Release Day Review: Sea of Ruin by Pam Godwin

Sea of Ruin by Pam Godwin
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 28th 2020
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Bennett Sharp is on the run.
Wanted for piracy, she fears neither God nor death nor man.
Except Priest Farrell.

The unfaithful, stormy-eyed libertine hunts her with terrifying possessiveness. Nothing will stop him from coming for her. Not his unforgivable betrayal. Not when she’s captured by the ice-cold pirate hunter, Lord Ashley Cutler.
She must escape Ashley’s prison and Priest’s deceit. But can she walk away from their twisted desires?

Two gorgeous captains stand on opposite sides of the law. When they collide in a battle to protect her, the lines blur between enemies and lovers.
Passion heats, secrets unravel, and hearts entangle until they break.
Can love prevail in the sea of ruin?

A dark historical romance with PIRATES. Need I say more?

I was a pirate captain, a rebel queen of the sea, fighting against the conformities of society and the oppressive laws of man.

Holy moly, I absolutely loved this book – it was addictive, gritty, intense, and unputdownable! I’ve been dying to read Sea of Ruin ever since I heard Pam Godwin was writing a dark historical romance. I’m a big fan of her dark romances and I couldn’t wait to see her twist on a historical setting. Sea of Ruin turned out to be yet another hit. I’m obsessed with this book! It had me unbelievably hooked onto the story, the romance, and its characters. I always say I want to read more pirate romances – and this is exactly the kind of pirate romance I want!

He captured my eyes. “It doesn’t matter how far we fall, how much pain we inflict, or how dark it becomes in the ruin. I’m going to be with you, waiting for you, loving you, forgiving you. I’m never letting go, Bennett. Never.”

The best suggestion I have for you is to go into this book blind, or with no expectations. Yes, it’s a bit of a love triangle, but also not. This book is nothing you expect. Pam Godwin blew my expectations out of the water the more and more I read. Her writing is fantastic and reminded me just why I love her dark stories so much. She holds nothing back in Sea of Ruin – it is very much a dark romance so proceed with caution.

I LOVED our heroine, Bennett. She’s a freaking pirate captain, the only daughter of one of the most infamous pirates in the world, and she certainly lives up to her father’s name. She experiences such tragic loss at the beginning, I cried and felt for her. She goes through so much in the book and I rooted for her through it all. She’s fierce, kickass, knows how to use a sword, and can handle not just one alpha, possessive man, but two.

The romance was freaking brilliant. It kept me on the edge of my seat, and honestly? I loved Priest and Ashley. Don’t make me choose between them, because I won’t. Both are different – Priest is dark and sensual, Ashley is cold and forbidding – but they are SO perfect for Bennett.

If you’re a fan of dark elements in your romances, you need to read this book. I can’t recommend it enough! As soon as I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. It’s an unforgettable tale full of romance, angst, steam, action, and adventure. If Pam Godwin ever wrote more historical romances, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat!

TW: rape, torture


lacey


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Review: Don’t Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind

Don’t Go Stealing My Heart by Kelly Siskind
Series: Showmen #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 22nd 2020
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Some people would call Clementine Abernathy a criminal. She considers herself a modern day Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but she knows what it’s like to lose everything. Her latest heist involves swiping a priceless Van Gogh from its owner, who’s supposed to be an egotistical trust-fund brat.

Turns out Jack David is a sexy, kind-hearted man…and Clementine is in trouble. Falling for her mark would make her the World’s Dumbest Conwoman, but Jack is charmingly persistent, always singing sweet songs in her ear.

And that earth-shattering kiss? She never stood a chance.

Now she’s imagining a fresh start with this dashing man, but that means telling Jack about her past. And other nefarious sorts are after the same painting. Too soon, Clementine learns what it means to risk it all for love.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It’s adorable, quirky, dorky, and so, so sweet. I loved the shy hero – he was the perfect guy for the Robin Hood heroine. This book had so many random things, from Elvis impersonators, bearded dragons with matching names, to a painting heist, but it all completely worked for me! If you’re looking for a rom-com (with a hint of suspense) to read this spring, let it be this one.

Don’t Go Stealing My Heart had me hooked from the blurb. A Robin Hood heroine who steals from the rich to give to the poor? And her next mark is none other than the hero?? Sign me up for ALL of that. I had high expectations going into this, but I was truly taken by surprise with how charming this romance turned out to be, with such lovable main characters. Clementine is a sweetheart of a heroine, despite the not-so-good things she does for a good cause. Jack is a cinnamon roll of a hero – pure and kind-hearted! He’s also so adorkable – he’s a freaking Elvis impersonator! I fell head over heels in love with him. He’s shy and blushing at first when it comes to Clementine, but as they get to know each other, his swooniness (is that a word?) and a bit of an alpha edge to him comes out. They were just PERFECT for each other and I really can’t describe how much I loved both of them.

