Review of The Little Black Dress by Piper James

Never underestimate the power of a little black dress. Especially one as lucky as mine.

Every time I’ve worn my favorite black dress, something good has happened. I’ve talked my way out of speeding tickets––and into a date with the cute cop––and I’ve found money on the ground, won cool prizes on the Las Vegas strip, and even got a cushy job with an even cushier paycheck.

It’s my lucky dress, and in it, I can’t lose.

Until I did.

Thanks to an enthusiastic bidder at an art auction, the dress failed me when I needed it most. I disappointed my boss and got fired, even though it wasn’t my fault. It was his. The man who writes thirty-five million dollar checks for ugly, ridiculous paintings.

Now, I’m unemployed, broke, and incredibly close to losing the life I’ve built for myself. When I score a job as an assistant to a billionaire casino owner, I’m over-the-moon happy. Hoping there’s still some luck left in my little black dress, I wear it on my first day to meet my new boss…

Jared Hart. Owner and operator of The Black Hart Casino.

And the insufferable, grumpy, gorgeous jerk who got me fired in the first place.

I want to tell him to take his job and shove it, but I need the money. Plus, being his assistant might give me an opportunity to exact a little payback.

Game on, sir.

Oh, and I’m setting that dress on fire the first chance I get. Its luck has obviously run out.

The Little Black Dress is a steamy romantic comedy with enemies who turn into lovers, lots of laughs, stellar friendships, and it brings all the heat. You might want to keep a fan nearby while you’re reading.

This book was absolute perfection. The characters were well fleshed out, and it flowed very well. There was never a point where I wanted to set the book down. It was an amazing grumpy/sunshine enemies to lovers style book and I highly recommend it. It had a very slow build up but it was done right; the tension was there, the stakes clearly outlined. Seeing these two get to now each other and find if there is something more than meets the eye was a treat. Highly recommend!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Copper & Ink by Mindy Michele

A weekend camping trip with friends unveils their attraction. What will one week expose?

Brynn Harris lives an idyllic life until love deals her a wicked hand. Crushed, she returns to Seaside Pointe and barricades her heart. The plan works well for two years until a weekend spent around her brother’s former college roommate sparks a complicated attraction.

The tattooed and pierced Hayden Fox is nothing like the men from Brynn’s past, but their differences don’t lessen their chemistry, especially when Hayden spends one week in Seaside helping Chloe Lockwood on her flower farm.

Hayden has no plans for a happily ever after he doesn’t think he deserves, but when the tempting redhead shows up for a dinner among friends, desire wages a battle. Soon, the lines between physical and emotional blur. With relationships on the line, Hayden and Brynn must reconcile their damaged pasts. Pasts not yet finished with them.

This is the second installment in a four-book series. While the romance stands alone, the plot is a continuation of events that occurred in book 1: Blossoms & Steel. It is recommended you read the series in order.

I did like this book. We had characters that weren’t perfect, and were flawed, and had to work through their past trauma to try to find something for the future. I quite enjoyed getting to know Brynn, and I didn’t expect everything that happened to her especially towards the end. The same goes for Hayden, learning of his past, his life, and why he is how he is. The intimacy was well written and on the border of PG13; nothing too explicitly stated or detailed. That being said, the connection and heat was certainly still there. I do wish there had been more at the end– and perhaps there would be more mentioned offhand if you continued to read the series.

This read brought to you by BookswithSierra on TikTok.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of The Cowboy’s Forbidden Crush by Deborah Garland

Don’t tempt a cowboy if you’re not prepared to go for a ride.

Meet Dr. Walker Rhodes, DVM. He has rules about sleeping with his students. He doesn’t go there. But when Emmaline Phillips waltzes into his class, all bets are off.

Emma is smart and beautiful and those haunting caramel eyes will be my undoing. I’m watching her every move while I wait to make her mine. The way she looks at me tells me: She’s mine.

With graduation just days away, I’ll get her in my bed and keep her there until she leaves this small Texas town to chase her dreams in the Kentucky Bluegrass. She’s got plans that don’t include me.

And I’m not looking for anything long-term. I don’t do relationships.

I just need enough time with Emma to satisfy us both and get her out of my head.

Only, when she shows up on my ranch with tight jeans, boots and ready to work as my intern, I’m ready to lose it. Emma Phillips will be my downfall.

