The Mafia Mug / Book Talk

Book Feature

Monster in His Eyes ( Monster in His Eyes #1)

Torture to Her Soul ( Monster in His Eyes #2 )

Mug Feature

GreenGate Mug, Alice

 

Happy Monday, world!

Let´s get into book talk mode. Topic of the day?

Dark Romances and the nasty book hangovers attached.

Have you ever suffered from a book hangover? I have. Many others have. A book hangover is when you´ve finished a book and realize you aren´t ready to jump back into the real world. You´re still in the book world. For me- Book hangovers are a tad more dramatic. I´m a daydreamer. When I finish a book ( and I loved the story ) I tend to suffer for a super long time, thinking about the events characters went through, if I would have acted differently, etc. Weird, I know.  Thank God I don´t suffer all too often from those pesky feelings.

When I think of book hangovers I think of one author- J.M. Darhower.

mug JMDARHOWER

I remember, way back in the early blogging days, when rumor had it that J.M. Darhower would release a new novel, `Monster in His Eyes`. Soon the cover reveal made it´s rounds through social media and I… well, I was reluctant to read the book because of the hype readers/bloggers created. I avoid overly hyped books with a passion because I always get disappointed when my expectations are too high.

Needless to say- I ended up buying the paperback a month after the book released.

What I thought would be another sappy romance turned out to be an action packed, nerve wrecking, gut turning, dark ( with a hint of erotic ) romance. A romance about a hitman who´s on a mission but get´s distracted along the way and needs ( seriously NEEDS) to stay focused on his task(s). Let´s just say that Ignazio / Naz is one unique character who you will fall head over heels for, no matter what he does.

For me, reading this book felt like I was a fly on the wall, in a room filled with dangerous Italian mafia, spying.

Jesus! What a mindblow story.

`Monster in His Eyes` sucks you right in and grabs tight, leaving you no other choice but to keep reading. The writing style is a joy. The characters are fabulous. I just have so much love for this book, it´s not even healthy, anymore. ( said the book psycho who´s writing this article)

And the best part? There´s a second book to `Monster in His Eyes`.

`Torture to Her Soul` picks up right where `Monster in His Eyes` left off. Let me tell you…. It´s different but OH SO GOOD. I´m surprised I didn´t have heart problems while reading the second installment because it´s filled with action, love and lots of angsty moments. Let´s say the story is brutally romantic.

Then there´s book #3, `Target on Our Backs`. What can I say that I haven´t already said? It´s just a piece of wonderful mafia art. A nice conclusion to a fab story with great sub-characters worth remembering * wink wink * ( Check out the Scarlet Scars 1&2)

I loved it. You´ll love it. My girl ( and fellow book chica) Kristi from over at KristiesBook Knook loves it.

You should listen to the convo´s Kristi and I have over these books. They´re worth gold.

For me, J.M. Darhower is a Goddess of dark romances.

As for my mug: the poor thing slipped in the J.M. Darhower shadow.

I call my red mug the Mafia Cup. For one- It´s red. Red suits a dark read, especially when there´s violence involved. Plus my mafia mug can hold a decent amount of hot chocolate which allows me to enjoy a few chapters before having to refill.

I can´t recall what possessed me to buy a red mug, though. I´m usually more of a cold color type ( lots of gray, blue, purple, etc.). All I remember is walking through the GreenGate shop and thinking “Why the hell not?”, which isn´t really a good reason to buy something.  A knee-jerk purchase I haven´t regretted….yet.

 

That´s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed Mug Monday!

Until next week!

Morgana xxx

Book Info

Title:  Monster in His Eyes (#1), Torture to Her Soul ( #2 ), Target on Our Backs ( #3 ) monster in his eyes

Author: J. M. Darhower

Publication Date: 2014, 2014, 2016

Genre: Dark, Adult, Romance

Favorite Quote (s): ” Maybe Cinderella didn´t live happily ever after. Maybe, come midnight, she wanted to run away. Maybe her prince wouldn´t let her. Mine didn´t.” (Monster in His Eyes)torture in her soul

When you love people, you want what´s best for them, and sometimes what´s best for them isn´t you. ( Torture to Her Soul )

“Judge him by his actions and not by your suspicions” he says. “Because if the only measure of a man´s worth is what he does to make money, alot of good men would be judged unfairly.”  ( Target on Our Backs )

Purchase Links  target on our backs

Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de

 

 

 

 

Review-Grievous ( Scarlet Scars #2 ) by J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.

