The Initiation (Filthy Rich Americans #1) by Nikki Sloane *FAVORITE*


Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Title: The Initiation

Author: Nikki Sloane

Series: Filthy Rich Americans #1

Format: Physical Book Received in Hello Lovely Box


♡ Obsessive love interest
♡ Love triangle
♡ Reality TV show level drama
♡ Taboo
♡ Bingeable
♡ Surprising


I feel as though I was not appropriately warned about this book. First, for how intense it is and, second, for how I would be forced to ignore my entire readathon TBR to read the ENTIRE REST OF THE SERIES.

I RARELY binge series anymore. I have so many books that I want to read, and binging series is time consuming, especially in the middle of a readathon, however… I was given no choice.

This book and certainly this entire series is absolutely 100% NOT FOR EVERYONE. It’s extremely taboo, there are toxic people and toxic relationships, but man, can Nikki Sloane pull it off.

There are some books that have extremely realistic settings with realistic characters and everyday relationships that I have absolutely no buy-in with… then there are books like this that are so over-the-top and crazy that I’m completely invested in. I can’t put my finger on what exactly the difference is, other than the storytelling.

Nikki Sloane made me love so many things that I normally roll my eyes at in books: entitled and over-privileged stupid rich characters, American royalty, super alpha heroes, toxic relationships, and so much drama… Normally these are all reasons for me to skip a book entire, but instead I couldn’t stop reading them.

There were so many moments in all of these books where I had to stop and question myself. Why am I OK with this? Why can’t I stop reading? And it wasn’t in the way I read After, where it was an absolutely dumpster fire, but I had to know what would happen… I couldn’t stop reading this series because I actually liked all these extremely problematic and flawed characters. I was invested in these relationships and what was going to happen to them.

I just… there are no words.

And let me just say… the moment I found out what the “initiation” actually was AND the fact that I was OK with it… definitely had me questioning my own morals.

Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
Dubious consent, Nonconsent, taboo, bullying, cult, cheating, toxic relationship, misogyny, sexual assault

Audiobook Performance: 5 stars


Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars


Re-read Worthiness: Absolutely

Bookshelf Placement: Already there!

Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars





Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle


Overall Rating: 3 Stars

Title: Before I Ever Met You

Author: Karina Halle

Format: Physical Book


♡ Age Gap Romance⁣
♡ Forbidden Romance “Lite”⁣
♡ Father’s Coworker/Friend⁣
♡ Sunshine hero⁣


I’ve absolutely loved some books by Karina Halle (The Forbidden Man and Love in English), I’ve felt indifferent about some (The Pact), and I DNF’d one (Darkhouse), so I wasn’t sure where I would land with this one.⁣

To be completely honest, I don’t remember much about this book, but from the notes I took while reading it, I really liked it LOL!⁣

The book opens with the hero in a crappy marriage. His wife has just told him that she’s pregnant – something that was entirely unexpected because he had a vasectomy, however, he’s still excited. He’d gotten the procedure for her, even though he wasn’t sure about it. It turns out, though, that it isn’t his baby. (This isn’t a spoiler, it happens in the very beginning of the book.)⁣

Fast forward several years, he’s divorced and doing fine. You’d expect him to be this grumpy hero, but he’s actually the opposite. The heroine, who is several years younger than him has left a terrible relationship and is now a single mom. She moves in with her parents and gets a job at her father’s work as his partner’s assistant. The hero is her father’s partner. ⁣

I love, love, loved how protective of her she was without being overbearing and the fact that his nickname for her was “Dream Girl” is SO swoony. ⁣

Aside from being slightly forgettable, though, I didn’t understand her father’s character AT ALL. Her relationship with him and how he handles their relationship was just weird and inconsistent. Also, there is a trope that I was absolutely expecting in this and was SO disappointed when it happened. Ugh.⁣

Anyway, overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I had to take away an extra star because of the ending. If you’re going to read Karina Halle, I’d still recommend The Forbidden Man or Love in English.

Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
Surprise baby, talk of past abuse/toxic relationship, pregnancy

Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars


Re-read Worthiness: Nah

Bookshelf Placement: Already there

Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars