Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Posted July 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

I’m not going to lie, this series was pretty awful. I was reading it and wondering why I kept moving onto the next book. I just kept thinking that the series had to get better. Yeah, that was a no-go.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Convict Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #0.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
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one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

The day I meet Hero Miller I know he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met before. Sheltered and raised around no one but my family all my life, his darkness draws me in.
He was raised with violence, it oozes from deep within him. I was raised by the bible my naiveness to save him proving just that.
He scares me and excites me all at once. He’s obsessed and guarded. He protects me and hurts me. He pushes and I pull, but only because he doesn’t think he’s good enough.
His warnings are clear. He tells me about his past, and the people he’s killed. He tells me about the things he wants to do to me…about the things he will do if I stay.
The goodness in me wants to cure the stain of dark on his heart, but I’m not strong enough. The closer I get to Hero the further I get dragged into his darkness and eventually it starts to swallow me whole.
Murder. Crime. Money. Sex. It surrounds us, and when Hero’s past comes barreling towards us it won’t be him that pays the ultimate price..it will be me.
**This is book one in the Broken Heroes Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing.**

Hero Miller takes one look at his tutor and falls instantly in love. Like love at first sight. For real. Elyse is sheltered. She grew up in a “spare the rod, spoil the child” household. She’s finally gotten away from her parents. Living the college life has been a dream come true for Elyse. When she meets Hero, she’s instantly enamored but she knows he’s not the one for her. Or so she thinks.

This book really had no substance. Hero did what he wanted, when he wanted. He locked Elyse in his bedroom “for her own good” when he was trying to protect her. It was maddening. And she just kept going back.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Protect Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

Damon Rossi is a ruthless leader, and an even more ruthless man to my body, and heart. The moment I meet him I know he could kill me with nothing more than his hands. He controls the room, demands attention and when my brother is murdered for a debt he owes I’m forced into his protection. But that doesn’t mean he has to care about me.
Or pretend he values my life, which he doesn’t.
He’s a savage, over the top, and scary as hell, and even as I’m pushed further and further down the rabbit hole and into his dark dangerous world of criminals, thieves, and sex. I cling to him, knowing he’s the only one that can protect me from them all.
And yet when secrets are exposed, and lines are crossed Damon proves to me just how deep his protection for me goes… but his protection comes with a price that I cannot afford, and so I become his property making the chances of escaping this dark world slip further and further away from me.
Damon might protect me from his enemies but who’s to protect my heart from falling for him?
**This is book two in the Broken Heros Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing. Do not read this book if you dislike antiheroes.*

When Keira’s brother is murdered, she goes to the one man that her brother trusted. Damon Rossi. He’s an alpha asshole to her from the beginning and she just falls into a puddle at his feet. I honestly don’t know why she even fell for him. His character did not improve at all.

Overall, I didn’t like Keira because she was a doormat and Damon was just a miserable piece of work.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Keep Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 157
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

She was my enemy… I was her new captor….
She was the enemy…a tiny little temptress of a woman that made my blood sing for vengeance. I should be punishing her…breaking her from the inside out after finding her in my father’s clutches.
But when I discover the truth that she is just as much as a victim of my father's wrongdoings as I am I can’t follow through.
I know then that I can’t break my little mouse...not after she’s lured me in with her big blue doe eyes, and strawberry blonde hair, and those pink painted lips that beg to be kissed again, and again.
I don't think things can get any better...but then she makes me an offer I can't refuse… her body, her virginity, and her complete submission, and she wants only one thing in return: help finding her sister.
What she fails to realize is that even after helping her find her sister I can't just let her go she knows too much, she's become a liability...but I have a plan to make certain she’ll never leave or escape me.
A plan that involves me filling her womb with my filthy seed until I make certain a piece of myself stick, and then I’ll make her the Queen of the Rossi Empire by putting a ring on her finger.
**This is book three in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full-length novel that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. If you don't like alpha's, possessive and controlling over their leading ladies then skip this one.**

This is probably my favorite book in the series, which isn’t saying much. I really liked Xander and how unapologetic he was about his shortcomings. He was also an ass, but he never tried to be anything else. I really liked Ella too. I thought she was one of the stronger heroines in the series.

