Favorite Book Girlfriends

A while ago, I wrote a post all about my favorite book boyfriends and I recently revamped that post for my booktube channel.

I decided that it only made sense to do a Favorite Book Girlfriends post as well, because goodness knows there are plenty of amazing female characters that I have fallen in love with over the years.

If you’d like to watch me chat about them, check out my booktube video:

Otherwise, stick around!

Zuzanna – Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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WHY I LOVE HER: Zuzanna is fiercely loyal to Karou – the main character in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, despite not having the same supernatural gifts that Karou has, Zuzanna stands by her side and helps her in any way that she can – while also being the comic relief and solid reality when Karou needs it most. I fell more in love with Zuzanna after reading her romance spin-off Night of Cake and Puppets.

 

Tella – Caraval – Stephanie Garber

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WHY I LOVE HER: Tella is perhaps the one main character I related to most out of all the books that I’ve read. I agreed with all of her decisions, good and bad. I liked how, though she was mistaken for as reckless, most of what she did and the choices she made was out of love for her sister. I love that she is unabashedly feminine while still being badass. She’s strong and fierce, without being prickly.

 

Sadie – With Visions of Red – Trisha Wolfe

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WHY I LOVE HER: Sadie is perhaps the most mysterious of all the female characters on this list – and in that mystery there is a magnetism. I’m just as obsessed with her as Colton is. She’s extremely dark, extremely smart, and scary as hell. She’s beautiful, but doesn’t feel compelled to draw attention to herself, though she can’t really help it.

 

Harper – A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

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WHY I LOVE HER: Harper is one of the strongest characters on this list. Her ability to draw loyal followers and take hit after hit, but still stand tall is unmatched. She isn’t defined by her disability and she doesn’t see it as a problem that needs to be solved. Her kindness and loyalty to those she feels are in the right, and particularly to those she loves, is such a draw.

 

Georgina – Georgina Kincaid Series – Richelle Mead

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WHY I LOVE HER: If I could be most like one character on this list, it would be Georgina. She is the brightest ray of sunshine and pure magnetism that absolutely draws people in and warms anyone within her radius. Yes, her supernatural abilities as a succubus does give her an advantage, but a lot of it is inherent. She’s also hilarious and the fact that she is reluctant about her “job.”

 

London – Darkly Madly Duet – Trisha Wolfe

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WHY I LOVE HER: London is another extremely dark, manipulative, brilliant character. She’s a criminal psychologist who falls in love with her serial killer patient. She’s extremely poised and professional on the outside, and very dark on the inside.

 

Flora – Her Royal Highness (Royals #2) – Rachel Hawkins

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WHY I LOVE HER: Flora might be the most swoony character on this list. I didn’t think I would like her in the beginning of this hate-to-love story. She came off as the spoiled, mean-for-no-reason literal princess, but it isn’t long before you realize there is so much more to her than that. And she’s actually so thoughtful, loyal, and sweet.

 

Greer – American Queen – Sierra Simone

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WHY I LOVE HER: Greer is extremely submissive, but within that submission is power. She can work a room full of the most powerful men and women and stand her own ground with grace and poise. She can navigate intricate political relationships with ease because she’s done it her entire life.

 

Freyja – Slightly Scandalous – Mary Balough

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WHY I LOVE HER: Freyja stuck with me the most out of all the characters on this list. She is not beautiful in the traditional sense – and with that knowledge and acceptance there is a certain power and freedom that Freyja has that most beautiful people don’t. She is not concerned with how she looks. She doesn’t envy others for how they look, she puts no value in it. She also is not bogged down with the worry of looking perfect all the time or the expectation to be beautiful forever. She is comfortable in her own skin – and strong in her body and mind.

 

Favorite Bookish Blog Posts of January 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but one of my book blog resolutions was to bring this back, because I love giving shout outs to my favorite bloggers and my favorite content from them.

To be fair, I haven’t been able to read absolutely everything all of my favorite bloggers have posted, so there may be some I’ve missed.

Hopefully you find some great content here and great bloggers to follow:

Confessions of a YA Reader introduced me to the 2020 Series to Finish Challenge that I hadn’t heard of before her post.

