Series: This is a standalone
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher: Flip City Media, Inc.
Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Adult Contemporary Romace
Pages: 575 pages
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Synopsis: Everything about Fiona is forbidden.
She’s a party girl with dark desires.
She’s beautiful, irresponsible, irresistible.
She’s my patient.
I’m her therapist.
I’m past wanting her. Past possessing her. Past bedding her or protecting her.
I’m willing to be self-destructive, negligent, brave, audacious, and stronger than I ever believed possible.
She’s blunt force trauma to the heart.
And she calls another man Master.
Sensitive readers should be aware that this book gets a little dark. There’s pain with the sex, and one character treats our main character terribly.
If you’ve read KICK and/or USE from the Perdition Series, they are in here. The second half of the book is BREAK, which is the end of Fiona Drazen’s story. There’s a link right in front where you can click to get right to Break.
This book is an entire story, from inception to epilogue. Standalone. End of.
So this is the first CD Reiss book I’ve read and I’m kind of kicking myself at the moment.
Forbidden is a beautiful, frustrating, fantastic and emotionally draining ride of a book. More than once, I wanted to stop reading and never pick it up again. That’s not a bad thing. Trust me.
This is an erotic romance, but it dark. Dark, dark, dark. Like the sky at night sans moon dark. Things I read made me uncomfortable, but I can see now where the darkness was leading and it led to a most satisfying and beautiful ending.
Fiona, the heroine, is almost hard to love. At times, I wanted to jump into the pages of this book and shake her. That was about 2/3 of the book. However, when she finally gets it, it makes all the moments of frustration completely worth it.
There are two male MCs. They are light and dark. Good and evil. Complete and total opposites…or are they? Their differences are what make this story work. I couldn’t decide if I loved each of them or hated them. Probably both. No not probably, I know I hated each of them at more than one point.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this book will put you through the wringer and pull you out the other side after an emotional roller coaster ride and you will still be thinking about it days later.
***Disclaimer: there are sensitive subjects in this book that could be triggers for some people. As the author says in her synopsis, this is very dark and there is pain, sometimes welcomed, sometimes not.
My Recommendation: This book is a definite must read. One click it. Put it on your TBR. Just make it a point to read it.
Title: Anatomy of a Player
Series: Taking Shots
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Publication Date: 1/25/2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
Pages: 302 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
Add to Goodreads: Goodreads
Synopsis: A new adult romance from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…
This bad boy is about to get played…
After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.
With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker’s looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn’t an option. One thing’s for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review: Oh, Cindi Madsen, you sure know how to write all the feels. This book was so, so good. A strong heroine and a hot, cocky, hockey playing hero. Yes please! Whitney is tired of getting her heart broken time and time again. She decides she is done with me and has put herself under a strict no-sex policy. So she focuses on her future as a journalist and talks her way into a job at the campus newspaper. Her first assignment—to write an expose about the extra perks that student athletes receive. During her first job with the newspaper, she meets Hudson Decker, campus playboy and hockey star. He pushes her buttons at every turn. Hudson Decker is losing his cool and he needs a distraction and he decides that distraction is Whitney Porter. He woos her and things heat up between them, but they are both keeping things from each other. Their relationship is combustible in more ways than one. Whitney is a testament to girl-power everywhere and Hudson will make you swoon. This book will have you feeling all the feels.
Title: Hallowed Ground
Series: Flight & Glory #4
Author: Rebecca Yarrow
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Publication Date: 1/25/2016
Genre: New Adult Romance
Pages: 410 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
Add to Goodreads
Where to buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: A new adult romance from Entangled’s Embrace imprint…
There are some debts you can’t repay…
Josh Walker is loyal, reckless, and every girl’s dream. But he only has eyes for December Howard, the girl he has yearned for since his high school hockey days. Together they have survived grief, the military, distance, and time as they’ve fought for stolen weekends between his post at Ft. Rucker and her schooling at Vanderbilt. Now that Josh is a medevac pilot and Ember is headed toward graduation, they’re moving on—and in—together.
