury was off limits. The lines were there, clear as day, and not to be breached.”

A former tennis prodigy and now a newly appointed history teacher at an elite private school in New Orleans, Easton Bradbury’s tragic young life has turned the twenty-three-year-old into a woman whose daily little compulsions mask a much deeper need to control every aspect of her life, to never lose her independence, or put her fate in someone else’s hands again. She is reserved, emotionally aloof, and while she avoids intimacy and never allows herself to open up to a man long enough to connect with him, her heart aches to be more carefree, to laugh more, and to occasionally just let go of all control.

“Do you have any friends? Who was the last person to make you laugh? When was the last time you went to bed with someone more than once?”

When Tyler Marek walks into his son’s classroom expecting to meet his new history teacher, he cannot believe the woman standing before him is the same woman he’s been fantasising about for the past six months. A self-made billionaire and aspiring politician, Tyler is a man driven by his ambitions and his need to excel in all aspects of his professional life, but his race to the top has cost him his relationship with a son he barely knows and who cannot stand the sight of him. The only person who gets through to him is his new teacher, Ms. Bradbury, and while her progressive teaching methods might show him a way to communicate with his own son, everything else about the feisty, strong-minded young woman fails to fit into his life. Yet he cannot get her out of his head, drawn to her unpredictable personality like a moth to a flame, and thus brazenly pursuing her every chance he gets.

“With her, I had no idea what the next hour held, much less the next week or month.”

As they commence a secret affair that could potentially destroy both their careers, they discover that there is a lot more to their connection than either of them expected. The chemistry between them is undeniable, incinerating the pages with their scorching passion and need to completely lose themselves in each other, and for a little while, they allow themselves to pretend a short-lived fling is all they would ever want from one another. But when the time comes for Tyler to make an important choice in his life by finally setting his priorities straight, something has to give, and it might be what his heart wants to keep the most.

“I’ve never wanted anyone again and again. But when I think about you, I get excited.”

A truly splendid tale that might have started as a forbidden romance between two people who stood to lose everything by simply loving one another, but this book ended up being so much more than that. It’s a story of two people learning to accept and embrace their own vulnerabilities and limitations, and realising what was missing in their lives all along. It’s a story of a parent connecting with their child, learning how to communicate with them and earn their trust for the first time. And it’s a story about recognising what matters the most in life, and having the courage to correct one’s own mistakes. I have loved every single book by this extraordinary author, each story touching my heart deeply and always in a different way, but this book might just be my new favourite of hers. I never wanted it to end, nervously grasping onto each word, and wishing I could make them last longer on a page. This story had everything I always hope to find in a great book—explosive chemistry between the characters, a heart-warming romance, an engaging storyline that keeps me glued to the pages, a compelling backstory that showcases the many colourful facets of these characters, phenomenal writing—and I loved every addictive minute of it.

I don’t even know why I am still surprised by the way Ms Douglas’ books affect me time and time again, because even though I have come to expect greatness from her every single time I open one of her books, the way her stories hook me in is something I never want to get used to. An absolute must-read.

“So you count things. What’s your favorite number?”
“Eight… Eight is perfect. Two groups. Four in each group making two couples in each group… I’m crazy. That’s what you’re thinking.”
“I’m thinking you’re beautiful. And if you need everything in eights, it could be a long night.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley

No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by.

Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody.

On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home.

And she wanted Grayson Cody.

And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.

No one who looked at them couldn’t see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody.

So they fell in love.

But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him.


“Say you love me, Ivey.”
“I love you, Gray.”

You know what happens when you have a craving for a great book, one that you know will rock your socks off, but you feel like giving an ‘oldie’ a chance? You dive into your overflowing list of books to read and aim straight for a Kristen Ashley classic. Stories of second chances are my personal weakness, never failing to engage the ol’ ticker, and this one did not disappoint. In her distinctive and utterly addictive style of storytelling, Ms Ashley delivers another truly compelling, and oh-so romantic love story that made me want to re-read it over and over again.