With all that, it was still over the top bad. Like how bad can Xander treat Ella before she decides to throw in the towel?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Guard Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 294
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a tiny little lamb that claimed my heart with one fearful look.
I was her captor, the man responsible for breaking her, for preparing her for auction.
She was taken, plucked right off the street and brought to me to be sold at the next auction.
Rescuing her from my men was never part of the deal, and neither was bringing her up to my room.
Yet, night after night I did this, refusing to give up the way she made me feel. When I’m with her I feel less like a monster. I can remember the man I used to be before the mob got to me, before all the bad tainted my soul.
But wanting her is forbidden, and keeping her unthinkable. If they find out what I’m doing they’ll kill both of us.
And still…
I want to save her.
I want to love her.
I want to cherish her.
When the time comes will I be able to let her go? Or will I risk both our lives for a love that I may not deserve?
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full length novel (85k+ words) that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. **

Violet is on the block to be sold at a slave auction. Ivan is in charge of the auction. When he’s called down to the cells after being told one of the girls is refusing to eat, he’s instantly drawn to her. Too bad that isn’t enough for him to rescue her.

I hated this book. Ivan was a total asshole. He kept taking her back to her cell and told her that he couldn’t help her. But he could fuck her. Oh and Violet is Ella’s sister (see above).

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Tame Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 258
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dnf
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a broken angel that had the light beat right out of her.
I was the man responsible for her life, her protector…
Rescued by my brother and shoved into my arms I never expected to fall for the fragile woman, with soft eyes, and lips that begged to be kissed.
I know what she saw when she looked at me, a ruthless fighter, a man with a broken past, too far gone to be reached, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness.
Still, somehow her light reached me, the innocence inside her called to me and the moment her soul touched mine I was tamed, ensnared in her love.
But love comes at a cost, and in our world, you pay with your life. With all the danger surrounding us, I don’t know if I can protect her. Not only from myself, but also from a past that refuses to let go.
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. This is a full length novel. It contains NO-CLIFFHANGER, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers.**

This book was a big fat DNF for me. I couldn’t stand the hero. The heroine was actually tolerable, but I still don’t know what she saw in him. That seems to be a recurring theme in this series.

Rating: DNF.

The Rossi Crime Family

one-half-stars


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Review: Desolation Road by Christine Feehan

Posted July 6, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Desolation Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Desolation Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #4
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road, Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2), Vendetta Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
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two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Take the ride of your life with the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club in this thrilling romance novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.    Torpedo Ink is Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov’s whole life. They’re his brothers, his family—his everything. But that doesn't stop him from wanting something that only belongs to him. That’s why the tough biker has spent the last six weeks at the library, reading every book he can get his hands on and watching the prim and proper librarian who makes his blood rush.    For the past six weeks, Scarlet Foley has been fantasizing about the handsome, tattooed man whose eyes follow her every move. She senses he's dangerous. She wants him to get close enough to touch. She wishes she could let him know the real woman, not the one she pretends to be. But Scarlet has a plan to carry out, and she can’t afford any distractions.   Absinthe is well aware that Scarlet is hiding something. She’s a puzzle he intends to solve, piece by intoxicating piece….

Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov lives and breathes Torpedo Ink. He, along with his brothers and sisters, survived hell on earth to get where they are today. Absinthe thinks he only needs his family, but that changes when he decides to head to the library for some quiet time. It’s at the library that he lays eyes on her. The Librarian. For six weeks he travels between Caspar and the library, all to spend time in the same building as the woman that suddenly and irrevocably caught his eye. Absinthe knows he’s not a good man. Not even that is going to keep him away from the woman that brings his body to life, for the first time in his entire life.

Scarlet Foley has noticed Absinthe in her library. How can she not notice the gorgeous, tattooed stranger that has been coming in for six weeks. Scarlet never thought she would find a man that would intrigue her like Absinthe has. Her feelings about him are irrelevant because Scarlet has someone after her. She promised herself years ago that she would never be put in a position again where someone she loved would get hurt. Scarlet has a past that she’s hiding and she won’t let anyone get close enough to find out her secrets. Until Absinthe.

