CC’s ARC Review ~ Bait by Jade West

 

Title: Bait

Author: Jade West

Genre: Dark Romance/Erotica

Type: Standalone

Publication Date: August 14, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

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Abigail Summers is on the run from hurtful emotions and past trauma but being caught is exactly what she craves. Not disillusioned about the danger of her longtime fantasy, Abigail creates an online profile hoping to find the person who can sate her urges and make her feel again. 

“I’m seeking my monster in the darkness. I’ll run but you’ll run faster. We’ll play cat and mouse until you catch me.”


Phoenix is recovering from a loss and dealing with the mess it left behind. While he is a loving father, socially he’s been living in solitude and realizes it’s time to move forward. Upon viewing online profiles, one person particularly appeals to his predatory needs. 

“Scared pussy always hurts so fucking bad. Scared pussy always fights. And scared pussy always tastes the best.”


As Abigail and Phoenix begin to correspond by messaging, they both experience a wave of excitement as both need to satisfy their dark desires. Despite his warnings, both in words and imagery, Abigail believes she’s finally found her monster and Phoenix is ready to give chase to the bait. 

“I head to her left and she runs to the right. Runs further into the darkness. The bait is snared. Mine.”


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What ensues is an adrenaline rush as unknown elements of the monster’s identity and when the chase will begin creates blood pumping excitement. Once the game commences, fear is present but also sexual excitement that can only be quenched from a fruitful hunt. 

“With my beast of a dick stretching her pussy to gaping and metal bars grating her deep, she comes for me as she cries out. It’s wild. It’s hard.”


Told in dual POV, the vulnerabilities and struggles experienced by Abigail and Phoenix feel weighty. With each having their own regrets, they also share the common thread of wanting to start again and shed their enormous emotional burden. As the chase continues, it starts to fuel their need for something more. When secrets and deep scars are revealed, Abigail and Phoenix learn to trust each other with feelings that have been deeply buried. 

Abigail is easily likable and her experience certainly draws empathy. Her long-time fantasy adds the dimensional element of Abigail being slightly unsteady and shows how desperate she really is to feel any sensation other than being numb. Running with the wind in her hair and fear deep in her lungs, she is adamant about getting caught by her monster. 

Phoenix brings the element of logic to the story, although his desire overrules. Knowing what he brings to the experience, physically and mentally, distinctly gives him the advantage as a predator. While Phoenix has an intense dark side, it is balanced by the love he shares for his family proving he will go to lengths for them. 

Bait is a story about loss and how two people can find solace together in the darkness. While how these characters meet is certainly unconventional, it proves to be right for them and I like how they found their unique way. As always, Jade West crafts a story about every day characters that is compelling and erotic. When reading this in the dark, be sure to look over your shoulder every now and then for the monster that may be lurking.

 

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BLOG TOUR ~ Thousands by Pepper Winters

Title: Thousands (Dollar #4)

Author: Pepper Winters

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Type: Book 4 of 5 (to be read in order)

Publication Date: August 15th, 2017

 

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Blurb:

“Love had been stolen from me for reasons entirely my fault. But then a miracle
happened, and Pim gave me something I thought was lost forever. She gave me a love
I’d earned. Love that ruined me. Love that made me hopelessly hers…”

Once upon a time, I didn’t think I’d ever be normal.
Now, I’m talking and trusting, and it’s all thanks to Elder.

He gave me my life back, and I gave him my heart, but love stories like ours are never

simple.

I did something to protect him.
He did something to survive me.
We screwed up.

And now, it’s no longer just about us.
It’s about safety, sanctuary, and sin.

 

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Purchase Links

Amazon US   Amazon  UK  iBooks  Nook  Kobo  Google Play

 

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Start the Series Today!

Dollar Series:
Pennies (Dollar, #1) by Pepper Winters Dollars (Dollar, #2) by Pepper Winters Hundreds (Dollar, #3) by Pepper Winters Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters Millions (Dollar, #5) by Pepper Winters

Pennies (Dollar #1)

Amazon US    Amazon UK   iBooks   Nook    Kobo   Google Play   Goodreads

 

Dollars (Dollar #2)

Amazon US    Amazon UK    iBooks    Nook    Kobo   Google Play   Goodreads

 Hundreds (Dollar #3)

Amazon US    Amazon UK    iBooks    Nook    Kobo   Google Play   Goodreads

 

 

About the Author

 

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Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition
with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an
multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense,
Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six times in three years.

Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette. Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017.

Connect with Pepper Winters

Facebook    Amazon    Twitter   Facebook Fan Group   Pepper’s Newsletter    Website

 

Review

CC’s ARC Review ~ Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters

4.5 Stars!

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Thousands opens without interruption in the continuing timeline of Elder Prest and Pimlico. After losing control, Elder believes it’s safest for Pim to remain at a distance but when Pim makes the decision to do so, the situation forces Elder to acknowledge what he’s known. At this point, the plot line shifts to a more introspective examination into what drives Elder’s behavior and need for a certain structure. While revenge and protecting his family has been a priority for Elder, there is much more behind his reasons of feeling guilt and being indebted. 

“She trusted me to keep her safe. This was me honouring that trust even while she begged me to break it.”

Despite her past, Pim’s fortitude is ever present and now that her mind and body continue to heal, she is no longer content in settling for the inconsistences of Elder’s words and actions. As she pushes for more on a physical and emotional level, Elder reacts by distancing himself but seeing Pim’s courage and ability to trust is the impetus to give more of himself. 

“But now I was awake and ready to feel everything. And those scraps and stars weren’t enough anymore. I wanted planets. I wanted galaxies. I wanted his heart.”

 

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Upon returning to her home country, Pim must face a longstanding conflict and when she does, another layer of healing seems to elevate Pim to a healthier place. Feeling fortified to a degree, Pim is willing to do whatever it takes to prove her love for Elder. In this moment, Elder is pushed to his limits as Pim wants all of Elder and she isn’t about to relinquish her desire for the sake of playing it safe.

“Standing over her, cock hard, heart fast, mind a mess, I growled. “I’ll fuck you. I’ll fuck you until you can’t stand to be fucked anymore. And then I’ll fuck you again. And again.”

What transpires in Thousands is an interesting push-pull between Elder and Pim. For one, the sexual tension is palpable, as both characters want each other so badly that it drips from the pages. Secondly, there are layers of long-standing emotions that reveal much more about Elder and Pim individually and as a couple. As Pim’s healing continues on multiple levels, Pim proves that she is a worthy partner to Elder, and at times, takes the lead while embracing her fears. Elder’s conflicts remain difficult to assess but when Pim pierces through his final layer of armor, he unleashes a physical and emotional side that incredibly rewarding and panty melting. 

Told in dual POV, getting in the mind of Elder and Pim is vital to understanding their motivations. There are times when Elder’s resistance is infuriating yet knowing his rationale adds to his appeal and reinforces his need to protect. While both characters made progressive strides, Pim embraced her new role with tenacity to show just how much of a survivor she actually is. Not knowing when Elder’s past will be put to rest, he and Pim are prepared to fight for what they have despite the consequence. 

In this series, Pepper Winters successfully creates a vivid world with a complex plot and multi-dimensional characters. With themes of redemption, healing, trust and love, Thousands offers a story where vulnerabilities become strengths. I highly recommend Thousands, and with one book remaining in the series, I look forward to reading just how it all ends!

 

CC’s ARC Review ~ Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters

Title: Thousands (Dollar, #4)

Author: Pepper Winters

Genre: Dark Romance

Type: Book 4 of 5

Releases August 15, 2017

 

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4.5 Stars!

description

Thousands opens without interruption in the continuing timeline of Elder Prest and Pimlico. After losing control, Elder believes it’s safest for Pim to remain at a distance but when Pim makes the decision to do so, the situation forces Elder to acknowledge what he’s known. At this point, the plot line shifts to a more introspective examination into what drives Elder’s behavior and need for a certain structure. While revenge and protecting his family has been a priority for Elder, there is much more behind his reasons of feeling guilt and being indebted. 

 

“She trusted me to keep her safe. This was me honouring that trust even while she begged me to break it.”


Despite her past, Pim’s fortitude is ever present and now that her mind and body continue to heal, she is no longer content in settling for the inconsistences of Elder’s words and actions. As she pushes for more on a physical and emotional level, Elder reacts by distancing himself but seeing Pim’s courage and ability to trust is the impetus to give more of himself. 

 

“But now I was awake and ready to feel everything. And those scraps and stars weren’t enough anymore. I wanted planets. I wanted galaxies. I wanted his heart.”


description

Upon returning to her home country, Pim must face a longstanding conflict and when she does, another layer of healing seems to elevate Pim to a healthier place. Feeling fortified to a degree, Pim is willing to do whatever it takes to prove her love for Elder. In this moment, Elder is pushed to his limits as Pim wants all of Elder and she isn’t about to relinquish her desire for the sake of playing it safe.