“No connections. Play it safe. Still, if I could connect, if I could let go, if I could take a risk, I’d do it with him. In all my wandering, all I’d seen, all the people I’d met, he would be the one I’d smile at and do it without a guard up. He’d be the one I’d want to smile back at me.”

Ivey Bailey has spent most of her young life on the run from a past that taught her to protect her heart by never forming any attachments. At twenty-two, Ivey has never known the comfort of a home, the thrill of a first love, or the spark of that first kiss, always moving from town to town and never stopping anywhere long enough to connect with anyone. The only permanent fixture in her life has always been her older brother Casey, her protector since she was a child, and now her partner in crime as they travel the country hustling people and never putting down roots anywhere. But from the moment Ivey arrives in the quiet little town of Mustang, Colorado, she knows she would be happy living there forever, especially when a blue-eyed rancher lowers her guard and gives her a taste of what it would feel like to finally belong to someone.

“In this town. With him in it. Roots. Connections. Wake up every day and know where you are and go to bed every night knowing you’ll wake up that way. I would love that.”

Grayson “Gray” Cody might be Mustang’s favourite son, but life has never been a walk in the park for the young rancher. Groomed since birth to continue his family’s legacy, his future has always been tied to the land that has been passed down through generations of Cody men, and he is determined to continue that tradition by one day raising sons of his own with the same reverence for that land. Ivey might be the prettiest girl Gray’s ever seen in his life, but his immediate attraction to her runs much deeper, recognizing in her eyes the hardships she’s had to endure in life. Their pull is magnetic, visceral, meaningful from the very first touch, and for a brief moment in time, Ivey allows herself to dream of finally having a home, a family, a man who’d love her every single day of his life…until all is taken away from them all too quickly, and all they’ve found in each other is tragically lost once again.

“You weren’t just my first lover, Gray, you were my first everything.”

Seven years go by, and while Gray has kept living life just as before, he has never gotten over losing Ivey, or truly understood why she left him in the first place. Ivey, on the other hand, has settled down in a big city and worked hard to put down roots, but her heart still longs for Gray and the promise of a life they could have had together. So when she suddenly hears of Gray’s troubles, she does not hesitate to run to save the man she still loves from losing everything he holds dear. But the last thing she expects to find in Mustang is the knowledge of a betrayal that has cost them seven years of heartbreak. Or that Gray has never stopped loving her either.

“I loved you then. I love you now. I’ve loved you every day for seven years.”

A heart-wrenching, and yet truly uplifting second chance romance, this is one of those unforgettable love stories I just knew from the very beginning it would crush me emotionally, and while the tears kept coming…and coming, I never lost faith in Ms Ashley’s extraordinary ability to give us powerful endings that more than make up for all the heartache. It’s a story of a young girl who never had anything, yet all she ever dreamed of having in life was a place to belong to and the love of a good man. And it is a story of a man whose birth right gave him all he ever needed in life, but it is the love of a woman like Ivey that made it all worth fighting for. Whether you have a fondness for second chances at love, or a craving for a heart-warming romance to put your heart through the wringer, look no further because Ivey and Gray’s story will inevitably embed itself into your heart as an all-time favourite.

“There was nothin’ better than you.”




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BOOK REVIEW: The Play by Karina Halle

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn’t play by the rules.
A vivacious man-eater who’s given up on love.
When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don’t just attract – they explode.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.


“Why the hell did I have to meet this beast, this superman, who blows my mind in the bedroom, mows down rugby players for a living, rescues helpless animals, looks like a f*cking god, and happens to cook, just before he has to leave?”

Well, I guess it took a taciturn beast of a man with superpowers in the bedroom to prove me wrong—Karina Halle can truly take any storyline and turn it into gold. With impeccable timing and meticulous character development, she spun a scenario that at first glance might appear ‘fluffy’ and predictable, into a compelling exploration of all that it takes to form a functional relationship between two people who believe themselves not to be ‘built’ to be in one. This is a story of recovery, of hope, of battling our darkest demons for the promise of a brighter tomorrow, and of love overcoming all. I adored this book, every sizzling, moving, startling, devastating part of it, and as I found myself glued to its pages, I was once more reminded of how utterly addicted I can become to this author’s brand of storytelling.