My Thoughts

** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **

And God said, „ Thou shalt not fall in love with a fictional criminal, especially with one who´s lost all his fucking marbles.“

But, hot damn!! I´m already so truly, madly, deeply in love with Lorenzo „ Scar“. I can´t help myself. He´s probably the worst and deadliest passionate nutcase I´ve ever encountered in a book, yet here I am, a 34 year old woman, desperately wanting to become apart of Lorenzo´s world. * ugly cry* ( I definitely have to think about what went wrong in my life…* cracking up* )

The story of Lorenzo and Morgan continues. * pulling hair * And just why did everything have to end? I mean- it sure as Hell felt like the end. I´m a mess. I don´t want to be a mess. I´m supposed to be happy but I´m not. I feel like the author gave me a gift and ripped it away again with the final words of the story. Damn it. That woman better keep on writing or I´ll turn into an even greater mess, suffering from an odd book hangover for only God knows how long.

( Need to get back to the story )

Where were we? Aah, yes. The story continues with Morgan still trying to get her child back from Kassian, the head of the russian mafia. And much to Lorenzo´s delight he helps Morgan. But one does not simply walk onto russian mafia territory and kidnap the prize. No. Getting back Morgan´s child proves to be a difficult matter and it takes a whole lot of craziness to get the job done.

When two mafia bosses collide… shit´s about to get ugly.

The story was intense, ruthless and so damn awesome.

Lorenzo was his logical / illogical self, doing unpredictable stunts at every turn… all while looking like a sexy, imperfect God. I shit you not- you never knew when he was going to kill someone or not or when he was going to be civilized. The important thing to know was- never fuck with him, especially when he was in his library ( I´m going to miss reading about that room.). So, his previous boredom from the first book ( Menace ) has vanished and he was happily occupied with half blindly swinging his gun at people.

`Grievous` is packed with action, tension, betrayal, sex ( which is mighty fine, if you ask me), death, suspense, forgiveness and above all- love.

The romance between Lorenzo and Morgan is not what you´d expect. No typical knight in shining armor, not damsel in distress story. What we´ve got here is a „ You´re fucking nuts, I´m not that crispy either but we got something good going.“ type of romance. AWESOME! So different from all the other love stories I´ve read so far.

There was one line, one moment in the story where I completely lost it.

„ Morgan,“ he says, his voice quiet as he whispers my name….. „Open your eyes, baby.“

You might think that those few words aren´t really special but when you read the story and get to know these people and read what they went through together you understand the significance of those words. And when you do I dare you not to let out a little noise of disbelief. * sigh * So touching and just….$/()(/%&$%§“§$§%$&%/& Everything after that just clicks into place and you KNOW. You just know.

And the end….Holy Heaven! I loved it. I can´t say anything about it without giving the story away so you´ll just have to take my word for it. It´s so satisfying.

I might be a little over enthusiastic about this story but I don´t care. I´m in love and that might never change. This is my favoite story written by my new favorite author.

I recommend this story to everyone who wants some adventure in their romance.

The Cover – 3 stars ( Meeh, not feeling this cover much.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( I´d need to write an extra review for another round of love gushing. Great read. I´ll have to get myself the paperbacks for my sacred bookshelf )

The Characters – 5+ stars ( I love how crazy these folks acted and how normal they thought their lives were. Lorenzo is a brilliant character. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I want to high five the author for writing such a brilliant story.

I´m giving `Grievous` ( Scarlet Scars #2 ), by the awesome J. M. Darhower, 5 out of 5 stars

Check out my review for  Menace ( Scarlet Scars #1 )

grievous To purchase this book all you need to do is go on over to Amazon.com ( or just click here ) and buy the book. Seriously. You´ll love it.  Trust me.

Menace ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

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.

** ARC Kindly Provided by The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review **

My Thoughts

Dear readers, I´m in story heaven!