Obviously, Clementine is trying to hide the fact that she’s planning on stealing from Jack, with Jack being none the wiser. There’s a little bit of angst and heartache when it comes to that, but this book as a whole just made my heart happy. I can’t recommend this enough if you want something feel-good that will put a smile on your face. This book is already going on my “best of 2020” list!


lacey


Reading Order: Showmen series

 

#1 ~ New Orleans Rush: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Don’t Go Stealing My Heart: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Royally Endowed: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Sept. 26, 2020)


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Early Review: Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Ravenels #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 18th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

​Everything has a price . . .

Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.

Everything except her . . .

Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.

When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:

Never underestimate a Ravenel.

The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun . . .

I’ve been on such a Lisa Kleypas roll lately. First, I read Again the Magic and it blew my mind. Then, of course, after I read that I HAD to read Marcus’ book, It Happened One Autumn. Next I ended up rereading Devil in Winter and then finally read the final Wallflowers book for the first time. I made it halfway through before the ARC of Chasing Cassandra landed on my kindle and I had to drop everything to start it.

I absolutely adore the Ravenels series – not quite as much as the Hathaways when it comes to family sagas from LK, but I love it nonetheless. With Chasing Cassandra we get the last and final Ravenel family member getting her HEA with a man who will do anything to have her. Tom Severin has been mentioned in a few previous books as the friend of West and Winterborne. He’s made a fortune for himself as a railroad mogul – in this case, he reminded me so much of Winterborne with his rags to riches story, and also Harry Rutledge from Tempt Me At Twilight. Both Tom and Harry are obsessed with their heroines right from the get-go, worshipping them and willing to do anything to have them. Tom also does not believe in love, thinking that he’s incapable of feeling it or of receiving it. But meeting Cassandra changes everything for him. Not only does he desperately want her for his wife, he’s feeling new emotions like *gasp* love for the very first time.

“Perfection is impossible. Most mathematical truths can’t be proved. The vast majority of mathematical relations can’t be known. But you… standing here in your bare feet in that dress… you’re perfect.””

I LOVED getting to know Tom and Cassandra. Tom first comes across as very robotic – logical, cold, ruthless, and unemotional. But with each tender interaction he has with Cassandra, we see him opening his heart to not just her but the whole Ravenel family, which made MY heart so incredibly happy. I loved seeing his character develop in such a lovely way. Cassandra is the Ravenel that we honestly saw the least of. I didn’t know much about her other than the fact that she was Pandora’s twin. But the more I read of her, the more I loved her character too. She’s such a sweet and headstrong young woman. All she wants is to find love and have a family of her own, basically the complete opposite of her sister, but that’s okay too. She knows she’s found a once-in-a-lifetime with Tom and she’s not willing to accept anything but his whole heart.

“Nothing has been exciting or satisfying for years. With you, though, everything is new. All I want is to be with you.”

The blurb hints that this is a marriage of convenience, and while there is one, the story doesn’t really revolve around that and it doesn’t happen until much later in the book. Mostly, it’s Tom being ridiculously loving and tender to Cassandra without him even realizing it. I was SWOONING over all the heart-stopping things he says. Their chemistry is fantastic. I just loved their developing relationship so, so much!

When I finished this book, I honestly didn’t even realize it was the final book until I started writing this review. Now I’m feeling bittersweet. While I would’ve loved an epilogue to wrap up the Ravenel family, I still was happy with how CC ended. It’s an emotional, heartwarming book that you don’t want to miss if you love Lisa Kleypas. All I can say now is PLEASE give us a new family series to obsess over (like the Marsden children)!


Reading Order: Ravenel series


#1 ~ Cold-Hearted Rake: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Marrying Winterborne: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Devil in Spring: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Hello Stranger: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Devil’s Daughter: My ReviewEbook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Chasing Cassandra: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Feb. 18, 2020)


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Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Series: Hot & Hammered #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 14th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation…

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

YAASSSSSS!!!! The hype for Rosie and Dominic was REAL ever since I read Fix Her Up. I was expecting all the good angst and groveling in Love Her or Lose Her and Tessa Bailey gave all that to me and then some. I did have my frustrations with Dominic but I loved him (and Rosie) anyway. This was SO MUCH FUN to read and I have to say I loved it even more than FHU. The heartache, the humor, the sexy times… all of it together made a fantastic read. And if you’re expecting your classic TB alpha, dirty-talking hero, look no further than Dominic.