Ember never wanted the Army life, but loving Josh means accepting whatever the army dictates—even when that means saying goodbye as Josh heads to Afghanistan, a country that nearly killed him once before and that took her father. But filling their last days together with love, passion, and plans for their future doesn’t temper Ember’s fear, and if there’s one thing she’s learned from her father’s death, it’s that there are some obstacles even love can’t conquer.
Flight school is over.
This is war.
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Review: Hallowed Ground is a beautiful, romantic and perfect end to the Flight & Glory series.
I loved this book from start to finish. Ember and Josh were first introduced in book one and it was a beautiful story, as well. You don’t have to read the other books in the series, because Hallowed Ground does give you enough of the back story though, so you don’t go into the book completely lost. However, this is such a great series and each book is intertwined, I would highly recommend reading all of them.
Ember and Josh have been through a lot and Ember is not thrilled about being a part of the military life anymore, but she loves Josh and accepts him for him and that life goes along with him. When Josh gets his orders, Ember hides her fears that he won’t return and Josh encourages Ember to follow her dreams, because he fears not returning either. The time before he leaves had me blubbering. Their relationship is threatened in more ways than one and there were times I was just sure they weren’t going to make it.
There are so many emotional ups and downs. Make sure you have your tissues handy. You’re going to need them.
Rebecca Yarros wrote a fantastic ending to one of my favorite series. I highly recommend reading the entire series, but this one is by far my favorite.
The Beltane Escape
(The Two Realms Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.
But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.
Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.AriellaMoon.com or visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author
Dark Room: A Society X
Heidi McLaughlin & L.P. Dover
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The rules of Society X are simple . . . break them and you’re out.
Rule #1 – No names
It doesn’t matter if you want to know, it’s forbidden.
Rule #2 – No exchanging numbers
You can never call.
Rule #3 – Everything is to remain strictly anonymous
It doesn’t matter if you want to tell, it’s forbidden.
The Dark Room is the only place you can live out your fantasies and no one will ever know it’s you.
For Parker, what started out as a business transaction has turned into an addiction.
For Mia, it’s been a chance to discover who she truly is.
What happens in the dark will have you begging for more . . .
Are you a blogger?
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over seventeen novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
You can find L.P. Dover here:
Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, and their newest addition of a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL.
During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
Find Heidi here:
Publication date: January 20th 2016
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Sports
Drew Forrester is a total adrenaline junkie.
His high of choice?
The faster, the better.
He’s been making waves in Maryland’s underground racing circuit since he crossed the state line, and after speaking with him, we know he’s not hitting the brakes anytime soon.
So what exactly does it take to burn rubber and make a name for yourself in a world where the only rule is there are no rules?
You gotta be hungry…
You gotta have balls…
And you can never back down.
What’ve we learned here at GearShark?
Drew is all of the above.
We also know he’s got some secrets buried under his hood.
Secrets we think are loaded with octane and just might set the world of cars on fire.
Check out the full feature article inside…
*this is a spin-off of the Hashtag series but it can be read on its own.
**This book contains an M/M romance relationship.
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.
I would like to welcome author, Blaire Edens and thank her for stopping by Quesarasera Book Review to talk about her book, Coach Maddie and the Marine.
Keeping reading after the interview to find the links to buy the book and a Rafflecopter giveaway for a fabulous prize!
Without further ado…Blaire Edens!!
Welcome, Blaire. Tell us three interesting facts about yourself that you want readers to know.
Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to be here!
Fair warning: I’m a little quirky. J
-I’m a voracious knitter. Not only do I knit up a storm, but I occasionally teach knitting classes, usually ones on how to make socks or complicated lace shawls. The more complicated the pattern is, the more excited I am about giving it a try. While I’m writing, I keep my knitting on the desk beside me. When I get to a difficult scene or I can’t seem to get something to work out, I pick up my knitting, crank out a few rows and it usually solves the problem for me.