I love favorites wrap up lists, and I really enjoyed how Nut Free Nerd listed their favorites of the last decade by release year.

Pages Unbound shared tips on how to read classics which is something I really would like to do more of.

Metaphors and Miscellanea defended the Goodreads Challenge (and I totally agree!)

Chelle’s Book Ramblings discussed reading for pleasure vs. reading for escape (and the difference between the two).

I love seeing bullet journal spreads from fellow book bloggers, and I really enjoyed seeing this one from Bookmark Your Thoughts.

Pages Unbound asked “Should Libraries Boycott MacMillan? I didn’t even know about this, so I really appreciated this post!

I always adore reading posts with reading goals, and Lili’s Blissful Pages had many that inspired me!

I adored this post from Bookiverse with tips on how to decide what to read next and ways to find it.

This was such a great little book blogger pep talk from Chelle’s Book Ramblings.

These were such great bookish hacks from Nut Free Nerd.

I so loved reading Kristin Kraves Books’ bookish discoveries in 2019.

Again, I love these wrap up posts, so I adored Another Book in the Wall’s Best Reads of 2019.

I love Birdie and her best books of the twenty-teens post!

I really liked seeing how A World of Books’ is tackling their TBR.

I’m so obsessed with this new challenge from The Cozy Pages: Kindle Klean-up!

Nine Tale Vixen asked, “How do you customize book recs?

I’d like to get more into mysteries and thrillers, so I really appreciated this post from Kristen Kraves Books: Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers.

I love these Asian Reading Challenge recs from Drizzle and Hurricane Books.

Favorite Audible Escape Novels {Part Two: YA}

Check out Part One: Adult Romance Novels here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han’s beloved novels are now available together for the first time in this delightful hardcover boxed set!

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This enchanting collection includes hardcover editions of To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeP.S. I Still Love You; and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

 


Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

 


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

 


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Maybe This Time by Kasie West

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.


Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.


First and Then by Emma Mills

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.


I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.


Never Never Series by Colleen Hoover

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Hopeless joins forces with the New York Times bestselling author of Mud Vein. Together, they have created a gripping, romantic tale unlike any other. “How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning…they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love…every memory has vanished. “I don’t care what our real first kiss was,” he says. “That’s the one I want to remember.”
Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be…the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.
“I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone. I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie.”

10 Favorite Audible Escape Audiobooks (Part One: Adult Romance)

I am such a huge fan of Audible Escape and have been a part of the program since Day One. Since then, I’ve come across many favorites, so I decided to share them with you here:

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All In Duet – Emma Scott

“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…”

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

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Blurred Lines – Lauren Layne

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

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Shifters series – Rachel Vincent

There are only eight breeding female werecats left…

And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back… for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them…

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The Gravity of Us (Elements #4) – Brittany C Cherry

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

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Let’s Get Textual (Texting #1) – Teagan Hunter

A wrong number is supposed to be just that—a wrong number.

Delete. Done.

Do not continue to text. Do not flirt.

A wrong number shouldn’t be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night…and you’re definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat.

Because that would be weird.

When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don’t follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he’s wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction.

I’m not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number.

But maybe…

Maybe he’s the right guy.

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A Little Night Magic (Nodaway Falls #1) – Lucy March

In New York Times bestselling author Lucy March’s new novel, Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he’s never made a move. Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends—Peach, Millie, and Stacy—and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories.

Intent on shaking things up, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends… but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman who shows Olivia that there is more to her life than she ever dreamed.

As Liv’s latent magical powers come to the surface, she discovers that having an interesting life is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. The dark side of someone else’s magic is taking over good people in town, and changing them into vessels of malevolence. Unwilling to cede her home to darkness, she battles the demons of her familial past and her magical present, with those she loves at her side… and in the cross fire.

Can the most important things in life—friendship, love, magic, and waffles—get her through the worst that the universe can throw at her?

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Trade Me (Cyclone #1) – Courtney Milan

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

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American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) – Sierra Simone

It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.

