FAV READS OF 2017! *warning: this is a short list*


As I was drafting my annual ‘FAV reads of the year’ post, I realized there’s like only 9 books on this list, guys. In one whole year, I only really enjoyed 9 books and I read somewhere around 80. (I’m counting series as 1, and last year I had like over 20 on my favs list).

Here’s to 2018 being a better reading year and the books that actually made my favs list!:

✸Damaged Like Us (http://amzn.to/2BR0aRL) and
Lovers Like Us (http://amzn.to/2AQAZl1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

✸Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie http://amzn.to/2BrgX1m

✸The Becoming Of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin http://amzn.to/2kMOxb1

✸Flow (http://amzn.to/2Bn1NKR), Grip (http://amzn.to/2A6oBtW), & Still (http://amzn.to/2iK3yGg) by Kennedy Ryan

✸Ghosted by JM Darhower http://amzn.to/2iI3OFO

✸Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios http://amzn.to/2kMAsuh

✸The Queen and The Cure by Amy Harmon http://amzn.to/2AHCcZM

✸Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat http://amzn.to/2B5xBTW

…..and that’s it! 😆What were your top reads this year??


*for a list/buy links of my ALL TIME FAVS and most recommended books, visit here!*

 ❤ Below are some of the graphics I made for my fav reads this year ❤


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5 HUGE Stars for Ghosted by JM Darhower


Ghosted by JM Darhower – 5 Stars!


I know I say this with every books of hers, but really, this book was so fantastic! Perfection. Emotional and heartbreaking but SOOO sweet at the same time.

Ghosted tells the story of Jonathan Cunningham (aka Johnny Cunning) and Kennedy Garfield. They meet at the prestigious high school they’re both enrolled in. Kennedy just wants to get good grades and make something of herself. Johnny couldn’t care less about academics. He’s a gifted actor with stars in his eyes and dreams of leaving his life behind to act.

They meet. They flirt. They fall in love. They both leave school to move to Hollywood to chase Johnny’s dream of becoming an actor. But somewhere along the way, Johnathan lets the pressure and Hollywood life ruin the one good relationship he has and Kennedy fears she’s loosing herself too.

“You don’t know this, but that woman? Even as she smiles, she’s utterly terrified. Your love is more than enough for her, but she feels pieces of it slipping away. Something inside of her is disintegrating. Her dream. She’s losing it. She came here with you, not quite realizing what you were going through. You felt invisible, and you were desperate for an audience, but where does that leave your love? Because the more people who see you, it seems, the less you see her.”

He drinks. He does drugs. Kennedy leaves. And she’s pregnant.

Years go by, and after becoming a HUGE star and FINALLY getting clean, Johnny wants to be back in Kennedy’s life and meet the daughter he’s never even seen. Kennedy is of course reluctant and still angry, but little by little she lets Johnathan back in her life and their daughter’s, Maddie.

“I’m playing with fire, like I don’t remember how much it hurts to get burned, but from here, where I’m standing, all I can seem to feel is the warmth.”

I nod, looking down at my hands. “I wasn’t accusing you of cheating. I just wanted to know how long it took you to move on.”
“Oh, well, that’s an easy one,” he says. “It hasn’t happened.”


Besides the beautiful, perfectly done, slow burn rekindling of Johnathan and Kennedy’s love:

“I hate you. That’s it. There’s nothing else to say. I hate everything about you. Your voice, your face… I hate it. Why aren’t you going away?”
“Because I can’t,” I tell her, “and I’m pretty sure you don’t really want me to.”
She scoffs. “You’re upset,” I say, “but you’re lying to yourself if you think you want me gone.”
“I do.”
“You don’t.”
“Go away.”
“I’m not.” As soon as that last word leaves my lips, she’s on me, slamming into me, her lips pressing against mine. She’s kissing me, and I’m so fucking stunned that it takes me a moment to react, a moment to consider kissing her back. She moans and wraps her arms around my neck, clinging to me damn near aggressively as she kicks the door closed.

..the relationship Johnathan builds with his daughter was such a freaking treat to read. Maddie honestly stole the show. Every. single. time. they had a scene together I had tears in my eyes. And anytime this child opened her mouth, I was either laughing or clutching at my heart.

“Next time,” she says, just like that, no question about it.
“Next time,” I say.
“And soda, too,” she says.
“No soda,” Kennedy chimes in.
Madison glances at her mother before leaning even closer, damn near right up on me, whisper-shouting, “Soda.”
“I’m not so sure your mom will like that,” I say.
“It’s okay,” Madison says. “She tells Grandpa no soda, too, but he lets me have it.”
“That’s because you emotionally blackmail him,” Kennedy says.
“Nuh-uh!” Madison says, looking at her mother. “I don’t blackmail him!”
Kennedy scoffs. “How do you know? You don’t even know what that means.”
“So?” Madison says. “I don’t mail him nothing!”