“…my bed feels empty. Like it’s missing someone. And not someone who leaves in the middle of the night or the next morning. Someone who will stay.”

Kayla Moore is a young woman in her early thirties who has watched all her closest friends find and fight for true love, and while envious of their happiness, she does not believe herself capable of such romantic notions of love and happily-ever-afters. Unsettled and unfulfilled in her professional life, constantly feeling like she is just spinning her wheels but never actually getting anywhere, and tired of meaningless hook-ups that leave her emotionally empty and disappointed in herself, Kayla aches for change in all aspects of her life, but is too afraid to take the first step. In a desperate attempt to regain some semblance of control over her life, however, she swears off men, determined to focus her energy on her family and friends instead…until a rugged Scotsman walks into her life and immediately makes her forget her own self-imposed vow of celibacy.

“I can’t stop staring… even though I manage to glide my fingers over my mouth to make sure I’m not actually drooling. He’s probably the most stunning man I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I immediately want to rub myself all over his face. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.”

Lachlan McGregor has met and bedded his share of beautiful women in his life, but he has learnt that most of them are not interested in him beyond his ‘famous rugby player’ persona, only drawn to the glamour of celebrity and indifferent to the complex person beneath the surface. He is quiet, reserved, extremely protective of his privacy, and only passionate about two things in his life—playing rugby and rescuing stray dogs from the streets.

“My past belongs to me and no one else.”

When Lachlan meets flirtatious Kayla, he dismisses her as just another beautiful but shallow woman who is only interested in getting in the sack with him, but the more he gets to know her, the more he realises that behind her ballsy, no-filter bravado hides a sensitive, loving, intriguing woman who undoes him emotionally and sets his body on fire. So, even with Lachlan’s impending return home to Scotland in just a few weeks’ time, their decide to spend those weeks in each other’s arms, discovering one another’s bodies and getting to know each other better, all the while pretending their days together are not numbered.

“You’re leaving on Sunday,” I tell him. “That’s less than a week.”
“So?” he says. “What does that have to do with anything?”
I cock my head. “It means…well, what can happen between now and then?”
“I can f*ck your brains out,” he says gruffly. “That’s what can happen.”

And while they are getting their fill of one another, every chance they get…and against any surface they can find, they inevitably start falling for each other—deeply, unexpectedly, desperately—realising more and more each day that saying goodbye in the end would be an impossible feat.

“Everything she offers up is so beautiful, but it’s never enough. I don’t just want to touch her and be with her, I want to fuse with her. I want to sink inside her so deeply that she’ll feel bereft without me there.”

Nothing quite prepares them, however, for the gravity of the demons from Lachlan’s past as they resurface suddenly and start affecting every aspect of their budding relationship. And the more he spirals down into his demons’ embrace, the more he pushes away the only woman he’s ever truly loved.

“I love a broken, damaged man who might run the both of us into the ground.”

A sensitively written and genuinely compelling tale of a love set against all odds, of a man’s relentless battle with his past and of a woman’s fierce faith in him. I was moved by the way Ms Halle approached such delicate topics, carefully and responsibly, never sugar-coating any aspects of them, and presenting them to us in all their terrifying reality. I was stunned by the intensity of the connection between these characters, the magnitude of everything they felt for each other, and the selflessness with which they loved one another. And my skin burned from all the scorching chemistry between them, the sex scenes alone in this book deserving of a standing ovation…or ten. This book was such a welcome addition to the series, bravely delving into heavier, angstier themes lacking in the previous instalments, and showcasing this author’s extraordinary ability to tackle them effortlessly. A great read, satisfying cover to cover.

“I’m so in love with you,” he whispers, the roughness of his cheek pressed against mine. “So in love. There is no bottom. I just keep falling.”



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Standalone novels with interrelated characters

The Pact: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
The OfferAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback
The Play: Amazon USAmazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks

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BOOK REVIEW: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

The flame never dies . . .

