BDSM, Contemporary, Crime, Reviews, Romance

Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet #1) by Charmaine Pauls

Release Date-October 10th 2017
Genre-Dark Crime Romance
Kindle Edition-305 pages

How far will a man go to get the woman he wants?

I’m a loan shark. Breaking people runs in my blood. The Haynes’ were supposed to be a straightforward job. Go in and pull the trigger twice. One bullet for Charlie, one for his sister. But when I saw Valentina, I wanted her. Only, in our world those who owe us don’t get second chances. No way in hell will my mother let her live. So I devised a plan to keep her.

It’s depraved.
It’s immoral.
It’s dubious.

It’s perfect.
Just like her.

Book 1 & 2 in the LOAN SHARK DUET will be released back-to-back.
DUBIOUS: 10 October 2017
CONSENT: 14 November 2017

Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet, #1)Dubious by Charmaine Pauls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Dubious (The Loan Shark Duet, #1) was a delight to read and once I started there was no stopping me, I was on a mission to finish this.
So the low-down on Dubious was that Valentina Haynes a young veterinary student manages to get on the wrong side of the Louw family courtesy of her car thief neighbour, who while watching her disabled brother Charlie lets him run up gambling debt’s at a local club.
Sent in on a kill order Gabriel Louw wanting Valentina for himself offers her an out, come work for him for nine years to pay off her brother’s debt and he will let her brother go.
Now this book was fantastic and was such an easy read.
Despite the subject matter involved here, this was not in any way for me dark.
Gabriel rather than force Valentina (who is now working as a maid in his home).
Gradually seduces her senses with his brand of charisma and skills.
Alongside Gabriel, Valentina has to endure his mother Magda. who from day one is unhappy with her son’s decision to allow the Hayne’s to continue to exist and is just looking for an excuse to end Valentina.
I also loved the fact that Gabriel wasn’t your typical looker and was covered in scars, this to me was an actual plus rather than a minus because I do adore me a less than perfect anti-hero.
Gabriel also came packed with a spoilt teenage daughter and I get the impression from her behaviour that she was less than aware of her father’s profession.
I also thought it was a stroke of genies to set this in South Africa, Johannesburg to be precise.
This made it stand out for me from the norm, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve read this genre of story set in this background before.
This made this really original.
The tale told here was not very angsty but that didn’t matter.
As this story progressed, two things became very clear to me, Gabriel’s self-confidence in his own appeal was low, more than likely due to his scarring.
He felt that his money and power was all he had to offer besides the obvious things as well of course.
The second being Valentina has vastly underestimated how much Gabriel wants to protect and keep her, the former going to such extremes that it was bound to come crashing down around his ears just through miscommunication.
There were some very interesting side characters here Quinn and Rhett, Gabriel’s bodyguards being two that grew on me and I believe they both generally liked Valentina.
Also, her friend Kris was a diamond watching her brother Charlie, maybe for the next nine years, this was definitely above and beyond.
Bet we would all love a friend like that.
So the only reason I pulled this down a star was that I feel that Gabriel himself would with this sort of reputation and power be less than inclined to allow his mother to pull his strings.
Yes, I know in the beginning she was described as having all the power.
I just fail to see, how with Gabriel’s sort of nature he has allowed this status quo to go unchallenged all these years, I just can’t see it.
After all, he is the muscle and scary face of the Louw’s family loan shark franchise.
I actually just really wanted him to tell his mother to go screw herself.
So Would I recommend this? Hell yeah!!!
Dubious was well written with great developed characters and an interesting storyline.
It also really helped that the hero and heroine were both extremely likeable people.
Even considering the hero’s occupation.
And the way this was left. well just Phew, so need that next instalment.
Dubious ended on such a fantastic cliffhanger.
I would like to say thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a free ARC.
This is my own free and honest opinion of Dubious.

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Reviewed By Bookworm

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Contemporary, Crime, Dark, Reviews, Romance

Doll Face by Sadie Grubor

Release Date-August 12th 2017
Publisher-Book Nerd Revelation
Genre-Dark Mafia Romance.
Kindle Edition-367 pages

Most kids don’t grow up wanting a dead beat dad. Those kids don’t understand how much worse it can truly be. How it feels to grow up wishing your father was a neglectful dead beat and not a living nightmare.