How freaking cute is this kid??

There’s SOOOOO many more quotes I’d love to share, but I really highlighted almost this entire book and I’ll just give everything away. And I don’t want to spoil JM’s beautiful words.

But ok ok, just one more:

“What could be lonelier than always being by yourself?
Worse is loving someone who disappears and never knowing if they’ll come back. Because how do you move on if you’re not even sure they’re gone? The answer is—you don’t. When you spend most of your life chasing ghosts, eventually, you become one.”

GOD, that ^ is just brilliant. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from this author. She also has this amazing ability to tie up endings in such a perfect way you’re never left wanting (Well. I’m lying. I’m always wanting more books from her. I want her to do nothing but sit in a closed room and write 24 hours a day so when I finish a book of hers I have a new one to read immediately after. But that’s besides the point.)

I’m pretty sure by now people know of my obsession with JM’s work. If anyone asks me for recommendations, her books are usually the first ones I say. And this book will be no different. HIGHLY recommended for ANYONE who enjoys romance and second chances.

Ghosted is out TODAY!!

Purchase Link:


Sempre by JM Darhower – my most favorite book of all the books!

I recently realized I never properly reviewed the first book to my most favorite series ever on the blog (I’m so ashamed) which I am currently re-reading. And with book one, Sempre, STILL being on sale (GET IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T!! Link below 🙂 ) I had to share my review for the first and best mob book I have read.


Sempre (Sempre #1) by JM Darhower – 5 HUGE TESORO STARS


Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”

I mean, am I supposed to just go on after reading this thing?!

I know there are many reviews that explain the plot in detail, so I won’t go into it, but I just desperately needed to express my love for this story.

What perfect, emotional, heartbreaking, soul crushing, sweet, sad, incredible story. I literally had goose bumps the entire time, and was left with no fingernails after biting them all off from the suspense. This story is so insane and all the characters are so entwined I wouldn’t even know where to start to go into details about the story line even if I wanted to. And what is most amazing about it is the simple way it’s written. To me, it read so well each scene played out like a movie in my mind. If this was a movie, I would have watched it 7,356 times already.

“I love you.” The words tumbled from her lips easily, like they had rolled from her tongue hundreds of times. But they hadn’t. She had never said them before, but as she heard them in her own voice, every cell in her body knew they were true. She hadn’t known what love was, but she knew it now. Love was the fluttering in her tummy whenever Carmine was near, the twinkle in his eyes when he laughed, the heat in her body from his words. Love was happy. Love was safe. Love was green. Love was him—the beautifully flawed boy who made her glow.”

I will say this- Vincent- God at first I hated him and could not understand the man for the life of me. But as the story unfolded, I definitely understood and grew to love him. Especially at the end when he finally accepts the past and, well, you’ll have to see what happens…GODDDDDD SO SWEET.

Celia and Corrado are freaking amazing, Dominic is a sweet heart who I wished was my relative.

And the best for last – Carmine and Haven -SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I mean could a smart ass, impatient, foul-mouthed little rebel be any more amazing??! And Haven, oh sweet Haven. What a strong and sweet person she was. Their love was just epic.

“I have a problem with my temper. It’s just, I feel . . .” He hesitated, taking a deep breath. “Look, it’s not because I think you belong to me—it’s because I want you to be mine.”

This is easily one of the most incredible books I have ever read. Definitely in my top favorites of all time. *UPDATE* MOST DEFINITELY MY MOST FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME.

Now- I have wasted enough time writing this and wasted precious moments not reading Sempre: Redemption. I am off to meet with my sweet Carmine once again. I am so happy I was introduced to this story that made me fall in love and broke my heart all at the same time.


❤Sempre, Sempre Redemption, Friends & Forever (novella -which is FREE), and Made ❤

As I mentioned above, Book 1 is currently on SALE!

Feature Friday: #MonsterInHisEyes by JM Darhower


Today’s feature: Monster In His Eyes Series by JM Darhower:



“Tell me,” I whisper, running my tongue along the shell of her ear. “Tell me how you want it to be. Tell me what you need from me.”
I’ll give her anything.
I’ll tear my fucking chest open with my bare hands, rip out my heart and hand it to her, if that’s what she needs.
All she has to do is tell me.
All she has to do is ask.
She could bark out a million demands, and I would work myself to the death making them all happen, but instead she merely whispers, “I want you to love me.”
So I do.
I love her.