 

“Standing over her, cock hard, heart fast, mind a mess, I growled. “I’ll fuck you. I’ll fuck you until you can’t stand to be fucked anymore. And then I’ll fuck you again. And again.”


What transpires in Thousands is an interesting push-pull between Elder and Pim. For one, the sexual tension is palpable, as both characters want each other so badly that it drips from the pages. Secondly, there are layers of long-standing emotions that reveal much more about Elder and Pim individually and as a couple. As Pim’s healing continues on multiple levels, Pim proves that she is a worthy partner to Elder, and at times, takes the lead while embracing her fears. Elder’s conflicts remain difficult to assess but when Pim pierces through his final layer of armor, he unleashes a physical and emotional side that incredibly rewarding and panty melting. 

Told in dual POV, getting in the mind of Elder and Pim is vital to understanding their motivations. There are times when Elder’s resistance is infuriating yet knowing his rationale adds to his appeal and reinforces his need to protect. While both characters made progressive strides, Pim embraced her new role with tenacity to show just how much of a survivor she actually is. Not knowing when Elder’s past will be put to rest, he and Pim are prepared to fight for what they have despite the consequence. 

In this series, Pepper Winters successfully creates a vivid world with a complex plot and multi-dimensional characters. With themes of redemption, healing, trust and love, Thousands offers a story where vulnerabilities become strengths. I highly recommend Thousands, and with one book remaining in the series, I look forward to reading just how it all ends!

 

Dollar series:
Pennies (Dollar, #1) by Pepper Winters Dollars (Dollar, #2) by Pepper Winters Hundreds (Dollar, #3) by Pepper Winters Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters Millions (Dollar, #5) by Pepper Winters

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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CC’s Review ~ Reception (The Kane Trilogy #4) by Stylo Fantome

 

Title: Reception (The Kane Trilogy #4)

Author: Stylo Fantome

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica

Type: Book 4 of the Kane Trilogy

 

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4 Stars! 

 
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In this novelette, we are given a glimpse into the married world of Jameson Kane and Tatum O’Shea-Kane. As Jameson becomes a bit jealous about male attention Tate receives, he decides to assert his dominance by throwing a back yard barbecue for his work associates. Yes, Mr. Antisocial is having a party! During the event, Tate is on her best behavior but Jameson has a different idea about the whole situation.

“You want to know what I love?” “What?” “When you shut the fuck up.”


What transpires is true Jameson and Tate with their combustible sexual chemistry and opposite personalities that compliment their needs in every way. Getting some of Jameson’s alpha-ness is a welcome treat and he certainly hasn’t lost his touch. Of course, Tate is her old self pushing all Jameson’s buttons until he unleashes his wrath. 

While Reception is a brief story, it is enjoyable being reunited with such memorable characters and experience Jameson’s brand of fun. 

Sanders Excerpt- 5 Stars!

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Sanders Dashkevich has been a fixture in Jameson’s home since he was a teen. As legal guardian, Jameson provided an education, a home and sense of belonging to Sanders. Now that Sanders is 21 years old and fulfilled his educational requirements, he is ready to move out on his own, but the impetus for his decision is unexpected.

“I’m sorry,” Jameson whispered, his arms tights around Sanders. “I should’ve … I should’ve been more careful.”


Adhering to his sense of honesty and morality, Sanders doesn’t see any other options to resolve his dilemma but it doesn’t make it any easier to leave. In anticipation of his departure, Jameson and Tate present Sanders with a gift that puts him in an unlikely position. 

As much as I want to share what occurs in this Sanders excerpt, I will exercise self-restraint. However, I will say that it makes perfect sense for Sander’s character arc and I’m not surprised by it at all – and I mean that in a good way. Sanders is a rich character that offers a wide range of mystery, so while Stylo Fantome admittedly hasn’t been able to sync with his character to write a full length novel, reading this passage is satisfying but still makes you wonder what Sanders has to offer. 

For those who are fans of The Kane Series, I recommend! 