Bless J. M. Darhower, for that woman is one hell of a storyteller. I went through 346 pages of brilliant holy shitballs! Damn, what a story. `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower has definitely earned a place on my sacred „Fuck Yeah!“ bookshelf.

This story is even more nail-bite-worthy than the `Monster In His Eyes` series was ( and I LOVED that story / series to bits ). `Menace` is brutal, unforgiving, captivating, unpredictable, dark, sexy as hell and filled with action. Exactly what I want in a book.

Still- I´d like to remind that this story comes with a small warning.

Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may find disturbing“

The warning is there for a reason. Although none of the dark elements disturbed me, I´m sure they could bother other readers.

Lorenzo „Scar“ Gambini, a twisted, ruthless killer / mafia boss gets bored out of his wits until he finds someone who brings the spark back into his boring world ( That, alone, screams „READ ME“ because which mafia boss ever gets bored?).

We meet Lorenzo in `Targets On Our Backs`, and even then I was 100% convinced that the passionate nutcase needed his own book. Lorenzo was so bat shit crazy and unpredictable, even I was terrified for the other characters lives.

There´s no doubt Lorenzo is one of the most mental Heros I´ve ever come across. He´s impulsive and completely disturbed and he can be scary as hell. On the flip side- Lorenzo is a clever guy with a heart hidden somewhere beneath the many layers of crazyness. He always has a good explanation for his actions ( and the explanations make sense * face palm * ). He´s just a super complex character you have to love ( no matter what crime he commits ) That character is so full of surprises.

Morgan / Scar ( Heroine )was just as out of this world cool. She has her own package to carry but she´s still a wonderful character. I fell in love with her from the start and loved her even more at the end.

I´m in love. There isn´t a thing I can complain about because this book has the whole package.

The writing is as brilliant as I expected it to be. The dialogue is fantastic. Have I forgotten to mention how in love I am? I have? Tough shit. I´ll say it over and over again just so you won´t forget it.

If you´re looking for something dark, something twisted and so full of everything then I highly recommend this intense read.

Totally re-read worthy. 

The Cover – 3 stars ( Yeah, I´m not a huge fan of the cover. )

The Story – 5 stars ( Scratch the 5 stars. I´m going for 20 stars!)

The Characters -5 stars ( * Way cool. Like- out of this world screwed up but still cool )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still recovering. But I desperately want to become apart of Lorenzo´s gang. ( That sounds weird, I know. )

stars15

I´m giving `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower 5 out of 5 stars.

Release date: January 16. 2017.

Make sure to get your copy on Amazon.com menace

Target on Our Backs ( Monster in His Eyes #3 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

The best way to keep your word is never to give it.

Not long ago, in a chapel in Vegas, I swore to love Karissa for the rest of my days. But nobody’s promised an infinite number of tomorrows. Nobody’s promised forever. Sometimes, all we have left is today.

Carpe Diem
Seize the day.

It should’ve been over, we should’ve been happy, but people are making it hard for me to live in peace. I’ve got so much blood on my hands they’ll never be clean, and somebody out there seems to want me to pay for it. Happily Ever After always comes at a cost, one any real man would be willing to pay. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to roll over and accept these consequences.

Because when it comes to the woman I love? The life I’ve fought for?

Nobody is safe. 

My Thoughts

Oh Ignazio, Ignazio.. How you´ve changed-  A little, or alot. I´m not sure. You´re confusing me.

`Target on Our Backs` by J. M. Darhower is the 3rd and hopefully the last of the `Monster in His Eyes` series. It´s been a while since I read `Monster in His Eyes ( book #1 review) and Torture to Her Soul ( Book #2 review) and my love for J. M. Darhowers character´s has lessened.

I mean- how can a reader unlove perfection?! Ignazio „Naz“ is one of those mind-blowing, unforgettable Heros. Badass and deadly in the finest way possible. Karissa is a strong young lady with good head on her shoulders- Together they´re one hell of a dynamic duo no matter what they go through. How is it possible to find these figures less powerful than they were?

In the beginning of this book the characters acted different.

I started and finished `Target on Our Backs` in one sitting and I was semi-happy with the way the story turned out. I was glad about the happily ever after. The rest was- good. Great. Fine.