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Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now—reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained—and captivated—by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

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The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) – Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Favorite Books of 2019

Whew, this post was hard to write!

I read so many amazing books in 2019, so choosing my Top 19 books and putting them in order from least favorite to favorite was really difficult.

First, before I list these books, here is my Goodreads year in books:

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And now… my favorite books of 2019:

#19 The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Month Read: November

#18 Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Month Read: November

#17 The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata
Month Read: October

#16 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed
Month Read: January

#15 Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Month Read: February | Review

#14 Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Month Read: November

#13 Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuisten
Month Read: May

#12 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Month Read: August | Review

#11 Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Month Read: July

#10 Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor
Month Read: November | Review

#9 The Simple Wild by KA Tucker
Month Read: September

#8 Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover
Month Read: November | Review

 

#7 Marriage for One by Ella Maise
Month Read: December

#6 The Bride Test (Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
Month Read: November | Review

#5 Infini (Aerial Etherial #2) by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Month Read: August

#4 Keepsake (True North #3) by Sarina Bowen
Month Read: May

 


#3 Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
Month Read: May | Review

#2 A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Month Read: April | Review

#1 Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber
Month Read: August | Review

Favorite Enemies to Lovers Romance Novels

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I’ve not found an enemies to lovers romance that I love more than The Hating Game. Hands down. I loved the unique writing style and, of course, the banter. I think the main reason I gravitate toward this trope is because of the hilarious back-and-forth between the characters. I loved it so much, in fact, that I created an entire blog post of my favorite quotes from this book.

Goodreads
Review

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

If anyone can write hilarious banter, it’s Mariana Zapata. And she nails it in this one. I think the most unique thing about this book that attracted me to it was the fact that it was a sports romance with ice skaters. Along with the fantastic hate-to-love trope, I really adored how hard Jasmine works. There are also a lot of parallels between this book and The Hating Game, so if you loved The Hating Game, you should definitely pick up this one.

Goodreads
Review

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

This was the first Mariana Zapata book I ever read, and it may still be my favorite. This isn’t exactly a traditional enemies to lovers. These two begin in an employer/employee relationship and end up having a fall out. I think my favorite thing about this novel is Aiden. I love his fierce dedication to his passion. I like that he is quiet and severe without necessarily being broody.

Goodreads
Review

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Again this one doesn’t begin with the couple starting out as enemies, but very quickly into the story they do not get along. It’s actually an interesting premise since the main character has actually idolized the hero in this book growing up. He is a retired professional soccer player and she is a current soccer player. He gets recruited as her assistant coach and things go down from there. Again, I love how badass Sal is and I so appreciate how this book addresses the significant lifestyles and pay difference between women in sports and men.

Goodreads
Review

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This is my most recent enemies-to-lovers read and I was so pleasantly surprised by it. I really like Christina Lauren and will read almost anything they write, but it’s only once in a while that they hit it out of the park for me. This book had me laughing out loud with the banter and one-liners. It was such a fun reading experience.

Goodreads

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This book has been extremely popular this year and not just because it’s such a sweet enemies-to-lovers romance. I think everyone appreciates the political escapism this book provides… and the humor is on point. The writing style took a little while for me to get into, but once I did, I really loved this book. This was my vote for the Goodreads Choice Romance category!

Goodreads

Captain (Morgan Brothers #2) by Lauren Rowe

This book actually begins with an instalove, but don’t run away just yet. No one pulls off instalove better than Lauren Rowe. She has the ability to created palpable chemistry between two characters. These characters soon have a falling out and the tension is high. If you’ve never read a Lauren Rowe book, I highly recommend her!

Goodreads
Review

Amour, Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista and Becca Ricci

This book took me completely by surprise. I loved the setting of a cirque de soleil type troop. The super-talented, somewhat arrogant hero who seems unbreakable is always fun to read about – particularly when you throw in a character who is absolutely going to break through the prickly exterior.

Goodreads
Review

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

I think my favorite part of this book had to be the fact that it takes place during a renaissance fair. In this book you have the hero who takes his job very seriously and the heroine who would just assume not be involved at all. It creates a very tension-filled dynamic with lots of potential.

