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    REVIEW: They Call Him Levity by Davidson King

    Welcome Boulevard: They Call Him Levity Davidson King

    Levity works the streets of Welcome Boulevard, begging people for money. It keeps food in his belly, a leaky roof over his head, and he gets to do it with his best friend, Clove. No, it’s not the ideal life, but he does what he must to survive.

    Salvatore Grillo is a man who is used to getting what he wants. He’s a loyal brother to his autistic sister, runs numerous business empires, and knows how to make people to bend to his will. It’s not often someone comes along and shakes things up. And then Levity smiles at him.

    Levity’s idea to pull in more money draws Salvatore’s attention, and while being the focus of a crime boss should be terrifying, Levity is intrigued by the man. Not to mention, Sal is as gorgeous as he is powerful. The two gravitate toward one another and soon are wrapped up tightly in each other’s worlds. When enemies try to break through their doors and their lives, Salvatore has to do everything in his power to save not just himself but Levity too.

    Not knowing who is behind all the chaos or when they will strike makes their happily ever after almost impossible. Time’s running out for Sal and Levity. Will they survive, or will their story end before it’s even begun?


    They Call Him Levity and our boy is indeed a ray of sunshine!

    The book opens Davidson King‘s latest series, Welcome Boulevard. It’s written in the same vein as the fantastic Haven Hart series, mafia-lite, fluff-heavy, with a huge dollop of family drama thrown in for good measure.

    The story stars Levity, practically homeless and begging for money on the streets with his best friend, Clove. The money they earn goes to mob boss Salvatore Grillo via a disreputable middleman. Levity is quick of mind and a font of trivia. He and Clove use that as their schtick to catch people’s attention. It was so effective Sal’s curiosity was piqued, and he had to go and see for himself…

    Levity’s personality just pops off the page! He was so bright, brave, smart, and tenacious, I found myself smiling and utterly charmed. Of course Sal stood no chance and found himself housing an injured Levity and his friends, Clove and 17-year old Maze, after a violent encounter with the pervy middleman who tried to grab Maze.

    There’s a slight niggle regarding the panhandling scheme Sal had going. It reminded me of how we were always warned not to give money to beggars because a crime syndicate is behind them collecting the proceeds. It’s a really shitting thing to do, so I wasn’t impressed with Sal about that at first. Later on, he had his realization after meeting Levity and his friends and vowed to change things into something that would make his sister proud.

    Also, I wished the story delved deeper into Sal’s and Levity’s backstory. We had a bit more info on Sal but we only get the here and now version of Levity. The boy is mostly a mystery. Not even his real name was revealed. The romance was gentle and sweet but overall felt underdeveloped since it happened too quickly.

    Sal’s relationship with his autistic teen sister, Jacqueline, is one of the most endearing parts of the book. He’s super protective of Jac since her mother, his stepmom, treats her as if she is defective. The scenes with the stepmom were the ugliest parts, the woman is a pure narcissist. I can’t believe she doesn’t appreciate how awesome and talented Jac is.

    Plot-wise, it’s pretty predictable. Still, I had a great time because I love the characters. They made all the difference. The author did a spectacular job making me care about them so much that I’m already super hype for the next book. It’s probably about Clove and Marcel, Sal’s best friend and right-hand man. I’m amused at how these two pretend they’re not into each other although it was so obvious they are, people started a pool.

    They Call Him Levity might have some niggles and ugly drama, but it’s very aptly named. I’m usually emotionally distant and poker-faced when reading, and this book actually made me smile!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Levity
    Artist: 9Tomorrows
    Album: Gravity in Love


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    REVIEW: Blood Boss by Davidson King

    Black Veil: Blood Boss – Davidson King

    Vampires, mermaids, and witches…oh, my! Black Veil is full of them all, but at the end of the day, it’s The Blood Boss who has the last word. Ever since The Final War, Vampires rule Black Veil, and with The Blood Boss in charge, peace reigns.

    Keeping the vampires under control is a task Cain takes seriously. Humans have accepted his rule, and anyone who seeks to destroy his territory is given swift punishment. His promise to keep Black Veil safe comes with great sacrifice and selflessness; never does he dare hope for more in life. Until one day, a man walks through his front door and changes everything.

    Jayce has a happy life. His adopted parents love him, he wants for very little, and he lives every day to the fullest. But when a normal evening turns into a nightmare, and Jayce is forced to come face-to-face with The Blood Boss, the world as he knows it feels like a lie.

    Then a great secret is revealed, and nothing is what it seems. Cain and Jayce must work together to stop the forces uniting against the vampires. Life and love are in jeopardy as they fight those who seek to destroy them. Can Cain and Jayce keep Black Veil from crumbling into the sea when every attempt to do so seems impossible?


    Black Veil is an exciting new paranormal series from Davidson King. We best know the author for her contemporary romantic suspense, Haven Hart, and, its spin-off, Joker’s Sin.

    The setting is reminiscent of Haven Hart, taking place in a city ruled by the mysterious Blood Boss. It’s a time after humans nearly destroyed themselves and supernatural creatures stepped in to save Earth. When things settled, vampires were on top of the food chain.

    The vampire lore has little interesting twists that I liked, such as the blood magic and the custom of treating the humans they fed from with reverence instead of livestock. Apart from vampires, there are dragons, creatures of the sea, witches, and perhaps, shifters and whatnot in the future books.