The Kane Series:
Degradation (The Kane Trilogy, #1) by Stylo Fantome Separation (The Kane Trilogy, #2) by Stylo Fantome Reparation (The Kane Trilogy, #3) by Stylo Fantome Completion (The Kane Trilogy, #3.5) by Stylo Fantome Reception (The Kane Series Book 5) by Stylo Fantome

 

 

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CC’s Review ~ Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) by CJ Roberts

 

Title: Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) 

Author: CJ Roberts

Genre: Dark Erotica/Suspense

Type: Book 2 of a Series

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5 Stars!! 

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In Seduced in the Dark, the story continues without interruption and with an interesting shift in how the timeline is presented. As Livvie Ruiz tells her story in the present tense, she is distraught over the precarious circumstances separating her from Caleb. Not be able to get a firm grasp on the current situation is tense, especially when the alternating perspective shifts back to the past. This unsettling tone enhances the level of danger and fear at what is to come.

“He’d done this to me. He’d made me afraid. He’d made me need him. And if he thought he was suddenly going to abandon me and clear what was left of his shriveled conscience, he was sadly mistaken.”


Caleb is left with limited choices, as he has the option to proceed with the plan of revenge or take a different course of action that also has serious repercussions. Feeling a tremendous sense of loyalty to the person that gave Caleb a second chance is overwhelming, yet for the first time, Caleb is beginning to feel other emotions he’s trying to process. Knowing the level of manipulation Caleb employs to influence Livvie’s behavior is enough to make him second guess the authenticity of what she feels, however, it doesn’t change his feelings. 

“I’ve been going like this a long time – manipulating people to get my way. That’s why you think you love me. Because I’ve broken you down and built you back up to believe it.”


In the short time Livvie was in Caleb’s possession, her goal had always been to survive and escape. With the way she and Caleb met, it seemed to strengthen Livvie’s hope at times but it also put her at a disadvantage. As they continue on this path, true feelings become clear and while trying to battle his demons, Caleb punishes himself yet stakes his claim in a way that is foretelling.

“Does it feel good, Pet?” he asked in a voice dripping with arrogance. I didn’t care. I nodded fervently and looked for his mouth. He let his lips dance just above mine, all the while keeping his rhythm against my clit. “I want to hear you say it. Tell me if feels good. Tell me how much you want me to make that little pussy of yours come.”

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With betrayal, action and kinkery, Caleb’s hand is forced and his reaction sets in motion a series of events that cannot be reversed. Trying to keep his promise to Livvie has always been paramount, and in doing so, the inevitable must occur in order to move forward. 

“Be smart. Fight the battles you can win and accept the ones you can’t. That’s how you survive.”


To say I devoured this book would be an understatement. The multiple levels of dimension in the character development and plot kept me riveted. Livvie’s determination and vulnerability made her such an intriguing character. The dichotomy between naïve Livvie and captive Livvie was a constant reminder of Caleb’s duality of kindness and violence. That ever-present contrast creates incredible chemistry between these two characters. I admired Livvie’s tenacity while with Caleb and when apart. 

In addition, the focus on Caleb and his past is absolutely fascinating. As the darkest parts of the human condition are revealed, the need for revenge is compounded. Caleb’s decisions weren’t always the right ones but he adhered to a code for a reason. Ultimately, the progression for these characters involved pain, redemption and strength and I loved the ending. 

This series delves into dark subject matter in a complex way that shows how people can process the worst of situations but still have the ability to heal and love. I highly recommend this duet! 

The Dark Duet Series:
Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1) by C.J. Roberts Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) by C.J. Roberts Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3) by C.J. Roberts Determined to Obey (The Dark Duet, #3.5) by C.J. Roberts

 

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CC’s Review ~ The Brightest Sunset ((The Darkest Sunrise, #2) by Aly Martinez

Title: The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise #2)

Author: Aly Martinez

Genre: Romance Suspense

Type: Duet/Book 2 of 2

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4 Stars! 

 

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In The Brightest Sunset, the timeline continues without interruption as the circumstances between Charlotte and Porter become further complicated due to new information about Charlotte’s missing son. Instead of moving forward as planned, Charlotte must come to terms with the past and how it intersects with her recent choices. For Porter, he cannot believe how much worse the situation has become but he is committed to his family and letting the facts reveal the truth.

 

I don’t want to be a part of his life. I want to be there every fucking day.”


From the outset, the tension is high and the conflict is a constant reminder of how these characters have been pulled apart for years, yet coming together for the one common factor of love for a little boy is still tearing everyone apart. Being pushed in a certain direction, Charlotte tries to find her voice and slowly overcomes her guilt as she takes a stand for herself and for the love of her son. While Porter is the target of the majority’s derision, he remains determined to fight and will do anything in his power to protect what is his.