Tempted by the evil beside me, the original sin..my forbidden fruit. I took a bite of her on a whim and realized, despite what the world led me to believe, she wasn’t rotten to the core. He wants me to toss her aside, throw her away, let her decay into the ground where he thinks she’s meant to be, but I’m not sure anything else could sustain me.
I drank from the Holy Grail.
He’s not taking that away.


If those quotes alone don’t make you want to read this series, there is something wrong with you and we can’t be friends.


Not really.

If you haven’t read this amazing series by my favorite freaking author, READ THEM!

Head on over to my Facebook page, for a giveaway to win an eBook copy of book 1 – Monster In His Eyes!

Grievous (Scarlet Scars #2) by JM Darhower – PERFECTION!


Grievous (Scarlet Scars #2) by JM Darhower – 5 STARS!


If I thought I loved Lorenzo while reading Menace, nothing, and I MEAN NOTHING, could have prepared me for what I felt for him while reading this.

There really isn’t much I can say about Grievous without revealing major plot points from book 1 or spoiling everything from this book. But I can say Grievous picks up right where Menace leaves off.

I can say this book is filled with action, revenge, crazy twists and turns, and some scenes that were so emotional there was no way I wasn’t going to wind up sobbing on the floor like a child.

I can say Lorenzo is SO much more than he first appears. He’s emotional and thoughtful and passionate and even though he sometimes can’t find the right words to say, he’s perfect just the way he is.

“Whenever I close my eyes, I see her. Scarlet.
I see her smiling. I see her crying. I hear her laughter flowing through me, sending chills down my spine. The sound of her moaning creeps through my bloodstream, the face she makes in the throes of passion, the pulse that spurs it on. Whatever it is I’m feeling, I want it to stop. I want it to go away. I want to stop fucking seeing her every time I blink. I want to stop fucking thinking about her every time I pause to take a deep breath. She’s like an infection that’s settling into my chest. I would rip out my own organs if I thought it might purge her from my system.”


I can say Scarlet is hands down one of my all time favorite heroines.

And I can also say the ending was SO GODDAMN PERFECT I went back and read it 3 times.

For the love of everything good and holy, please tell me there will be more from them. Please JM? I’ll even buy you a Buster of your own. I need to read about them for the rest of time. I don’t want their story to end!!!!! I absolutely loved this story from start to finish.

“My wicked little belladonna, beautiful, deadly, so tempting to keep tasting but so goddman toxic every touch is just too much.”


This was the perfect mix of dark and sexy and surprisingly romantic. JM just has this way of storytelling that grabs you and doesn’t let go. She also creates the most unique characters you can’t help but love even though you know you shouldn’t. This woman never disappoints. I am itching and anxiously waiting for whatever comes next for her! She will forever be one of my top favorite authors.

Grievous is out February 6th!

LOVED Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by JM Darhower


Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by JM Darhower – 4.5 Stars


I, Steph, am in love with a gun wielding murdering sociopath named Lorenzo and I regret nothing. I want to have his psychotic babies even though he claims to not want children. I’ll make him change his mind. I will.

Not sure who Lorenzo is? I’ll remind you. For those who read the Monster In His Eyes trilogy (and if you haven’t don’t even talk to me you until you do – you need to get your life right), Lorenzo is a character from Target On Our Backs. He’s a little testy. A little crazy.

“Tell your boss he can suck my cock,” I say, shoving my chair back to stand up. “If he does a good enough job, maybe I won’t blow his fucking brains out for calling me a thief.”

And a whole lot of fun to read about.

Swinging the spatula, he smacks Leo in the head, the loud thwack echoing though the kitchen.

“Shit!” Leo winces, “What the hell was that for?”
“The table isn’t set,” Lorenzo says. “What are we, animals?”

…this coming from a man who shot someone in the face with zero hesitation for not listening to an order. Am I sick to love him? Maybe. But I don’t care.


When Menace starts, Lorenzo is basically running the crime scene in New York and bored of the every day crap he deals with. Enter Morgan / Scarlet. She’s fiery and feisty and brings some color into Lorenzo’s life. But she has one hell of a shitty past.

“I yearn to mean something.
Do you know what that’s like?
To know you’re poison but still be desperate for someone to sip from you anyway?”

Andddd that’s all you’ll get on the plot from me. Don’t won’t to spoil a single thing about this story.