My favorite kinds of romance tropes are ones where the main characters have some sort of history together: second chance romance, friends to lovers, the brother’s best friend romance, etc. And of course, the already married couple trope! (Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s what the trope is called but we’ll go with that.) I’ve read some amazing romances where the hero and heroine are already married (and not in a marriage of convenience) at the beginning of the novel and I’m so glad to say Love Her or Lose Her is another hit to add to my list. Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts, but their marriage has fallen on the rocks ever since Dominic came back from his time in the army. He doesn’t communicate with Rosie anymore and she’s about had enough. She wants a divorce, Dominic doesn’t, they’re still completely in love with one another… so what do they have left? Marriage couples counseling.

“You really thought I wouldn’t take any chance—any chance—to get you back, didn’t you?” His voice roughened. “Fuck, Rosie. You can’t be serious.”

I just adored Rosie and Dominic and their path to an HEA (again). They both have their own journeys, Rosie with her career and passion for cooking, Dominic with learning how to communicate, but together is where they truly shine. You can clearly tell how much these two are meant to be together and I loved getting to be a part of that experience.

“I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

Tessa Bailey is one of my all-time favorite authors and rarely does she let me down. She always gives me exactly what I expect (a kickass heroine, obsessed alpha hero, all the steam) and she absolutely delivers with this newest release! Right now, I’m dying for Bethany’s story, and if you’ve read this book, then you know who her enemies-to-lovers romance will be with!


lacey


Reading Order: Hot & Hammered series

#1 ~ Fix Her Up: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Love Her or Lose Her: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Tools of Engagement: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Review: Winter Tales by Tiffany Reisz

Winter Tales by Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners #8.7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 19th 2019
Links: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Return to USA Today bestseller Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series with Winter Tales, a collection of three fan-favorite Christmas novellas plus a brand-new novella exclusive to this anthology.

In December Wine, the long-awaited story of Nora Sutherlin’s first meeting with Nico can finally be told. Nora enlists her editor (and sometimes lover) Zach Easton on a mission to track down Kingsley’s long-lost son. Nicolas “Nico” Delacroix turns out to be young, strikingly handsome, and very French. He wants nothing to do with his father…but everything to do with Nora.

This special holiday-themed collection also includes the novellas Poinsettia, The Christmas Truce, and The Scent of Winter (previously available only as ebooks). A bonus short story starring Søren rounds out the Winter Tales anthology.

I am always SO happy when Tiffany Reisz writes anything related to my favorite erotica series ever, The Original Sinners. This is one of the few series that I can never get tired of. I adore everything about Nora, Søren, Kingsley, and the rest of this brilliant cast of characters. Any time I pick up a book or story with them, it’s like coming back to old (kinky) friends. And whether it’s a full length book or a holiday themed novella, I’ll take anything and everything from TR. This time, with Winter Tales, we get four novellas plus a bonus short story that all work perfectly with the winter holiday.

December Wine, the new novella in this collection, is probably my favorite of the five, mainly because I just love Nico so, so much. I wish we got more of him and Nora! We finally get to see how these two met for the very first time in France, and we can tell how besotted they become despite being complete strangers. I just want a full length book for them PLEASE! I need to know everything that happened between them meeting to how Nora became his Dom.

We also get novellas featuring Søren and his time with Magdalena in Italy, Søren and Kingsley sharing a cabin in the woods in the winter, and of course one with the dirty trio all together. The bonus short story takes place after the final Original Sinners book, which turns out not to be the final one anymore! God bless, but we are getting more of the OS world, and this short story is a little bridge to the upcoming book, The Priest.

Tiffany Reisz amazes me every time I open up one of her books. Her writing is stunning, the way she’s able to write love, kink, and humor so flawlessly. I cannot get enough of her words and I’m so glad we aren’t done with the Original Sinners series just yet!


lacey


Reading Order: The Original Sinners series


  

 

#1 ~ The Siren: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Angel: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Prince: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3.2 ~ The Mistress Files: EbookGoodreads
#4 ~ The Mistress: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Saint: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ The King: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#6.3 ~ Michael’s Wings: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ The Virgin: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ The Queen: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.2 ~ The Confessions: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.3 ~ Mischief: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#8.4 ~ The Chateau: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.5 ~ Picture Perfect Cowboy: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.7 ~ Winter Tales: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ The Priest: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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