Their attraction is mutual and fiery. Scarlet never thought that she would find a man that would be her equal in all aspects of life, but that’s exactly what she’s found with Absinthe. What she doesn’t expect is the demons that he has in his past and still carries with him in the present. Absinthe doesn’t want to burden Scarlet with his past and so it seems that the relationship will not work after all. Scarlet wants an equal partner and Absinthe is apparently not going to be that person. Then he tells her everything. Well, almost everything.

As they’re getting to know each other, Absinthe knows that Scarlet isn’t as she seems. She’s not just the sexy librarian that he was first attracted to. She never lets her back face the door, she carries weapons, and she’s more than cautious about her surroundings. Of course, Torpedo Ink being who and what they are, they find out her secrets. Absinthe is appalled when he learns about her past. He would have preferred to learn it from Scarlet herself, but they can’t afford to wait to find out in their line of business. Armed with all the information he has on her, Absinthe can now protect her. And protect her he will.

This was my least favorite book of the series. To say that I hated it would be harsh, but it was so freaking close to hate. Each member of Torpedo Ink have their own horror stories about what they had to go through growing up in Russia. Absinthe had a fetish that carried over from those days. View Spoiler » Like WTAF. This book made me realize that Feehan’s writing has been subtly changing over the last few books. There are some things she won’t touch and sometimes she goes way overboard. Will the real Christine Feehan please stand up?

I always enjoy going back to the Torpedo Ink world, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting to. I really liked Absinthe in the previous books. He was incredibly intriguing and I couldn’t wait to read his book. Now I wish I hadn’t.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

two-stars


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Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Posted July 1, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 381
Length: 16 hours and 18 minutes
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…
As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.
As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

As Alpha of the pack, Kate Daniels has responsibilities that she would rather not have. When her mate and lover, Curran the Beast Lord, is called away to a hunt, Kate must attend the Conclave. The Conclave is a gathering of The People and the Pack. They meet once a month to air out any grievances or issues with each other so a war doesn’t start. When a Master of the Dead is murdered, it’s obvious that it was a shapeshifter that did the killing. Now Kate has a short amount of time to find out who the killer is, all without the support or help from Curran.

When Hugh d’Ambray shows up at the Conclave, Kate is shocked. She thought that Curran killed her father’s right hand man. It’s immediately clear that Hugh has a nefarious plan to bring her back to her father. Kate is having none of it. She knows where she belongs and it’s not with Hugh d’Ambray. Her place is with Curran. It doesn’t take long for Kate to realize that Curran was drawn away from the Pack so Hugh could get to Kate and hurt the Pack.

With Hugh chasing Kate like his life depends on it, Kate and company end up at the Order of Merciful Aid. If you read the series, you most likely remember Ted. Ted runs the Atlanta chapter of the Order. He was always a shady sort and in Magic Breaks, he decides to go out with a bang. He allows all his Knights to be slaughtered and himself killed so he can go out a martyr. In the meantime, Kate is trying to keep her friends alive and away from Hugh. All without Curran.

I think this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever tried. Nothing I can say will express the magnitude of greatness that is this book. It gave me all the feels, the whole time I was listening to it. The narrator is amazing. I felt like I was Kate. That’s how good she is. Kate is fucking phenomenal, Curran is beastastic. Like I want a Curran of my own. I am kicking my own ass for not reading this series sooner. It has everything. Action, romance, suspense, thrills. If you haven’t read it, you need to.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (for real).

Kate Daniels

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Fatal Affair by Marie Force

Posted June 25, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Fatal Affair by Marie ForceReviewer: Casee
Fatal Affair by Marie Force
Series: Fatal #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 21, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 357
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

*This is an updated cover of this Kindle edition.*

Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career--and her confidence--after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can't afford--especially when the bodies keep piling up.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on June 25, 2010.

I have enjoyed Marie Force in the past. Her books seem to be outside the box to me when it comes to the romance genre. When I read the blurb for Love at First Flight, I was like “are you blanking kidding me?”. Yet Force had the talent to write a storyline without squicking me out. Something that is much appreciated.

I started Fatal Affair almost as soon as I got it. It dragged for me for about the first hundred or so pages. I found myself wondering where Marie Force went and who took her place. The book was just blah. Too much talk of politics and political agendas. Not enough murder and mayhem. That changed (thank you God) about mid-way through the book. Suddenly the book that couldn’t get any slower took off like a rocket.