Millie Cross knows what it’s like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn’t be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie’s chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can’t ignore. And this time, she won’t let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan “High” Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she’s just a ghost of her former self. High’s intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn’t want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie’s betrayal, he’ll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .


“You love a man, Millie, you believe in him, you take him as he is. You go on his journey with him no matter what happens, even if that means you have to walk through fire.”

Never underestimate the power of a great writer because the moment you step into one of their books, your every emotion is at their mercy, but when that writer also happens to be one of your favourite contemporary authors at present, their every single word has the power to annihilate you. And this book did just that. I have never cried so many times and so desperately as I did while reading this breathtaking story, every aspect of it touching everything that I am, everything that I dream of, everything that I fear the most as a woman. Ms Ashley’s unparalleled insight into the female psyche and her ability to infuse a woman’s innermost vulnerabilities as well as strengths into her stories, celebrating both in equal measure, is the very reason I keep coming back for more, the thrill of diving into one of her stories never wearing off, never dimming, never becoming anything less than a true craving. Whether you’re a fan of MC romances or not, it does not matter in this case—this is a story that first and foremost celebrates women for their resilience, for their selflessness, for their ability to love without limits, all the while underlining the meaning of true love.

“I met my perfect man at age eighteen and I had him for three years. Then I sent him away.”

Millie Cross once had it all—a man who adored her, a man she adored in return, the kind of future she’d always dreamed of within her grasp—but the course of her life changed with a single sweep of fate’s cruel hand, spending the next twenty years simply going through the motions of living, her heart never even beginning to recover from losing its other half. So, when a chance sighting of the man she never stopped loving suddenly brings back all the memories she’s fought hard to suppress, she becomes convinced that only facing him would heal her wounds, and perhaps even give her a chance to move on in life. Because the one thing Millie never told him was why she left him.

“I needed to right that wrong. He needed to know. And I was the only one who could tell him.”

Logan “High” Judd was only a young recruit for the Chaos motorcycle club when he met an eighteen-year-old Millie at a party, but it took him merely an instant to know down to his soul that she would be the only woman he’d ever love. After three years of blissful happiness, however, his heart was torn out of his chest when she sent him packing, throwing all their dreams away. For the next two decades, High moved on, settled down, tried to build all that he once dreamed of having with Millie, but the hole in his chest never went away, never allowing him to forget the pain he felt from losing the love of his life.

“Millie,” he called.
I kept my gaze to the yard and replied with a, “Hmm?”
“Safe with me.”
My attention cut back to him.
“Never won’t be, babe,” he went on softly. “Not ever. Hear?”

When High finds himself suddenly facing the woman who broke his heart, he channels all he’s ever felt for her into anger, wishing to hurt her over and over again for all the pain he’s had to endure since she left him. He uses her body’s reaction to him to punish her, to humiliate her, to make her feel as insignificant as she’d made him feel all those years ago when she pushed him away without an explanation, and she suffers every blow, every hit to her dignity, starved for his touch, for his love, for his tenderness, knowing there is nothing of her left to break. Until there is and she is forced to tell the man she never stopped loving why she left him when they seemingly had it all.

“I’m done walking through fire for you, High! I’m done not because I’m done but because there’s nothing left of me to burn. You have it all! You’ve always had it all! I gave up everything so you could have it all! Please! God! Leave me to my nothing! And if you gave one single shit about me, ever, make them let me have my nothing!”

And this is where my own heart broke into smithereens, crying for a heroine who never deserved the fate life served her, or the punishment she endured as a result of it, and hurting for a hero who spent twenty years of his life never really knowing why he lost it all, or how much he had truly been loved all those years. This is a story of second chances at love, at happiness, at a happily-ever-after that was theirs from the beginning and it always remained theirs, showing us that time cannot touch true love, and that great sacrifices often bring even greater rewards in life. This is also a story of forgiveness, of acceptance of what we cannot change. In true Kristen Ashley style, we are given two characters who are so multi-faceted and compelling that their journey very much becomes our own, and I felt every up and down right in my gut.

