Book Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!
Check out my review for The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)!

Goodreads: The Darkest Temptation (Made #3)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 10 December 2020
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia. Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

TL;DR: This third book in the Made series was definitely the darkest of them all. While I did get on board with the romance and loved their connection, there were things that happened which made me pretty uncomfortable and situations do get dicey—it is a mafia romance though so you should expect it! Mila and Ronan were sunshine and killer grump opposites attract enemies-to-lovers and it was intense, and once again, the sexual tension slays!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori”

Book Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!

Goodreads: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 13 April 2019
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time. Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes. All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.
His maddest obsession.

TL;DR: I’m a big fan of this series and this book was even better than the first but it is also much darker as our H/H have experienced a lot of trauma and abuse in their childhood. Gianna and Christian have scorchingly hot chemistry and a playfully antagonistic relationship full of sexual tension and banter and they’re one of my new favourite couples!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori”

Book Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Goodreads: The Simple Wild
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 07 August 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.


Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

If you’re like a sweet enemies-to-lovers romance, with a bit of family drama & a few ‘finding yourself & learning about forgiveness’ moments, all set in a beautiful Alaska, then this is for you!

The Simple Wild was a heartwarming, beautifully romantic story set in the Alaskan wild. I don’t know what it is about me and Alaska, but I’ve been low key obsessed with (the idea of) it since I read a book set there a few years ago. Yes, some books romanticize it, and to an extent this was one, but I’m not blinded to the harsh reality Alaskan life. BUT I DIGRESS! I just wanted to say that this book made me fall even more in love with the simple, terrifying, harsh and beautiful place that is Alaska.

What can I say about The Simple Wild other than I loved it?! I’ve already shared how much I love the setting, but the characters and their stories also quickly grew on me. I’ll admit that I wasn’t Calla’s biggest fan at the start. She was a spoiled and entitled millennial who thought life didn’t exist without the internet, and who wouldn’t stop spouting about how expensive everything in her luggage was. It became eye-roll inducing at one point. That said, her character growth was so satisfying to witness! It wasn’t exactly a quick adjustment, but I loved that she slowly let her city girl go, and slowly found her place in the close-knit community in Bangor. If there’s one thing I learned from reading stories set in Alaska, it’s that community and the support you get from it, is a big part of surviving up there. It was great to see her finally realize that it is possible to survive without a full face of makeup and access to internet 24/7. I also enjoyed how her relationship with Wren, her father, also grew and healed. Calla felt a lot of resentment, insecurity and abandonment issues because of his decision to stay in Alaska and her childhood without him, but it was so heartwarming to see both of them let their guards down and be open with each other about their feelings. I’m so glad that they were able to build up their relationship and form a touching father-daughter bond, despite many years of not talking or seeing each other. Wren and Calla’s mother’s story was so bittersweet and heartbreaking.

Then we come to the love interest. Jonah was your typical grumpy mountain man, full with Yeti-styled fashion, with the biggest, warmest heart underneath! He was an absolute cinnamon roll and everyone who told me that I’d love him was SPOT ON! Damn those sky cowboys and their ability to steal your heart! I LOVED the relationship between Calla and Jonah! It was sweet and their progression from enemies-to-lovers was just SO GOOD. The build up was well-paced and wholly satisfying. I loved that Jonah wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is, no matter how difficult it was for Calla to hear. He had zero issues putting her in her place, especially at the start, but I liked that he was also able to admit to his faults if he did wrong. Their banter was hilarious and when she did *that thing* in revenge, I was breathless with laughter; especially because it also resulted in a great ice-breaking moment between Calla and Wren! On the heat scale, I would say this book is on a 2-3 out of 5. There was one mildly explicit sex scene, with other shorter steamier moments, but not much.

“Up here it’s about having enough food to eat, and enough heat to stay alive through the winter. It’s about survival, and enjoying the company of the people that surround us. It’s not about whose house is the biggest, or who has the nicest clothes, or the most money. We support each other because we’re all in this together. And people either like that way of life or they don’t…” 

The reason why I took off half a star was because I felt the end was wrapped up so quickly! It obviously wasn’t an unpredictable story or ending, but I still wish that it was a little less abrupt. I also wished that we got to see Calla interact more with the Alaskan natives because of how big a role they play in certain characters’ (Jonah and Wren) love and respect for Alaska and those who live there! Overall, I really enjoyed this read. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one (long) night! It was my first Tucker read but it won’t be my last and I’m keen to check out more of what she’s written.

Have you read The Simple Wild? Do you have a thing for Alaska too? 😂 Leave me a comment below and let’s chat!