 

“Everything’s going to change, Charlotte. And I swear to you, no matter what happens, we’re going to do that together, okay?”


In starting this conclusion, I was expecting a good amount of angst, conflict, discovery and growth between the characters. While those elements did exist and there were certainly moments when I wanted to strangle two characters, I still wanted a little more from Charlotte and Brady. Though these two never had a true foundation, for years Brady blamed Charlotte for what happened, and while I understand his emotion, it was time for Brady to confront the present and really embrace the second chance he was given. Therefore, I was hoping Brady would have redeemed himself in a more meaningful way.

In focusing the progress between Charlotte and Porter, it seemed to me that Porter was really the impetus for communication and forging ahead to the next level. Without such a strong character as Porter, Charlotte’s growth would have been quite different. With his love, respect and decency, Porter proved to be an anchor in this plot and it was abundantly clear that he would place his children above his needs at any given moment, but with the possibility of having it all, he wasn’t about to surrender.

The relationship between Porter and Travis was a truly heartwarming. Additionally, Travis and Hannah proved to be have such an adorable sibling dynamic that it really showed the importance of their connection to the adult characters in this plot. 

Overall, while I did want a bit more from certain characters and felt parts were a little too perfect toward the end, the author’s writing kept me engaged and I was completely invested in the storyline. 

For those who are looking for a romance with an emotional side and also some suspense, I recommend The Brightest Sunset!

The Darkest Sunrise Series:
The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly Martinez The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise, #2) by Aly Martinez

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CC’s Review ~ The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly Martinez

Title: The Darkest Sunrise

Author: Aly Martinez

Genre: Romance Suspense

Type: Book 1 of 2

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4 Stars!!

 

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Charlotte Mills is a revered pulmonologist but her personal life is a black hole due to circumstances outside her control. For the past ten years, Charlotte has operated on autopilot choosing to remain numb as a means to cope. Wondering if it’s time to finally take a baby step forward, she meets man that seems to like her quirks and ignites an emotion that she hasn’t felt in a long time. 

“Mine. It was my fault. Always and forever.”


Porter Reese is a restaurateur and widower dedicated to raising his two children. Though taking tremendous joy from this role, Porter isn’t a stranger to heartache each and every day but he strives to persevere for his family. While attempting to volunteer at a charity event, Porter finds himself burning burgers until he talks to a woman that shares in a deep pain. 

“Holy shit. There it was, blazing in her eyes. The emptiness. My emptiness.”


Tired of the emptiness, Porter is ready to move on or at least have some company in the dark. As Porter and Charlotte try to navigate within each other’s pain, they establish rules that create a protective barrier around them in order to bring some light into their lives. With Porter’s commitment to his children and Charlotte’s limitations, each moment they share is precious and based on trust between two damaged individuals. 

“I felt every single consonant and vowel of her plea deep inside my soul. She didn’t need to beg. Not now. Not ever. If she wanted anything, I was going to give it to her.”


Willingly and selflessly, Porter shows all of his heart and deepest pain to Charlotte in an effort to propel their relationship to the next level. Finally reaching a place where they are ready to be open, certain circumstances surface that cause many questions that further complicate the lives of two people that have already endured so much.

“But, when your entire world was pitch-black, even the tiniest flicker looked like a lighthouse.”


Told in dual POV, the shifting character perspectives allows for multilayered introspection into their pain, fears and need to feel the intimacy of love again. Charlotte’s experience is heart breaking, as the constant guilt and question of “what if” pervades her senses. The need to insulate herself is devastating but completely understandable. Porter definitely has his own painful experience where he lost himself in addition to feeling betrayed. Porter is an absolute dream in his ability to communicate in quiet yet impactful ways that speak volumes. 

From the first page, deep sentiment is present, but in addition to loss, there is an enormous amount of sacrifice, hope, healing and love. As the plot moves at a steady pace, it allows for time to pause and reflect in the bond these characters share. While there are moments where the gravity of the situation is immense, I couldn’t help but root for Porter and Charlotte as a couple and as a family. 

For those who are looking for a romance with an emotional side and also some suspense, I highly recommend The Darkest Sunrise!

The Darkest Sunrise Series:
The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly Martinez The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise, #2) by Aly Martinez