-I’m a college football FANATIC. I have season tickets to my alma mater, Clemson University. Go Tigers! During the football season, I watch several games a week. Maybe more than several. I love the strategy that’s involved and the football pants aren’t bad either.
-I have an issue with mixed foods. Yep. You read that right. I like chocolate sans mint or peanut butter and apples without cinnamon. My coffee must be black and please, please, don’t ask me to mix ketchup and mustard. Blech. The simpler, the better. I have no idea why I’m like this. Everyone else in my family is fine with mixed foods.
I loved Coach Maddie & the Marine. Please tell us a little bit about your book?
Thanks! I loved writing it. Being from a military family, writing it was a little like going home and it was fun to be back inside the culture of a large base like Fort Wilson.
I love the theme of working outside of your comfort zone in order to build self-confidence and a sense of competence. In this book, Maddie is looking after her nephew while her sister is deployed. Not only does she have to learn how to be a surrogate mom, she has to learn to be a football coach. In her determination, she evolves and learns to see herself in a new light.
David, my Marine hero, is deeply scarred by the loss of Maddie’s late husband, Frank. He was with him when he died and David can’t stop believing he is responsible. He must learn to get over his guilt and himself in order to build a new life.
Coach Maddie and the Marine is about second chances and learning to rebuild lives after they’ve been impacted by grief. I hope it’s a universal story that readers can relate to.
The book deals with some tough topics. Was there any particular inspiration behind this book?
Grief is something most of us can relate to in one way or another. While I had the idea of Maddie and the football element for a long time, when I heard about the death of one of my college classmates, who was a Marine, the story came together for me and I was able to better access the emotions associated with a combat death. My friend, Andy, who was killed in Al Anbar Province, could have become an officer in the USMC but instead he chose to enlist. His death really hit home for me and in many ways, he was in the inspiration for the plot. Another one of my dear friends, a career marine, who witnessed more than his share of combat in the war on terror, inspired David in many ways. Being the man left behind has its own set of challenges and it was wonderful to have real-life sources.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you like to be in?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. While I’ve done lots of other jobs in my quest to make it as a full-time writer, creating new stories drives me and I can’t imagine giving it up. For me, writing is a way of understanding everything that’s going on around me. By filtering things through characters, I can get a better handle on what drives us as humans.
If I had to pick another profession, I’d probably teach Latin. Told you I was quirky.
Thank you so much for the interview, Blaire. How can my readers, and yours, connect with you?
I love to connect with readers. I’m on social media way more than I should be so you can usually catch me on Facebook or Twitter. I also have a street team, Blaire’s Belles, I’m always running contests and making wisecracks, so like me or follow me so that you’ll have the latest details on the freebies. Here are the ways we can connect:
Thanks again for having me. Happy reading!
Coach Maddie and the Marine by Blaire Edens
Release Date: January 11, 2016
About the Book:
After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.
For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can’t help falling for her.
First of all, let me start out by saying this book is filled with all kinds of feels. David is absolutely swoonworthy and Maddie is kind of an inspiration. I mean really. She herself is dealing with so much loss and grief and instead of letting all that takeover, she lets it become a part of her that she uses her experience to help other. David has also lost someone. Now only does he feel grief over the loss, he is also dealing with some major guilt.
When David and Maddie meet sparks fly, but she doesn’t think she can survive another romance with a man in uniform. David can’t deny his attraction, but he knows things have to remain professional. They try to deny it, but their connection is inevitable.
Blair Edens has quite a way with words. I got lost in this book and fell into David and Maddie’s world. I laughed, I cried and I rooted for them.
This is a 5 star read that needs to find a way to your bookshelf or e-reader list ASAP!
About the Author:
Blaire Edens lives in the mountains of North Carolina on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. When she’s not plotting, she’s busy knitting, running, or listening to the Blues. Blaire loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, and yarn stores. She refuses to eat anything that mixes chocolate and peanut butter or apple and cinnamon. She’s generally nice to her mother, tries to remember not to smack her bubble gum, and only speeds when no one’s looking.