There’s only so much a cowboy can take…

This book was amazing. Yes, there is an age gap, but not in a weird or creepy way like some books/situations tend to be. Emma is about to graduate vet school and she definitely sees something in Rhodes. While there are some uncertainties with both of them set for different things in life, the way they came together and found themselves changing, for the better, from working together and having a deeper understanding of the way they each are, was great to see. There are twists and turns and the ending leaves you wishing for something a bit more concrete, yet knowing that they will likely feature in the rest of the books in the series. One of the things that I, as a horse owner, personally appreciated was that they Garland didn’t make the profession out to be easy, and did show that being a large animal vet with horses, which are prey animals, means dealing with unpredictability and dangerous situations sometimes. I found it quite realistic, and it was a very enjoyable, quick read.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Bride to the Fiend Prince: A Dark Rulers Romance by Rebecca F. Kenney

Bride to the Fiend Prince: A Dark Rulers Romance (Standalone) by [Rebecca F. Kenney]

When her father surrenders to an invading kingdom, Amarylla doesn’t realize she’s part of the treaty until it’s too late. Drugged to prevent resistance, she’s swept away to the dark, tortured kingdom of Terelaus, where she is forced to marry the Fiend Prince. When Amarylla holds a dagger to his throat on their wedding night, she and the Prince come to a tenuous arrangement of their own. But he may not be the greatest danger lurking in the Cursed Palace.

This book. I grabbed it because I saw a Tiktok about Captive of the Pirate King and it wasn’t available for a few days! This book looked equally interesting and honestly I am so glad I read this first! I absolutely loved this book, finding Amarylla to be a damsel, who isn’t in distress, and can definitely handle herself. While she might have been betrayed previously, she didn’t let her previous preconceived notions about people and why they did things stop her from becoming compassionate and working for what is right. She’s a great heroine and I loved all of the tension (especially the dancing!!) and the spice between her and her Fiend Prince.

Update: I forgot to add that I also loved how this book made the heroine face mortality.

“He’s going to die.”
“As we all are,” said Onwe, “And those closer to the grave deserve love just as much as those with years of life left ahead of them.”

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Hate Notes by [Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward]

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end…

This book was full of tons of twists and turns that I never really knew what was going to happen. The characterization was well done, and while we focused predominately on Reed and Charlotte, we also had a couple of great little side characters thrown in as well. I hadn’t been sure I wanted to read something else after finishing the latest Beauty and the Beast trilogy I found myself deeply embedded in, but I am so glad I randomly picked this amongst all the books I had stowed away.

There was something humourous yet so touching and personal about this; from how people’s perspectives can change based on some heavy life events and how some people take the advice of those older and wiser and manage to continue on. Charlotte has such a wonderful happy disposition, and while she falls apart, she finds how to put herself back together and pushes for more. Reed, on the other hand, is so cynical and pessimistic that I cannot help but think that everyone has had some point where we allowed life to drag too heavily on us and needed to have that breath of fresh air to remind us that we’re truly alive. While I wasn’t sure that Reed would forgive how they met, I found that this book and the characters within reminded me of exactly how important living in the moment is, and how sweet life can be.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert

Merry Inkmas by [Talia Hibbert]

Cash Evans knows exactly what he wants for Christmas. Too bad he can’t have her.

The infamous tattoo artist’s been watching geeky Bailey Cooper for months, but that’s all he’ll ever do: watch. Bailey’s too sweet, too smart, too good for the likes of him, and he knows it. So Cash keeps his distance… until a Christmas miracle makes him Bailey’s boss.

Socially awkward Bailey learned long ago that men just aren’t worth the hassle. Take her new boss, Cash: he’s a brooding beast who avoids her like the plague, but he also fixes her plumbing, helps the homeless, and offers Bailey a place to stay for Christmas.

She’s never met anyone so confusing—or so impossible to resist. And the more Bailey learns about Cash and his demons, the more she thinks it’s time to stop fighting.

Warning: this 50,000-word holiday romance features an alphamellow bad boy hero, a strong, geeky heroine, a naughty office flirtation, and a guaranteed happily-ever-after. There’s no cheating and no cliff-hanger. Enjoy!

This is the perfect amount of cute and sweet and complicated and just perfect in so so so many ways. There are some hot scenes in there but the relationships and depth of both characters Bailey and Cash and how they have to work together to overcome past trauma really made this book a hit. While the beginning tension did play a huge part in how awesome this book is seeing how different people react to tragedy and work to rebuild their lives, and use their talents, was great. Moving past the mental blocks put in place by what we see and experience from others in the past can be hard but oh so rewarding. The chemistry was perfect. The personalities were perfect. I loved this novel! I was left with only one question at the end… did Bailey end up with any more ink?