Scarlet is a character who actually took me by surprise. I actually wasn’t expecting to like her all that much. But boy was I wrong. She was an incredible, resilient, tough girl and I LOVED her even more than I thought possible at the end.

And Lorenzo, well I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love him. He’s so much more than you think he will be. Him and Scarlet together were everything.

“His lips are the softest thing about him, warm and gentle, like a slice of heaven wrapped in hell, so worth battling the flames to feel his fire.”


You know what I love about JM’s stories? As soon as you think you know what’s happening or which way the story is going to go, she flips the switch and turns everything on its head and you’re left a little speechless.

And she also creates delicious murderous men who make me want to be a mob wife (but that’s besides the point).

The point is this story is another of hers that has topped my favorites list and book 2 Grievous (out in February) cannot come soon enough. I need MORE LORENZO IN MY LIFE!

Menace is out tomorrow!

COVER REVEAL! Menace (Scarlet Scars Book 1) by my FAV J.M. Darhower


I. Am. So. Excited. For. This. Book!!!!!!!!!!

If you don’t know by now, JM Darhower is my all time FAVORITE. This woman can do no wrong. She writes. I read. And I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!



(Scarlet Scars Book One)
Dark Romance
J.M. Darhower
Release Date: January 16th
Scarlet Scars is a two-book series.
GRIEVOUS (Scarlet Scars Book Two) will release February 6th.
***Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may

find disturbing*** <–HELL YES BTW!

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.
Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.
Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him—a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

About the Author
J.M.Darhower is the USA Today Bestselling Author of
paranormal/erotic/romantic suspense novels about the baddest bad boys and the
ladies who love them. Fangirl at heart, J.M. is obsessed with books, music, and
all things Marvel, especially the glorious Sebastian Stan. She spends her days
in a tiny town in North Carolina, churning out words and chasing down Pokémon.

*For those who may not know, the hero in Menace, Lorenzo, is a side character from Target On Our Backs (Monster In His Eyes #3). Menace can be read without reading Monster In His Eyes first, but I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading the trilogy. It remains one of my top favorites EVER!

Sweetest Sorrow by JM Darhower – my rambling review ❤


Sweetest Sorrow by JM Darhowe – 4.5 Stars


Well, shit.

There really isn’t anything I can say on the plot, because well, anyone who follows me knows I am not a fan of giving too much of any book away and it would spoil this book and especially the first, By Any Other Name. And if you haven’t read the first…..what the hell is wrong with you? Do you have any idea how much I loved that book? Do you have any idea how many times I had to re-read it just to get my fix of these characters while I not-so-patiently waited for this book to release? DO YOU??? Do you have any idea how many times I had to physically restrain myself from screaming while I read this No? Well let me tell you.


So. this is my review. This is all you’re getting from me. READ THIS FREAKING SERIES. Not enough yet? Ok, fine fine. Look what you’re missing:

Her back arched further, his free arm snaking beneath her, again pinning her hips in place against him as he slammed into her from behind.
“This what you wanted?”
“Oh God,” she gasped. “Yes.”
“Wrong,” he growled, a harsh edge to that word that made Gabriella shiver. “If you can still talk, I’m not fucking you hard enough.”

“The world tried to tear us apart in the worst way, but we didn’t let it, and I know I’ll never let it, because you are my world now. No matter what happens, I’ll always be here for you. I’d follow you to the end of the Earth and back again, if I had to, if you needed me to, I wouldn’t hesitate. I love you.”

“You’re practically aligned with the enemy now.”
“Practically? I was aligned with the enemy the moment I felt what it was like to be inside of you. There was no coming back from that.”
“What did it feel like? Being inside of me?”
He considered that. What did being inside of her feel like? Everything. It was Heaven. It was Hell. It was the most beautiful torture he’d ever felt.

DO YOU SEE?? All joking aside, I am utterly obsessed with these characters and and am IN LOVE with this story. I assume everyone knows of my undying love for JM’s writing already. The humor, the romance, the heartache, this book and series had everything and then some.


By Any Other Name by my FAV JM Darhower

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.


By Any Other Name (Forbidden #1)

*****5 thousand, million, billion, trillion stars*****


If you haven’t heard it before, I’ll say it again. Romeo & Juliet was probably the first story I ever fell in love with. So when my FAVORITE author wrote a story based on Romeo & Juliet about star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of a Mafia rivalry in New York, I knew my mind was about to be blown.

And blown, it was.

Matty and Genna belong to two rivaling mafia families, and after a chance encounter – just like Romeo and his beloved Juliet, they instantly have this connection and feel this pull toward one another. And in true JM fashion, CRAZY drama ensues with an ending that makes you want MORE.