“I love you. Loved you then. Love you now. Never quit lovin’ you in a way I know I never will. You were it for me, the only one, the only woman I ever loved, and you never quit bein’ it.”

With a colourful plethora of secondary characters from previous instalments in the series very much playing a vital role in Millie and High’s story, and proving once again the unbreakable bond connecting them all to one another, Ms Ashley has given us another unforgettable tale that will undoubtedly be added to the ‘re-read pile’ for many. I was drawn to re-visit several scenes right after I first finished this book, unwilling to bid farewell to this story and to these characters…because if you keep re-reading a book, it never really ends, right?

“If we can walk though fire, baby, we can do anything.”




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Chaos – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
ownthewind fireinside2 ridesteady copy

Own the WindMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Fire InsideMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Ride Steady: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Walk Through Fire: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback

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COVER RE-REVEAL: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

“I loved every word, every thought, and I loved you . . . so much.”

Once upon a time, I sat in a dark hotel room, bawling my eyes out inconsolably, reading one of the most beautiful stories I have ever come across, and cursing myself for not reading it sooner… This is one of the most heart-warming tales of true love, of a love that is so pure and innocent, it brings tears to our eyes. Fern, Ambrose and Bailey are three characters that you end up loving equally, fiercely, protectively. They each have a story to tell, and each one of their stories is so utterly beautiful, it is dazzling at times. This book’s beautiful message is so all-encompassing and so powerful that I truly believe everyone should do themselves a favour and give this story a chance at some point in their lives. Everyone. And this extraordinary book celebrates its second anniversary this week with a stunning new cover, as well as a one-week sale!!! ♥

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00001]

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have… until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

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BOOK REVIEW: Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

Blood. Sex. Revenge. Being king comes at a brutal price.

Drug lord Javier Bernal has sliced and diced his way to the top of the Mexican drug trade, presiding over the country’s largest cartel. But his rise to power comes at a ruthless price: the death of his sister, Alana.

Devastated and wracked with guilt, Javier shuns his new wife, Luisa, forcing their marriage into a steady decline. When she’s pushed into the waiting arms of Esteban Mendoza, his right-hand man, it seems Javier has lost everything. Only by piecing together the truth about Alana does he realise just what he has to gain.

Blood will spill. Cities will burn. Heads will roll. Because Javier will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And he wants raw, ruthless revenge.


“We were terrible people who did terrible things to each other. We were slaves to hate because hate was strong and we sacrificed love to fuel it.”

O. M. G. There are simply no words to describe this story and do it justice. A dark, gritty read start to finish, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience for the most part because I found myself enjoying things I most definitely shouldn’t have, and I am now convinced that Karina Halle could make me jump out of an airplane with a handkerchief instead of a parachute, because she makes Quentin Tarantino look like Walt fricking Disney. If you’re not afraid of an unconventional love story, one that won’t just push the boundaries of your comfort zone, but completely incinerate them, and still leave you smiling like a fool, I can’t recommend this trilogy highly enough. But like you’d take your shoes off at the door, walk into this story free from everything you’ve ever come to expect in a romance and allow yourself to enjoy the ride…in all its wicked depravity. Because with superb writing such as this, you won’t even want a seatbelt.

“The wife of a drug king. The queen of corruption.”

The love story between Luisa and Javier Bernal has never been a hearts-and-flowers kind of romance, their turbulent affair forged in the cauldron of the violent Mexican drug cartels, but while they were once partners and confidantes, the past year and a half has created a deep fissure in their marriage, turning them into two strangers living under the same roof. Once a ruthless, cunning, merciless man who was also capable of great tenderness towards his wife and loyalty towards his men, his twisted code of morals dictating his every decision, Javier’s grief over losing his beloved sister Alana has now turned him into a loose cannon. Unpredictable and blood-thirsty, violence has become his only outlet, making him no longer trust himself around his wife. Believing that there is no place for love in his life and that his feelings for her have become his ultimate weakness, the only thing capable of hurting him any further, he pushes Luisa away, seeing emotional distance as the only way of protecting them both.