Social Media Links (Twitter, Facebook, etc.):
Street Team Facebook Group (Blaire’s Belles): https://www.facebook.com/groups/422523621249428/
Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1cb55495686/?
Love the cover of this book!! Scroll down for an excerpt and keep scrolling for a chance to win a $40 Amazon gift card!!
The Lost Heir
Allison Whitmore (with Erin Virginia & Grace Arden)
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: December 8th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Isabella Foxworthy was just another girl…until she learned she was an empath, able to read the energy of others. A secret world known as the Violet City lies beneath her family’s hotel in Los Angeles. Through this discovery, Isabella is catapulted into a whirlwind of magic, adventure, and danger. The Violet City holds the key to protecting her stability; her family hotel, her friends, and her very sanity.
With morphlings, empaths, and fair folk also comes a powerful entity that twists her mind into knots, threatening everything she loves. Now, Isabella and her new friends—a guitar-playing jock, his gifted but neurotic brother, and a set of over-indulged twins—have until her 16th birthday to save her world with the help of someone who’s been lost for a very long time…the lost Foxworthy heir. But will they find him in time? And will he be a friend or foe?
99 cents for a limited time only!
The sun was beginning to set and the bright day had begun to dissipate as dusk slowly fell over the Culver Hills village center, if one could really call it a village in the middle of Los Angeles. The air grew dense and musty. All the street lamps were off except one, which flickered in a slow, steady beat. Only a small number of cars cruised the road as the kids walked down Main Street toward where the Foxworthy Hotel was perched at the top of the hill. This dark stillness was not usual for this time of day. Something was off.
“Get off me!” The voice filled Isabella’s ear a block away from the hotel trolley stop. Her gut tore in two with fear. ”Give that back.”
Isabella slowed down to see Cleo marching back toward the same two bullies she’d rescued Pythian from the other day, one of whom had Xander by the shirt collar as the other was rummaging through Xander’s backpack. Cleo’s shoes lay in a clump.
“There are so many goodies in here. Gum drops. Chocolate snatches. Debbie cakes. And my personal favorite—this camcorder. Oh, wait… no. There’s a little digital camera, too. Looks like Christmas came early for us. Isn’t that right, Sloane?”
“Put my brother down, or you’ll be sorry,” Cleo shouted.
As requested, the boy shoved Xander, sending him tumbling into a nearby thorn bush. “Ahhrrk!” Cleo went straight to his side.
It looked like the kid with Xander’s backpack might consider going for Cleo’s purse, but before that could happen, the other boy, Sloane, said, “Dude, let’s get outta here.” Seth, who was bigger and taller than both of them, and Isabella, whose nostrils flared like a lion, hustled after them.
“I know those guys,” Isabella told Seth.
“Go back and stay with Cleo,” he said.
“Watch me, Superman.”
They looped around the corner as the bullies flew up the service road that led to the back of the hotel. Before they could get too far, four figures in black appeared; from where, Isabella could not tell. Two grabbed the boys. Another took Xander’s backpack. Seth and Isabella both stopped. Cold licked Isabella’s heart. Not an eerie cold, but like a soothing glass of cold lemonade on a scorching day in July.
“What do we do?” Isabella whispered.
“I would tell you to go back, but you’d just make too much noise arguing with me, so I say just shut up.”
“If you tell me to shut up one more time…”
The two figures holding the boys seemed to melt into the darkness of the trees.
“Where the hell did they go?” Seth asked, protectively pushing Isabella behind him.
She did not fight it. She was starting to become frightened, less of the situation and more of herself. Things had been off more than usual today. For the first time since her parents’ death, she’d felt completely protected, and she wasn’t sure it was all due to the necklace she had been wearing. It was so bizarre.