I don’t know how she does it. I don’t know how JM Darhower creates these stories, these characters, that make you instantly fall in love and wish it were real life, and you were somehow apart of them. Maybe it’s Matty and Genna’s banter.

“Another?” she asked, picking up the water to take another sip, this one to soothe the sting in her chest. “You said one drink.”
A sly smile curved his lips. “I like to keep them coming.”
“Is that right?”
“Absolutely.” He stood, leaning across the table, his lips near her ear. “Maybe you’ll let me show you later.”

Maybe it’s the way Matty isn’t this overly abrupt sexual person, but rather a quiet, thoughtful, confident, sexy MAN. Maybe it’s the side characters she creates, like Enzo and Dante and Primo who just steal the show with their amazing one-liners and sometimes intense conversations. But whatever it is, I freaking ate this story up.

His thumb grazed her lips, slightly swollen from his hard kisses, as a smile softened his expression. “I didnt think you could be more beautiful,” he said, “but then you went and screamed my name.”

I ADORED THIS BOOK LIKE NO OTHER. No one will ever top this woman’s writing and the characters she’s made. They can try, but for me, there isn’t anything like her books. I really truly didn’t think she could top Sempre, but damn it, she did. And Matty is now MY #1. My book husband. My everything.

This story made me squeal and smile and cry and swoon and scream and made me want to rip my hair out and then had my heart pounding and then made me fall in love. (This cycle was repeated about 32 times).

READ IT. Read it read it read it. Because I promise you if you don’t, you are missing out on the best story there ever was.

Book 2 Sweetest Sorrow is out this MONDAY!!! EEK! So now is the perfect time to meet my favs, Matty & Genna ❤

Favorite ‘Ships’ Book Tag!



N: Short for romantic relationship, popularized in fan-fiction circles.
V: To endorse a romantic relationship.

Doing this book tag (also seen on It Starts At Midnight) and I tag anyone who wants to participate! (Feel free to use my graphic and tag me!)

Below are some of my favorite ships in no particular order (except #1. They really are my #1 favs 😉 ) -no way I could fit them all in one post!

1. Carmine & Haven from Sempre by JM Darhower

“Grabbing her hand, he pressed it gently to his chest. His skin was warm to the touch, and she could slightly feel his pulse pounding against her palm.
“Do you feel that? I’m not going anywhere, Haven. This is yours.”

2. Matty & Genna from By Any Other Name by JM Darhower

“This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“You had me,” she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
“I did,” he agreed. “But the past isn’t what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the NOW. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to HAVE you.”

3. Naz & Karissa from Monster In His Eyes by JM Darhower

“You may growl, and hiss, and meow, and maybe sometimes you bring out those claws, but I know how to make you purr. I’m the king of the jungle. I’m the predator.” “Does that make me your prey?” He shakes his head. “That makes you my queen.”

..are we noticing a theme here? If not, I’ll spell it out. JM DARHOWER IS MY FAVORITE! Basically any couple she has created is considered a favorite. Ok..moving on.

4. Vanessa & Aiden from The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

“I don’t know,” I stuttered, “Do you love me?”
His gaze was so intent the entire world seemed to stop. “You tell me. I never stop thinking about you. I worry about you all the time. Every beautiful thing I see reminds me of you. I can’t finish my practices in Colorado with out wishing you were around,” he said in a steady tone. “You tell me what I feel.”

5. Josh & Nastya from The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay 

“When I look at her now, I think, for just one second, that God doesn’t hate me so much after all.”

6. Mara & Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

“You want me as much as I want you. And all I want is you.”
My tongue warred with my mind. “Today,” I whispered.
Noah stood slowly, his body skimming mine as he rose. “Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever.”

7. Carter & Arizona from Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

“You belong to me, Ari, and you always will…
You’re more than ‘just’ my best friend, and I never want to be ‘just friends’ again.”

8.  Owen & Auburn from Confess by Colleen Hoover

“He catches my gasp with his mouth, and he picks me up, carrying me out of the shower and straight to the bed. And this time, I don’t get lost in his touch. I don’t get lost in his kiss. I don’t get lost in how it feels when he pushes himself inside me. I don’t feel lost in him at all, because it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like someone truly found me.”

9. Will & Hanna from Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren

“I was so lost in love with this girl.”

10. Drew & Kate from Tangled by Emma Chase 

“Edward Cullen can take his stupid heroine and OD on it. Kate is my own personal brand of Viagra.”

What are some of your favorite ships?