Goodreads

Beautifully Written Books

I’m a sucker for gorgeous writing. I adore it when a book is so beautifully written that I have to stop and take a breath before reading on.

I totally understand that some people absolutely hate flowery prose. I am not one of those people.

And writing doesn’t necessarily have to be flowery to be beautiful to me. Sometimes certain authors have such an incredible ability to describe a thought or feeling in a succinct and unique, yet relatable way that you know exactly what they mean without three paragraphs of description.

Give me all of those books. And all of that talent.

Here are some of my favorite examples of beautifully written books:

 

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The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

“Remember how it was when we kissed? Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us. A rope dropping down from the sky. How can the word love and the word life even fit in the mouth?”

“Remember how it was when we kissed? Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us. A rope dropping down from the sky. How can the word love and the word life even fit in the mouth?”

 

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How to Kill a Rockstar and God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

“Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.”

“Fate is just another word for people’s choices coming to a head. Destiny, coincidence, whatever you name it. It inevitably lies in our hands.”

“I know that if I ever have the audacity to blame fate or God for holding a gun to my temple, I also have the wherewithal to remind myself that if I end up with a hole in my head, I was the one who pulled the trigger.”

“Has the industry done to music what McDonald’s has done to eating?”

“Just knowing you exist changed the world for me.”

“I like to say I don’t believe in mystics . I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in destiny or kismet. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in anything. But I believe in the possibility of everything.”

“Real annihilation happens from the inside out.”

 

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The Nature of Jade by Deb Calletti

“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn’t have something in the first place. I guess that’s what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”

“They say religion is about love, but you wonder how much of it really is about fear.

“Stereotypes are fast and easy, but they are lies, and the truth takes its time.”

 

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Darkly Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe

When gravity makes itself known, we’re powerless to stop the collision. Knowing you’re being drawn into a black hole does little to prevent the inevitable.

When I look into his eyes, I see myself. Not a reflection of the woman—but the hollow echo of my blood-stained soul.

She is my salvation. And I am her long-awaited consequence.

 

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Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

“Time passes by you like a bullet,” he says, “and fear gives you the excuses you’re craving to not do the things you know you should. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t second-guess, don’t let fear hold you back, don’t be lazy, and don’t base your decisions on how happy it will make others. Just go for it, okay?”

“A ship at harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”

“We don’t need food to survive this life as much as we need our hearts broken at least once. But the best part is, the first break is always the worst. It’ll never feel this bad.”

 

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Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”

“Gold shimmered no matter what, but few people could make darkness glitter the way he did.”

“He smelled of magic and heartbreak, and something about the combination made her think that despite what he claimed, he wanted to be her hero.”

 

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American Queen by Sierra Simone

“Jealousy is a word with too many meanings. It’s a TARDIS of a word, bigger on the inside, a small, mean thing on the surface, but a complicated dance of emotions and negotiations within. I’m suffering with every single meaning of the word jealous.”

“Sometimes the forbidden fruit is just too sweet not to bite.”

“I saw that you can be hurt—mortally wounded, in fact—and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. Sometimes the world is just cruel that way, and it wasn’t fair to grudge them their happiness even as it tore down my own.”

 

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

“Failure isn’t absolute, just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”

 

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

 

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“Another secret of the universe: Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.”

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”

“But love was always something heavy for me. Something I had to carry.”

 

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Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

“People are so complex. They want to hear the truth, but they want you to lie to them.”

“Life. It’s a funny thing. Some want it, some throw it away. Some cling, some have it stolen from them. It’s terrifying… which is maybe why I was drawn to Fear in the first place.”

“But her story isn’t finished, and for once she’s picked up a pen.”

Favorite Books with Unique Love Stories

When you read as many romance novels as I do, love stories tend to get a bit repetitive. So, it’s refreshing when I come across a story that has a particularly unique romance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love many of the common tropes, but it’s always nice to come across something just a little bit different.

Here are some of my favorite 5 star books with unique romances

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Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother, the powerful head of a Broadway theater company, has no time for her. She does have one friend-a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael-but only she can see him.