I did. I do. And my safest place is to hide among the monsters. So, that’s what I do. I blend into a sea of criminals and the depraved. Any of them are far better company than my father.

That’s how I ended up here, applying too much makeup and too little clothing. Tonight’s show has to be enough to entice, yet subdued enough not to draw too much attention. Getting noticed not only puts you in the position of private dance rooms, but also makes them curious. They want to see you, all of you, and for even a brief moment possess you.

Even if it’s all a part of the game, their night of fantasy, it’s still too risky. For two years, I’ve held the delicate balancing act. The occasional businessman, random bachelor, and even the rare everyday good guy, but never a regular client or patron as many of the other girls have. Sure, the money, gifts, and, hell, even the attention and pampering are more tempting than the drugs readily available in this place. Yet, the fear of being discovered, again, tampers the temptations and desires for more.

It’s been over two years I’ve stayed safe, over two years of keeping the balance, over two years of being someone else and living their life.

Then he walks through the dark red lacquered doors of my hiding place. His eyes searching, probing, and knowing. He sees through my fabrications, but his own secrets silence his curiosity. Buried beneath the corded muscle and smooth tan skin lies a darkness I know too well. It’s terrifying and seductive.

Now, this temptation swirls on the tip of my tongue, teasing my taste buds, making me want to confess all my sins to a man who could punish me and free me in the most wonderfully worst ways.

Doll FaceDoll Face by Sadie Grubor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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There really are not enough good things I can say about this Book.
“Doll Face” By Sadie Grubor is the first thing I have ever read by this author and boy was this one action-packed non-stop gruesome bloody read.
This was so deliciously wrong but felt so freakishly right.
And I would have to say this is hands down one of my favourite reads of this year.
But just be warned this is dark stuff and it doesn’t pull its punches.
So Doll face revolves around “Mei” a stripper/dancer whos rather cray cray and also “Saint” whos a mob enforcer and boss and even more cray cray.
These two have the type of Loony tunes sadistic natures that just recognise and bask in each other’s dark auras.

The evil lurking within recognizes and wants him. Even now, the urges swirl beneath my skin in a choreographed dance designed just for him. He grins, walking around the bed, and my eyes follow every languid movement of his large body. Stopping at the right of the bed, he leans down, fists burrowing into the mattress. “I’ve been in hell for years, dead girl,” he informs. “Now, I’m bringing you with me.”


This is it. She finally understands. She sees the creature at its worst. The very thing grown men cower from and my absolute jubilation in the acts I perform.

Each have their own reasons for the way they are and together they just fit, like two pieces of a puzzle.
Mei is in hiding, on the run, lying low when she catches saint’s eye, he decides he wants her for his own, so he just takes her and installs her in his penthouse.
together they slowly learn to welcome each others brand of nuts.

“That was all you, my pretty, dirty, little dead girl,” I say, bringing my face so close each of her heavy breaths warms my mouth. “I’ve glimpsed your darkness,” I whisper, feeling her body tense, “and it’s fucking beautiful.”


“The ground will be littered with the bodies of those who have and would hurt you,” he vows. “I will lay each one at your feet and carve your name into their flesh as a reminder to others.”

So this was fantastically written, I hung on to every gruesome bloody word written.
The world building was amazing and it also had great secondary characters that I would love to see centre stage in their own stories.
There were so many twists and turns I was getting dizzy.
And as we approached the end things really started to heat up fast barreling towards a giant cliffhanger, which I found so bloody annoying.
The way this was left I imagine and hope there will be a continuation of this story, there just has to be, It cant be left here.
I for one will be waiting for the next delicious instalment with baited breath.
I will leave you with this delicious declaration from Saint

“I don’t care about your sins,” he says, “I have my own.” His fingers flex against my scalp. “And quite honestly, I need your soul to be as dark and corrupted,” he confesses. “It’s the only way mine won’t destroy you. I can’t destroy you.” Tears fill my eyes, one blink setting them free. “You’re so fucking perfect, and I’m terrified of you,” he admits, bringing his left hand to the other side of my face. “It’s like my demons conjured you just to torment me and I’m scared they’ll take you away.” “You resurrected all my demons and ghosts,” I sniff. “He’ll come for me.” “I hope so,” he growls. “Because there isn’t a god or devil who will save him from The Saint.”

I so need more Saint and his deadly little Doll.

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Reviewed By Beckie Bookworm

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