2/6/17

COMPLETE SERIES REVIEW: MENACE AND GRIEVOUS BY J.M. DARHOWER!!!!!! <<----- 5 STAR AMAZING.

Today, the conclusion of the Scarlet Scars Series released. This is a FIVE star, must read duet for dark romance lovers. Below you will find a review of both books in the series. AH. Happy Reading!

Title: Grievous
Series: Bk 2 - Scarlet Scars Duet 
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: February 6, 2017
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SYNOPSIS:
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.
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I just... I honestly don't even know where to begin. I loved this duet so much, I don't think there are even words to describe what I'm feeling right now. I'm mad I finished it already, to be honest. As dark and dirty and deplorable as this storyline was, I want to go back and read it all over again for the first time. I'm obsessed. Menace floored me with how much I loved it, and this sequel not only lived up to every hopeful expectation I had, it completely surpassed it. I'm dumbstruck. I'm not even sure how to write a proper review because I just want to scream 'OMG, OMG, OMG, IT'S SO FANTASTIC.'

Lorenzo Gambini is not a character you're supposed to fall in love with. He's the guy you should be afraid of. He's the guy that won't hesitate to shoot you in the face for knocking on his door. He's a guy who carries oranges and grenades around in his pockets, for God's sake. He's the anti-hero. He's a loose cannon. He's unpredictable and ruthless and he's not a character who you'd expect to even find in a romance novel because there's nothing romantic, or sweet, or emotional about him. And yet here he is. And here I am. In love with this scarred man who will do anything within his power, no matter how dangerous or terrifying or insane, to help a woman get her life back. He's a character I simply can not get enough of.

What JM Darhower does with Grievous is phenomenal. Addictive, intense, unforgettable... It's just phenomenal. This story is so smart. It's the perfect blend of suspense, sensuality, well-timed humor, and gut-wrenching terror. I was brought to tears with how tortuous it is. Believe the warning. This story is brutal. What these characters are put through, both physically and emotionally, pushes the limits of even the most desensitized reader. The events in this book had me white-knuckling my kindle, had my stomach in knots, had me hungrily turning the pages in both anticipation and dread of what would happen next. Everything about this book is unpredictable. From the suspenseful brushes with death to the undeniable romance, nothing is certain. Nothing.

I'm kind of... ok, ridiculously... obsessed with this author's books and Menace and Grievous just landed up there as two of my all-time JM Darhower favorites. Everything from the character development to the dialogue to the heart-stopping plot is just PERFECTION. I couldn't put this book down, couldn't stop thinking about it. I read half the book before falling asleep and I swear, I dreamt about this story. I woke up so anxious to get back in and finish it, to see where Darhower would take these characters. I wasn't sure how any of them could possibly make it out of this war unscathed. But more, I had no idea where this story was headed on a romantic level. Lorenzo is the ultimate reluctant hero and Morgan is so tormented by what she's lost, falling in love is the last thing either wants or expects. Yet their chemistry is this invisible, palpable thing offering up tiny glimmers of hope where there would otherwise be none. Ultimately, JM Darhower simply did what JM Darhower does, delivering a dark, dangerous, consuming crime romance that is nothing short of brilliant.

Jessica's Rating:

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We are also going to share the review of MENACE which is Bk #1 in this two part series. GRIEVOUS is the CONCLUSION to the SCARLET SCARS series. 

Title: Menace
Series: Bk #1 Scarlet Scars
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: January 16, 2016! 
PURCHASE HERE:
Purchase Amazon

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 f*cking 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 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.
PURCHASE HERE:
Menace is a gritty, tantalizing mix of fear, sex, and violence. This story feels dirty. It's not uplifting or heartwarming or deeply romantic. It's about survival. It's about a war I didn't even fully understand, fought by characters who wouldn't let me get close enough to figure out what they're fighting for. Lorenzo, with his scar and his henchmen and his notoriety, who isn't afraid of anything, who is cold and indifferent and wholly captivating all at once. Morgan, with her past and her solitude and her shame, afraid of everything and nothing, strong yet vulnerable all at the same time. Together, they don't make any sense but somehow they make all the sense. Somehow, in these streets where imminent death feels like it's lurking right around the corner, where the hunter and the hunted have every reason to betray each other to save themselves, in each other they find some inexplicable thing that connects them, making them feel more alive than anything else. 

This story felt a bit slow going at first but before I even knew it, I was completely consumed by it. There's no one to trust here in these streets of scarred men and scared women and dirty deeds and death. There's no one to turn to. There's only fear and survival and darkness. And in the middle of all that, a sordid relationship between two people who can't trust each other, but they can use each other is born. It's not clean. It's not honest. It's a symbiotic relationship born on lies and secrets and selfishness. And it's somehow the most deliciously addictive dynamic you can imagine.

This book is just... WHOA. It's very cryptic, the story evolving painstakingly, secrets unearthed in their due time. You never completely know these characters, their story, their intentions because everything is locked up so tightly. Everyone is guarded, so accustomed to shielding themselves off, all unwilling to reveal their fears, their hopes, their truths. So, as the reader, you go through this journey with them on the edge of your seat, never quite knowing who's trustworthy, who's going to pull a trigger, who's going to betray the other, who's going to pull the rug out, who's lying, who's falling, who's afraid. You don't know up from down and it's perfectly frustrating and gripping all at once. 

No one mixes violence and lust and raw animal attraction between the most broken people the way JM Darhower does. No one weaves threads of sweet chemistry through such an ugly, terrifying tapestry of crime and murder the way JM Darhower does. No one creates such inherently bad, misunderstood characters and makes you root for them to win, for them to survive, for them to find some semblance of a happily ever after the way JM Darhower can. No one demands you accept such wrongness, such indifference, such coldness, such wickedness the way JM Darhower does. I haven't read the Monsters in the Dark series yet, but if Lorenzo Gambini made even the tiniest appearance there, I'm running to read it immediately to tide me over until the war continues in Grievous. I'm addicted. I'm addicted to Darhower's writing, her storytelling, her maddening characters and their dirty deeds, to the way she illustrates physical attraction, chemistry, the possibilities of hope and love and romance in the darkest places, the places so barren, nothing should grow. I'm addicted to it all and I can't wait for more.

Jessica's Rating:

 JM Darhower is the USA Today Bestselling Author of romance novels of all flavors (erotic, suspense, contemporary, paranormal). She lives in a tiny town in the Carolinas with her family, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and human rights, and when she isn’t writing she’s usually ranting about those things. Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a social media addiction. You can find her there.

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