Years later, Jane is in her thirties and just as alone as ever. Then she meets Michael again-as handsome, smart and perfect as she remembers him to be. But not even Michael knows the reason they’ve really been reunited.

SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S is a love story with an irresistible twist, a novel about the child inside all of us-and the boundary-crossing power of love.

♥ ♥ ♥

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My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has “the memory”, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he’s previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel’s unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

♥ ♥ ♥

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The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.

When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.

The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.

The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Darkly, Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe

Born, Darkly

He challenged her sanity.

She shattered his reality.

They dared each other…to the brink of madness.

A dark and twisted maze awaits criminal psychologist London Noble when she falls for her patient, convicted serial killer, Grayson Pierce Sullivan. As she unravels the traps, her sanity tested with each game, she’s forced to acknowledge the true evil in the world around her.

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Duet: a performance by two.

But who is acting, and who is devolving?

A buried past is unearthed, and Grayson Sullivan—AKA The Angel of Maine—retaliates against the system who made him, deploying psychological warfare on the woman who initially set him free. Dr. London Noble probes deep into the mind of the killer she’s fallen for, searching for answers, as a copycat killer threatens their unity. Are they partners, lovers, or enemies? One final trap will reveal all.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

In this moving story two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

♥ ♥ ♥

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Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

♥ ♥ ♥

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan *New All-Time Favorite Romance*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

GOODREADS

Review

I was blindsided by this novel.

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My Favorite Creepy Romance Novels for Halloween

Happy Almost-Halloween, friends!

Even though I’m past the years of planning out elaborate costumes with my friends, Halloween is still a fun holiday for me. It’s filled with all of those memories, and now I get to see my little ones’ excitement.

As far as Halloween-inspired books, however, I have to say I’m lacking quite a bit in that area. I definitely want to try out more thrillers and horror novels, but it’s a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to start.

I do know a few novels that have pretty great romances that are also pretty creepy, so I thought I’d make a short list for you here.

Some of these books are meant to be creepy, others just have an eery vibe.

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Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions… she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

♥ ♥ ♥

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A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel #1) by Sierra Simone

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
***
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…

***A Lesson in Thorns is the first of four books in the Thornchapel series.***

♥ ♥ ♥

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Never, Never series by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.

Complete strangers since this morning.

He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat… and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

♥ ♥ ♥

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With Visions of Red
(With Visions of Red: Broken Bonds #1-3)
by Trisha Wolfe

Passion and lust ignite. Dark and light battle. This explosive first installment of the Broken Bonds series sets the exhilarating pace for a cat and mouse game where no one knows who’s really pulling the strings.

Criminal profiler Sadie Bonds knows blood. Her affair with the gruesome, dark world of killers began long before she started applying her analytical skills to investigate gory crime scenes. She gets inside the killers’ heads, breaks them down, relates to them on an arcane level. She prefers it this way—because it’s safer to ally herself with the villain than the victim. At least, that’s how she’s coped ever since she was abducted and tortured as a teen.

She will never be a victim again.

Now, she’s honed her skills in order to bring justice to these ritualistic offenders. Working alongside her colleagues, armed with sharp wit and a SIG, Sadie always catches her sadist. Until one ruthless serial killer gets inside Sadie’s head, turning the tables. He knows her secrets. Her obsessions. The darkest, most deviant part of her soul.

When she meets Colton Reed, dangerous stakes are raised as he threatens to unravel her control and reveal her darkest fantasies. The sexy-as-sin bondage rigger at an exclusive BDSM club pushes her boundaries, forcing her to acknowledge that side of herself she fears. Plunged into a realm of torture and suffering, pain and pleasure, Sadie balances on the razor-sharp edge of two intersecting worlds threatening to swallow her.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Born, Darkly (Darkly, Madly Duet #1) by Trisha Wolfe

He challenged her sanity.

She shattered his reality.

They dared each other…to the brink of madness.

A dark and twisted maze awaits criminal psychologist London Noble when she falls for her patient, convicted serial killer, Grayson Pierce Sullivan. As she unravels the traps, her sanity tested with each game, she’s forced to acknowledge the true evil in the world around her.

♥ ♥ ♥