What I love most about this series is how dangerous and mysterious the characters are and what they do to survive. We´re talking about the mob here and about 1 person who´s the ultimate killing machine ( or- he once was). Naz. In book 1 & 2  Naz was THE person no one fucked around with. When he wanted someone dead then that was it. There was no running from him. A cool, collected killer with so much love for Karissa.

In this book he made an effort to change. He wanted out of the business, wanted to try to become a better person for Karissa ( the key word is: try). But as it was- events happened and Naz was starting to disappear at night just to get some „ business“ done or taken care of.

I was sort of relieved that Naz started sneaking out because I thought the role fit him better than the role of a normal husband. He´s supposed to be the monster. Monsters don´t retire.

It didn´t take long before Naz realized he was being targeted by someone. But who? And why? Wasn´t Naz on the right track? Didn´t he want to change for Karissa?

`Target on Our Backs` is a rollercoaster ride of wanting to do the right thing but fucking up along the way. A brutal, romantic, sexy, emotional read.

Despite all the above I do have small complaints. The sex in this story- let´s say they´ve had better. I knew from book #1&2 that Naz had a hard edge to his persona and he wasn´t the lovey dovey type… but one scene in particular did nothing for me. It left me questioning the character. Some things aren´t to my liking and that special thing was included in this book.

Plus- I find the term „ submissive“ pretty boring. It´s been used to describe how Karissa is in bed and for some reason I´m just turned off by it.

I mean- is there a story out there that hasn´t gotten rid of the word yet? Everyone is using „submissive“ or some character is „submissive“….. It´s getting old. It´s obvious that a couple can´t function correctly when both are fully dominant. The visual alone is hilarious. Why point it out all the damn time?

Another thing that made me frown was the end. Book #1 and #2 both ended with a big bang. What happened with this one? Where did the spark go? I was thinking „ That´s it?“The end was too quick. Within a blink of an eye it was there and disappeared. POOF!

Anyways- `Target on Our backs` was a cool addition to the first 2 books. Maybe not as eventful, but still a good and exciting read.

The Cover- 3 stars ( Yeah, no. I´m not convinced. The image doesn´t stand out enough and if I wasn´t fully aware of this being the third book of my all time favorite series I wouldn´t have bothered)

The Story- 4 stars ( There were fantastic parts and not so fantastic parts. )

The Characters- 3 stars ( I would have loved to see Naz struggle more with his „ trying to be better“. It seemed like he had less trouble. Karissa, I loved. The sub-characters were okay. )

My emotional state after finishing this story– Happy and a tiny bit disappointed.

stars-16

I´m giving `Target on Our Backs` ( Monster in His Eyes #3) by J. M. Darhower 3 out of 5 stars

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com   target-on-our-backs

promo-monster

Cover Reveal- Menace by J. M. Darhower

 

HAPPY COVER REVEAL to J. M. Darhower for her upcoming release

Menace ( Scarlet Scars Book One)! 

I can´t begin to tell you how excited I am to read this book.


MENACE

(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***

 

***Synopsis***
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.

Torture to Her Soul ( Monster in His Eyes #2)- J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Don’t say it unless you mean it…

It’s a simple concept, one I’ve said time and again, but something people don’t seem to comprehend. You should choose every syllable carefully, because you never know when somebody will hold you to your word.

Somebody like me.

I’m not a good man. I’m not. I know. I have enough darkness inside of me to rid the world of every stitch of light. But there’s one I could never harm, one light I couldn’t bring myself to snuff out.

Karissa.

She thinks I’m a monster, and maybe I am. I taunt her with my touch, get a thrill out of torturing her soul. But I’m not the only one. The world is full of monsters, and I’m not the most dangerous one out there.

Not even close…

God help me, I love her.

I do.

And God help anyone who tries to take her from me. 

My Thoughts

So God help me, I loved this book!

There´s hardly a day that goes by without thinking about Naz and Karissa. What a wonderful, 100% exciting story! And what´s best of all….it´s written from Naz´s POV  * dramatic faint *

For those of you who read book #1, Monster In His Eyes ( review here ) will find this story fulfilling in the best way ever. 

This book started off where book #1 ended- with Karissa hating Naz, and turned out to be an adventure of the two main characters trying desperately to win each others trust back without trying to hurt each other along the way.