Sam Holland has returned to the police force after one of her orders inadvertently got a child killed. The public outcry was for Sam’s head. The mother blames Sam and wants to kill her. When high profile Senator John O’Connor is killed, Sam is put on the case. She has to make this one good b/c everyone will be watching her every single move. So it’s just her luck that the guy that found the body is a one night stand from six years ago. One that she’s never forgotten.

Nick is devastated by the death of his best friend. He has long since considered the O’Connor’s family. I think that this is why the book got bogged down. It was in the details. I know too much about what it takes to be a senator’s chief-of-staff. I know too much about John’s family. There was just too much, which definitely took away from the storyline.

Nick called Sam repeatedly after their one night together but never heard back from her. It has always chafed him that she blew off their incredible night together. It’s only after they’re thrown together over John’s murder that they both realized that Sam’s ex-husband was behind her not getting the messages. This is basically a reunion story, the kind that I love.

The complexity of being an alpha male with a female that is a cop is really fascinating. I thought that Force did a good job of writing from both Nick and Sam’s point of view. Sam instinctively protects Nick even if it puts her in danger and Nick wants to protect Sam.

By the time I finished the book, I was much happier than when I started. I do look forward to the next book in the series which continues Sam and Nick’s journey. And what a journey it will be.

3.75 out of 5.

Fatal

three-half-stars


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Review: The Sinner by J.R. Ward

Posted June 17, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Sinner by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Sinner by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #18
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior, Where Winter Finds You
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 498
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A sinner’s only hope is true love in this passionate new novel in J.R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Syn has kept his side hustle as a mercenary a secret from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. When he takes another hit job, he not only crosses the path of the vampire race’s new enemy, but also that of a half-breed in danger of dying during her transition. Jo Early has no idea what her true nature is, and when a mysterious man appears out of the darkness, she is torn between their erotic connection and the sense that something is very wrong.
Fate anointed Butch O’Neal as the Dhestroyer, the fulfiller of the prophecy that foresees the end of the Omega. As the war with the Lessening Society comes to a head, Butch gets an unexpected ally in Syn. But can he trust the male—or is the warrior with the bad past a deadly complication?
With time running out, Jo gets swept up in the fighting and must join with Syn and the Brotherhood against true evil. In the end, will love true prevail...or was the prophecy wrong all along?

It’s been awhile since I read this book, but I’m going to give this review my best shot.

Syn isn’t officially in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but he fights along side them in the war that threatens the vampire race. Something the Brothers don’t know is that moonlights as a mercenary. He has some part of him (I just tried to look it up and couldn’t find it) that needs violence. Likely literally needs it or he goes crazy. When he takes a new contract, he is given the name of a journalist at the local newspaper. No problem for Syn. Give him a name and it’s done. Only it doesn’t go at all like what he expected.

Jo Early has been trying to prove that vampires exist. Along with her journalist partner, Bill, they embark on a journey that takes them to some pretty bad places. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Jo, she doesn’t remember any of it. She doesn’t know that the very vampires that she is trying to prove exist have made her forget what she’s looking for. What those vampires don’t expect is to find a half-breed that may or may not transition into a vampire. All Jo knows is that she probably has cancer and is dying.

While out fighting the Lessers, Syn smells her. Yes, that would be Jo. He smells her and goes bonkers. When he comes face-to-face with her, he knows exactly who she is. His mate. His reason for living. Too bad Syn doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. Well, not at first. At first the two really hit it off even though their first meeting didn’t go well. Then Syn realizes that Jo is way too good for him and there is no way that he’s going to be the one that helps her through her (probably) transition.

I know I say it every time I review a book in this series, but seriously. I can’t quit it and it drives me nutso. There is something about these characters that is so compelling to me. I couldn’t tell you why. One thing I really loved in this book was everything from Butch’s point of view. I’ve always loved Butch as a character and that hasn’t changed since the first book.

The big bad in JRW’s Fallen Angels series has come over into this series. I’m unsure how I feel about that. Honestly, I like this big bad better than the Omega. She (yes, she) is just more interesting. I think she’s going to bring a lot to the series, but I still think it is kind of a copout. Overall, I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

three-half-stars


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