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Villain: A Billionaire Romance by L. J. Shen

The Villain: A Billionaire Romance by [L.J.  Shen]

Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.
Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.
To the media, he is The Villain.
To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.
Now I need him to do me another, small solid.
Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.
What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?
Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors.
The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.
Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy.
To play, to mold, to break.
Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.
Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.
He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.
He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest.

There were times that I thought there was a bit too much repetition of Hades and Persephone, but honestly, this story was sweeter than a pomegranate. This story was perfectly woven together, with lots of delicious details and backstory of how we got to where we start with Persephone and Cillian. There is so much more than a love story involved; a development of deeper self, of one’s self worth, compromise, and so much growth. You’ll be rooting for this couple to somehow do the impossible.

Lots of modern pop references were used well, and it gave a great stream of consciousness as well as making it more relatable, and honestly, most were pretty amusing as well. Many of the quips Cillian makes are smart but also well deserved. While quite long, I found this book hard to put down. The game constantly changed and while the stakes kept changing, there was always something to root for.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Demon King by Elizabeth Briggs

Demon King (Claimed By Lucifer Book 1) by [Elizabeth Briggs]

I made a deal with the devil. Now he’s claimed me as his mate.

When my best friend goes missing in Las Vegas, there’s only one man I can turn to for help.

Lucas Ifer. Billionaire playboy. CEO of Abaddon Inc. King of Sin City. And…the devil himself?

Lucas—aka Lucifer—agrees to help me, but in exchange he wants one thing: me.

He’s dark, dangerous, and wickedly handsome. Oh, and evil incarnate. I should say no, but I can’t. I’m that desperate.

But when you make a deal with the devil, there’s no escaping it. Now he owns my body for seven nights of sin. Even worse, he owns my soul for all eternity.

I’m Persephone being claimed by Hades, and I have no choice but to enter his underworld and become his dark queen.

Is there any light left in that black heart? Or will his darkness consume me?

I quite enjoyed this book. Most of the twists weren’t things that I expected, so it was interesting to see how things developed. Several twists I figured out just before they were mentioned, though sometimes things became confusing regarding the past and present. While the book itself was enjoyable, the characters did seem quite familiar, and while Hannah is no Chloe, there is an obvious draw in characterization, including description of characters, from the television show Lucifer. That being said I still quite enjoyed this book, and you don’t have to have watched the television show to get into it.

Star Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Royal Beast: A Dark Fairy Tale Romance by Nikki Chase

Star Rating: 
Genre: Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 289

Date Started: December 24, 2017
Date Finished: December 24, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)

Life’s not a fairy tale, and princes don’t fall for bookish virgins like me.


I didn’t know about the secret palace in the woods. Not until I held a stolen rose from its gardens.

A tall, dark, and mysterious man lives within the palace. He’s known across the kingdom as the royal beast. They say he’s a monster.

He also happens to be the crown prince.

As punishment for my crime, the prince orders me to spend one month as his prisoner.

But instead of throwing me into the dungeon, he whisks me into his bedchamber. The arrogant bastard says he’ll make me beg to give up my virginity.

I tell him there’s no way in hell that’s happening, of course.

He’s the freaking crown prince, and I’m just a girl from a provincial town in the middle of nowhere. We don’t belong together. That’s obvious.

But somehow he knows about my dark, secret desires. All he has to do is speak in that low, dominant voice, and I melt into a submissive puddle. Despite my reservations, I find myself wanting to surrender my virgin body to the prince—and my heart, too.

I really should stay away. But being punished has never felt so good.

I wasn’t certain I was going to like this novel when I began. The opening was brash, and I think it would have been much better to keep that bit where it belonged in the time line, versus having it being so jolting at the beginning with no idea what’s going on. Because of the opening, I was quite jarred by the language, and it took a few pages for me to figure out the time period they were supposed to be in– something that could have been a gradual understanding if the book hadn’t had the prologue.

Once I was situated in the story, I found myself quite intrigued. The Royal Beast isn’t your typical beast, and his story isn’t just that of him being cursed. Both the beast and Rosemary have a nice depth and I enjoyed the way their other interests played into the story. This book was definitely a romance novel, full of a decent amount of D/s style elements.

If you’re looking for some hardcore romance with a hint of a fairy tale, you’d likely enjoy this book.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Nikki Chase is a best-selling author of contemporary romance that features bad-boy heroes and kick-*ss heroines. She derives some kind of sick pleasure from putting her characters in impossible situations where they have to struggle to find their happily ever afters.