“She had become my family, my confidante, my lover, my friend. She had become everything to me, in bed and outside of it. But she was a weakness, my weakness. She was what the would go after next, the last thing I could possibly lose. Unless I lost her first.”

Heartbroken and lost, Luisa keeps hoping Javier would find his way back to her, even though the loss of his affections is slowly making her lose herself and her purpose in this new life. She remains willing to forgive him for all his mistakes, to give him all of her, whichever way he needs it, just to have his love back. The distance between them, however, only seems to grow as time passes, driving Luisa to make desperate mistakes of her own.

“Please. Be rough. Hurt me. Make me bleed. Give me something.”

But while they are both busy licking their own wounds, a snake in the grass lies waiting, ready to strike and take all they’ve built together away from them. And once he does, this story explodes into an out-of-control inferno of events, each more shocking than the next, yet each fitting of this story and of these characters. This book is prickly, confronting, brutal more times than not, but it never pretends to be something it’s not, consistently zealous and out-of-the-box, and forever true to its premise. Stories like these are what nightmares are made of, but Ms Halle still manages to add a compelling human dimension even to the scariest of her monsters. And to paint even the most depraved of actions with a romantic brush. Gory, twisted, horrific from the get-go, this is not a fairy tale, each of these characters inherently flawed and damaged, but the beauty of this story lies in their self-awareness, in their ability to adapt to their circumstances, to forgive each other, to constantly push the limits of their own moral codes and keep redefining themselves in the process. Do yourself a favour and immerse yourself in this story with an open mind—you might end up loving it just as much as I have.

“It was only him and it was only me. King and Queen. That’s all that existed in this rusted, bloody space, between these two tortured, filthy souls.”




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Dirty Angels Trilogy – Reading Order and Purchase Links
Dirty Angels dirtydeeds

Dirty AngelsMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Dirty DeedsAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Dirty Promises: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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Dirty Angels is a Spin-Off series of The Artists Trilogy
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Sins & NeedlesMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
On Every Street (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Shooting ScarsMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Bold TricksMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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Other books in the series or related posts:

BOOK REVIEW: Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

GraysonsVowKira Dallaire is desperate.

Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope.

Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. That is until a young woman enters his office with an outlandish, unexpected proposition impossible to refuse.

What begins as a temporary business arrangement, soon evolves into more as vivacious, spirited Kira challenges detached, arrogant Grayson to want more from life. To want more for himself. But as their wills clash and fiery passion ignites, they’ll realize that sometimes the past creates walls too difficult to climb, and that lies and deception rarely precede a happily every after.

As Kira and Grayson race toward their destiny, they will discover that some vows are meant to be broken, and others are worth risking everything for . . . even your very own heart.


“Forget the prince and princess. I always imagined the real story was between the witch and the dragon.”

From an author whose every story manages to touch the deepest recesses of our hearts, we are given another extraordinary tale that steals our breaths away and holds us spellbound cover to cover. This is the story of a marriage of convenience between an enchanting little “witch” and a grumpy old “dragon”, a marriage designed to benefit both, but be in name only, until a ‘love spell’ is cast and a game of make-believe turns into a real-life fairy tale. And while there are in fact no real witches or dragons in this book, there’s nonetheless a dreamy, almost fantastical quality to this love story, reminiscent of so many childhood fairy tales, and its message just as inspiring. I was enthralled by these characters, emotionally invested in their every high and low, and utterly smitten by the magic that is woven between them. This is a book I loved loved loved…and then loved some more.

“I have a business arrangement to offer you.”
“A business arrangement?”
“Yes, well, in actuality, Mr. Hawthorn, I’m here to propose marriage.”

Kira Dallaire is twenty-two and broke. Born into a life of privilege and luxury, she has left her old life behind to become her own person and make a difference in the world, determined to be free from the controlling and intimidating influence of her powerful father. But with no college education or any employment prospects in sight, she is driven to concoct a plan born out of sheer despair—to marry a complete stranger for money. With a trust fund that would go to her either when she turns thirty, or when she gets married, Kira makes an offer of marriage to a man she does not know, a man she is inexplicably drawn to from the moment she lays eyes on him, a man who needs that money just as much as she does—proposing to split her inheritance once they are married, and then after one year, simply go their separate ways. But as attractive as her offer is, her soon-to-be husband only unenthusiastically agrees, openly resenting her for becoming a constant reminder of his failures in life.