* sigh * we all know that´s not possible. Love just doesn´t work that way. Lol. Not with Naz, and certainly not with Karissa.

Much to my delight…Naz and Karissa didn´t disappoint. Angst ( lots of it), love & sex  and, of course, their struggle to keep each other and make a decision between right and wrong. And let me tell you- some scenes sent chills down my spine ( in a good and bad way)!!

An absolute MUST READ about love that shouldn´t have existed to begin with.

The Cover – 3 stars ( * shaking head * Not feeling it. It´s fine but the title is better.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Just as brilliant as the first book only this time told from the Hero´s POV)

The Characters – 5 stars ( Intense, hot, BRILLIANT )

My emotional state after finishing this read: I needed lots of wine to recover from the action and relationship drama.

I´m giving `Torture to Her Soul`( Monster in His Eyes #2), by J. M. Darhower, 5 out of 5 stars!

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This book is available on Amazon.com

torture-in-her-soul

Monster in His Eyes ( Monster in His Eyes #1)- J.M. Darhower

Book Description

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him.

Sometimes, I do.

But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

My Thoughts

I can hardly believe it myself but I actually loved Monster In His Eyes (book #1). What a fun and adventurous, dark and addicting read! Such a mind blower and panty dropping story.

With this author being new to me I had absolutely no idea what to expect ( except for reading the book description, D´uh.) So, I began and I couldn´t put this book down, even if my life depended on it. And now…I don´t feel any guilt what so ever because this story was worth every minute of my time.

Fabulous storytelling. The pace, the settings, the characters….all were far more than I expected.

There´s no beating around the bush with this one. I loved it.


A 100% non-predictable story. I swear…I thought I had the story all figured out after each chapter only to discover I was so far off * gg *. No. Actually, this story was in a way predictable. I knew something awful was bound to happen but I didn´t know when and how or what was going to happen. That was the worst part of it all. That…and the cliffhanger * head against wall*

Karissa Reed is an 18 year old college student. She lives off Ramen soup,( I personally LOVE ramen soup ) and struggles with one of her classes.

One fine day, she forgets something in the classroom and is confronted with a guy who´s drop dead gorgeous. But not just any guy. No. He´s mysterious to the core and he was going to change Karissa´s life forever.

Naz ( Ignazio) Vitale is a man who has it. Period. The attitude, the sex appeal, the language ( especially the body language….* sheesh*) He was frightening as hell with an attitude to compliment his appearance. So, I knew he wasn´t THAT squeaky clean on the inside as he seemed on the outside. He is death on two legs!

Anyways- Naz and Karissa come closer and end up in something like a relationship which consisted of Naz adoring Karissa to the bone and Karissa just wanting to be with Naz ( isn´t that just beautiful? * depressing sigh*) I began to get suspicious when I kept reading about how good/loving/caring Naz was. No guy has it all no matter how much he princesses a girl, right? Yes, right. I was right * proud shoulder pat* All is good with the main characters until shit hits the fan.

monster-1

Dear Lord….I wasn´t prepared for this story at all. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen. Something that would put me at ease or make me stop chewing my hair. The suspence was brutal! WHO THE HELL WAS NAZ and what was he going to do?

NOTE: the sex in this book isn´t over-the-top/out-of-this-earth, but it´s still good enough to need some cooling afterwards ( just giving you all a heads up). Decent sex…just decent sex. Ok. Telling myself the sex in this book was decent won´t make it decent. It was far from decent. It was sexy. DUDE! Find me a Naz!

This book will shock a reader in the best way ever!

Warning: Book-hangover will happen.

Double Warning: Nasty cliffhanger ( I absolutely hate cliffhangers)

Told from the Heroine´s POV.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something dark, mysterious and angsty!

The Cover- 3 stars ( Yeah, it´s okay. Nothing fancy but still okay.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Heavens, this book is worthy of a re-read and a re-re-read )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Way cool. 100% loveable )

My emotional state after finishing this read: Spent. Drained. Exhausted… but I want more!

stars15

I´m giving `Monster In His Eyes` ( Monster In His Eyes #1 ), by J.M. Darhower 5 out of 5 stars

To Purchase this book all you need to do is click here and start reading!

monster-in-his-eyes