She was attuned to Cleo and Xander, who were usually never around at the holidays because, like her friend Lana, their parents traveled at that time. She’d felt everything from them: Xander’s exhaustion; Cleo’s boredom and overprotectiveness of her brother. The Logan brothers, however, were different. One minute, she felt Micah’s agitation with Xander, but the next, it would grow cold. And Seth—that boy, she couldn’t get a handle on at all. The only thing she got a sense of was fierce protection, particularly for Micah, but for her as well. She really did not know why.
That was never part of it; she had never felt the direction of a person’s emotions until now. She’d never felt so hot and cold about it. The five of them, connected by a string. It made no sense. Why would she be connected to these random kids?
The two figures in black who had stayed behind whispered to each other. Seth stepped to the side, taking Isabella with him. ”We should go back.”
But he was too late. The men had spotted them and were heading their way. Neither Seth nor Isabella dared to move. In an instant, the tallest of the figures, a young man of about twenty, stood before them. His skin was a beautiful caramel color, his eyes a startling green, and his hair—Isabella saw, as he pushed the hood off his head, he had a nest of shiny curls. He wore a goatee, and his eyes drooped with intellect.
“Declan Timothy. This is Max.” He thumbed at the guy behind him. “Just wanted to give this back to the kid.”
He pushed the backpack into Isabella’s arms. Her vocal cords decided to twist into a knot, so she was unable to say thank you.
“And to tell you to be careful. Tonight is going to change things for you.”
That did it. No more evil cats holding her tongue hostage. “What the heck does that mean?”
“You’ll see. If you need us, ask Theophilus where to find us.”
“Wait a minute,” Seth said, pinning Declan with a heated gaze. “Who are you guys?”
“The Midnight Brotherhood. Be careful, Isabella. And you—make sure she listens.”
“Sure,” Seth replied.
Then they, too, faded into the night.
Seth and Isabella looked at each other, not saying a word. For some reason, words did not seem appropriate at that moment.
When they returned to their friends, Seth spoke quietly as Isabella returned Xander’s backpack to him. “Let’s go home.”
The trolley was nowhere in sight, which was more evidence to Isabella that something was not right. From the bottom of the hill, the hotel was as dim and desolate as it had appeared from the center of the village. With heavy legs, they began up the hill. They climbed the front steps and walked into the lobby. Candlelight dotted the room. Elyse was the first person to approach them; her waitress apron was undone, her hair out of place.
“Thank God you’re all right.”
“What’s going on?” Isabella asked.
“I…” Elyse burst into tears.
“Elyse, tell us now! What happened?”
Elyse wiped her face. “I don’t really know. Everything blacked out for a while. It went cold, and I got really tired. It almost felt like I fell asleep for a while, but then when I woke up, I was standing in the same place I had been before. Right inside the Lily Field ballroom. And then—”
Allison Whitmore was born in Los Angeles and loves to tell good coming-of-age stories with a hint of romance. You will find her characters going on an adventure or two as well. Outside of writing, Whitmore enjoys classic films, hiking and spending time with family and friends. She loves it when fans reach out to her. You can reach her at email@example.com, follow her on Twitter: @alli_whitmore or join her on Instagram @allisonwhitmoreauthor.
When faced with broken love…Have you ever had the feeling you were a stranger?
The betrayal born of my good intentions is worse than the act of murder.…will you succumb to fear…
She was supposed to be my light.
I only saw my father’s killer.Her love saved me from the monster.
Mine turned her into one.…or will you be fearless?
B.B., also known as Bebe, found her passion for romance when she read her first romance novel by Susan Johnson at a young age. She would sneak into her mother’s closet for books and even sometimes the attic. It soon became a hobby, and later an addiction, influencing her life in a positive way.
Bebe has always wondered about the existence of her talent. When she finally decided to pick up a metaphorical pen and start writing, she found a new way to embrace her passion.
She favors a romance that isn’t always easy on the eyes or heart, and loves to see characters grow–characters who are seemingly doomed from the start but find love anyway.