“He looked like every hero in every fairy tale I’d ever dreamed, come to life. And, God, I wanted to believe in heroes again. But sometimes, I supposed, a girl just had to be her own hero. Especially when the hero in question turned out to be a dragon.”

Grayson Hawthorn has never known what it feels like to be loved, raised by parents who reminded him every single day of how unwanted and unworthy of love he was. When he is left the family winery in his late father’s will, he vows to himself that he would do all he could to bring it back to its former glory, believing the gift to be his father’s way of atoning for a lifetime of unkindness and of making him feel worthy for the very first time in his life by entrusting him with such a great responsibility. Determined to make his father proud, but with the winery teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Grayson is willing to do all it takes to fulfil his vow, even marry an entitled, selfish, spoiled little princess with fiery hair and bewitching emerald eyes, whose defiant spirit seems to set his temper alight.

“Next time you offer to marry someone, you should try to be a little more meek. A man likes some obedience in a wife.”
“What was that now? I want to make sure I get every single word of wise advice. Meek, was it? Does that have double e or is it ea? I can never remember.”

But first impressions can be deceiving and the longer they live under the same roof, the more they uncover about one another, soon discovering that they have a lot more in common than just their financial predicament. Grayson quickly learns that he might have misjudged his “little witch”, her upbringing not so dissimilar to his own, thus leaving deep scars on her self-esteem and sense of self-worth, while Kira’s regard for her husband grows tenfold when she discovers how little love he’s known in life. They argue, they bicker, never conceding to one another’s will, but their every heated exchange also stirs a deep yearning in them both, slowly blurring the lines of their fake marriage and making them wish it was all a little less ‘pretend’ after all.

“I’d sleep on the floor in this dusty shack if it meant getting the best of Grayson Hawthorn.”

What sets off almost as a Brönte novel in a present-day setting, with a marriage of convenience resulting in a new wife feeling unwelcome in her neglectful husband’s home, the prickly touches of unrequited love quickly turn this story into a moving modern fairy tale that pulls the reader in with its irresistible blend of pleasure and pain. A story that is entirely character-driven and told in both their voices, with frequent dashes of witty dialogues and light-hearted humour, we fall for Kira and Grayson almost immediately, and the more we get to understand them, the more attached we become. With a feisty but kind-hearted heroine whose decision to marry for money weighs heavily on her conscience, longing to be loved and cherished, but forced to forgo all childhood notions of marrying her Prince Charming one day to a loveless connection to a “man-dragon” who can barely stand the sight of her; and an irritable, judgemental hero whose cold, unforgiving façade conceals a man starving to feel worthy of love, respect, and kindness in his life, until a little “witch” shows him what selfless love truly looks like, turning his colourless existence into the life he never dared to dream—this was a winning formula from the start for me.

“Love. Fierce longing rose in my chest. For just once to be cherished.”

There are so many delightful facets to this story, so many puzzle pieces that keep us engrossed in its every word, and for me, it was one of the hardest books to move away from in the end as I desperately wished I could have stayed in their world forever. A breathtaking example of the healing power of love, and of how only pain can sometimes make us recognise true love—I simply adored this wonderful book and would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone seeking an exquisitely written story they would never forget.

“Love can be piercing. Love means exposing yourself—all of yourself, every tender part—to being hurt. Because true love is not only the flower, true love is also the thorns.”



Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback


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A Sign of Love – Standalone Novels

(LeoLeo’s Chance, and Becoming Calder + Finding Eden are stories that unfold over two books, while the others are all standalone novels)

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BecomingCalder findingeden Kyland

LeoAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Leo’s ChanceAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
StingerAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Archer’s Voice: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Becoming CalderMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finding EdenMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Kyland: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Grayson’s VowAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Other books in the series or related posts: