Review: Releasing the Demons by LD Rose

Reviewed by Jen

I haven’t read a good PNR book from a new author in a long time. So many of them barely scratch the surface of any kind of emotion. They are rarely very dark. It’s usually some kind of Insta love-at-first sight/ mate bond/ fated whatever. But I am excited to say that not only did I find this book good, I found it very good. And it was super dark. The hero was super tortured. And I enjoyed it from start to finish.

This book got me hooked from the very first page with an extremely compelling first chapter. Now if you are put off by torture, this may not be right for you. But it is necessary to the story because it is the fodder that drives our hero’s story. Blaze is a human-vampire hybrid. He endured seven months of abject horror at the hands of a powerful vamp. It’s been years, but it still haunts him. Now he works with his band of brothers, the Order of the Senary, to put down as many vampires as possible and to use their special hybrid gifts to keep humanity safe. [Read more…]

Review: Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover

better-when-hes-badReviewed by Shelly

I decided to try this completely based on Carrie; well if I’m being completely honest, she didn’t love it but I figured – why not? The premise is definitely not my usual cuppa tea, a hero who doesn’t start out as a good guy nor does he even seem to have any aspiration to be good.

The first in Jay Crownover’s ‘The Point’ series tells the story of Shane Baxter. Bax, is fresh out after serving 5 years for a felony. He says he did it to save his best friend, Race, but when you get to know him, Bax had done so many unlawful things in his life he was going to get caught eventually. Prison actually slowed his bad a*s down and probably saved his life. [Read more…]

Review: Lord of the Isles by Caro LaFever

lord of the islesReviewed by Jen

I don’t read too many contemporary romances, but I love the Beauty and the Beast trope, and the blurb convinced me to give this one a try. First of all, don’t read the blurb if you can help it. It spoils too much. Secondly, this is actually not a Beauty and the Beast retelling; at least there is nothing beastly about the hero’s appearance. He’s a bit broken and it shows in his behavior, but his scars are all emotional ones. Don’t get me wrong, I like a tortured hero too, but again, blurb-fail. [Read more…]

Review: Strong Medicine by JK Hogan

strong medicineReviewed by Jen

If you’re looking for a light, sweet romance, this is definitely not the book for you. But if you can handle a story that’s a bit darker…  a story with a hero who is deeply damaged and finally given a lifeline… If you want a book that’s truly compelling — well, clear your schedule and start reading. Once you get a few chapters in, this story won’t let you go.

The majority of this story takes place inside of the walls of a psychiatric facility. Cameron is there, working as part of a DUI sentence. The former child-star and pop group frontman must get substance abuse counseling, while serving as volunteer helping other patients. Folks are there for a variety of reasons, from eating disorders to depression to PTSD. But one man, Jonah, is not like the others. He’s there voluntarily, and he’s in and out of the facility twice every year. [Read more…]

Review: Deeper: Descent by Allyn Lesley

deeper descentReviewed by Shelly

I’ve been waiting on this follow-up for about a year now and yes, it was totally worth the wait. I got sucked back in, just like that. My mind was doing some serious over time after reading Noah and Avi’s story, so I had some trouble sitting down to do the review. A few hours later… I’m ready now.

Picking update directly after Book 1 ended, Avi and Noah are still reeling from Harry’s death. She’s just lost the father she’d just met and Noah’s missing the father figure that Harry represented. Between them both, there are some serious issues going on. Avi’s still running from the feelings that Noah brings out in her. That actually got a little old with me, because she’s either in or she’s out. I’m still trying to figure out what she thought that Noah really did. I know as the reader looking in, it’s easy for me to see what Noah actually was.  I figured Avi for a smart girl, but maybe I’m being too hard on her. [Read more…]

Review: A Bad Bit Nice by Josie Kerr

bad bit niceReviewed by Shelly

I’m not a big fan of the all over body tattoos that have become so popular and trendy; really, a little goes a long way with me. But I’ll tell you this dear readers, if I’d judged this story by that standard, then I would have missed out on a very good story. What really drew me to this story was the age of the hero and the heroine. It’s so unlikely to run across a romance where both characters aren’t in their 20s or 30s and I’m not talking about when the hero is older while the heroine is much younger.

A Bad Bit Nice is my first story by Josie Kerr and it’s the first in her ‘Second Chance Neighbors’. I can’t say that I was disappointed in any one character – maybe the bad guy; he wasn’t bad enough. For a rare and pleasing change – everything fell in sync with me reading about Em and Mick. [Read more…]

Review: The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

highwaymanReviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed this book. It made me feel so much! It has a wonderfully dark, tortured hero, who has loved his heroine since they were children. She has been the single light in his life and they have been separated for the past 17 years.  He’s only dreamed of their reunion, but once he finally gets her back, he is too damaged to allow himself to truly have her. It is angst of the most delicious variety. I plundered through the pages like a randy pirate at a whorehouse. I was done way too soon, but I loved every minute of it. [Read more…]

Review: Darkness Surrendered by Stephanie Rowe

darkness surrenderedReviewed by Jen

I had such high hopes for this book. Sometimes the anticipation is better than the payoff, and unfortunately for me, that was what happened here. The very fact that Elijah is alive was enough for me to get excited. This is a man who sacrificed his very life for his mate, a woman who has built him up in her mind as this amazing savior. He is her protector, a beloved friend to other members of the Order, and a deliciously tortured hero. Add to that, this is the book with the big climax to the series arc, and there was so much potential.  Only, I really struggled to get through this one. [Read more…]

Review: Finding Gabriel by Rachel L Demeter

finding gabrielReviewed by Jen

It’s hard for me to turn down a tortured hero story, especially when it’s a scarred tortured hero. Believe me, Gabriel definitely fits the bill.  I’ve read my fair share of historical romances set in the aftermath of the Napoleonic War, though this is the first from the perspective of a French soldier. It’s dark. After all, the hero does shoot himself in the head in the very first chapter.  But there are also moments of hope, redemption and love.

Though the hero is the more tragic figure of the story, the heroine is battling demons of her own. But Ariah is determined to overcome all she has endured. She is trying to live a good life and take care of her daughter and half sister. When she stumbles over Gabriel’s body floating in the river, it never occurs to her that this decorated soldier in uniform could have put himself there intentionally. So she drags him out and sets to nursing him back from the brink of death. [Read more…]

Review: Defined by Deceit by AE Via

defined by deceitReviewed by Jen

I love a good angst ridden hero –and I’m a sucker for a gentle giant.  This book has both folded into one messed up and misunderstood man.  Llewellyn had his entire life planned out after graduation. He was going away to school with his boyfriend, where he could study architecture and find happiness and success. But a terrible betrayal landed him in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and just like that, his dreams died.  Now eight years later, he is trying to start over, but his record hangs over him like a storm cloud. He is rejected at every turn and finally has to move away for a fresh start. [Read more…]