    Jayce is an adopted son of a kind-hearted couple who loved him as their own. He was forced to work off their debt from the Blood Boss after his dad failed to pay. I didn’t warm up to Jayce. He has a temper that tends to flair in inappropriate times. It was supposed to make him feisty, but IMO, but he lacked the charm to pull it off.

    The Blood Boss is Cain, the first vampire. I liked him better. He’s a strict leader, but he’s fair and just. I suspect he’s the biblical Cain since it was mentioned several times that he was accused of killing his brothers.

    Sadly, the romance didn’t work for me. The progression of their relationship wasn’t convincing. And I didn’t feel the chemistry.

    The rest of the book was much more entertaining. It’s a story of a young man who discovered his voice is more powerful than he realized and that his real parents sacrificed so much so that he lives. There were so many things to unpack here, and I was super hyped when secrets were revealed. This was more than just vampire romance! This was cosmic!

    However, sometimes it felt like things were crammed and shortened to fit the required page count. The plot could have benefited from a longer book. The narrative suffered from too much tell versus show.

    But even with these issues, I was fascinated with all the goings-on. Also, this is just the opener, so we can expect some of the juicier threads explored further.

    Blood Boss is the beginnings of an epic urban fantasy series. It’s a story about secrets, sacrifice, power, loyalty, and families lost and found. It might not be perfectly composed but it still hit the right notes to make me look forward to the next piece.

    Rating
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Blood Sings
    Artist: Suzanne Vega
    Album: 99.9F


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    SERIES REVIEW: Haven Hart Books 1-7 by Davidson King

    ***Long post. you can skip to the end for the tl,dr version if preferred

    Never judge a series by its spin-off is a lesson I learned from Haven Hart.

    I read Joker’s Sin series first, and I’m sad to say, I wasn’t too impressed. I didn’t bother with Haven Hart after that. Then on a whim, I decided to pick up Snow Falling, since heck, Joel Leslie and Philip Alces were narrating, and these two are always fantastic. Plus, I was also in the mood for some mafia romance.

    I ended up binging the entire series! That GOOD!

    These are not-so-mini reviews of the seven books in the main Haven Hart universe. The books should be read in order.

    Snow Falling: A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow’s life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher’s best be enough to prevent Snow Falling?


    I didn’t have much expectations going in. I thought it would be the usual mafia romance. Little did I know, I would be completely charmed by the delightful titular character, Snow. This ray of sunshine also charmed a houseful of mobsters, especially the boss, Christopher Manos.

    Snow saved Simon, Christopher’s 8-year-old nephew, from a dire fate, putting himself in grave danger in return. Christopher offered the homeless Snow protection and a place to stay, hiring him as Simon’s companion.

    It was a joy to watch the much-feared mob boss, Christopher Manos, become simply Chris. I loved how he was drawn to Snow without seeming to realize it. He instinctively let him take the lead, and it was so endearing that Snow didn’t even realize how much power he had having the Christopher Manos in his corner. Our boy asked for so little, and here was Chris, ready to give him the world!

    It’s a fabulous book to open the series. It showed a glimpsed of Haven Hart from its underbelly. It touches upon some dark themes, but still relatively lighter than the other books. The plot had many surprising twists and dark secrets to uncover. I was completely riveted!

    Rating:
    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: Naked
    Artist: Jaymes Young
    Album: Feel Something


    Hug It Out: When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them.

    So I tried reading this a couple years back, but I wasn’t feeling it. I was a bit skeptical (and admittedly judgey) about Teddy’s job. Like seriously, a professional hugger? I don’t even like hugging my relatives.

    Second time’s the charm because past the first couple of chapters, I got the hang of it. It’s a cute story of an assassin who was gifted with a professional hugger. He didn’t know what to do with him, so he ended up falling in love.

    I wasn’t as interested in the romance as I was with Riordan’s organization and his co-workers. He works for Black, an enigmatic and intimidating Thor of a man, who suddenly discovered somebody plans to launch a hostile takeover of his assassin company. Riordan and a few other trusted assassins work to uncover who was behind it.

    This installment introduced many of the characters who star in the succeeding books. The plot is as suspenseful and more action-packed. It also hinted at the presence of the nameless, faceless, hella mysterious heir to the Haven Hart founding family via the presence of Poe. He is an artist Snow befriended, and also the Hart heir’s representative. I was dying with curiosity!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Bullet Holes
    Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov
    Album: Evening Machines


    A Dangerous Dance: Bill and Mace’s traitorous hearts draw them closer together no matter how hard they fight the inevitable. With the lives of their loved ones hanging in the balance, they find themselves in the middle of a dangerous dance.

    This is an enemies-to-lovers story of Bill, Christopher Manos’s underling who became Snow’s best friend, and Mace, an assassin from Black’s organization. They were forced to work together.

    I didn’t expect Bill to get his own book. He was a goon from the Russian mob who threatened Snow. He had been given a second chance by Christopher after Snow asked to spare his life. He was mostly in the background, so I was surprised that he was suddenly Snow’s best friend.

    Mace was more memorable because he’s a flashier character. That’s all I’ll say about him because he and Bill weren’t that interesting. However, both are great as secondary characters.

    Their story felt very much like a mid-series book. It picked up the threads from the previous book and ended in an HFN. Not so satisfying but understandable given how things went.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Born Killers
    Artist: Selebrities
    Album: Lovely Things


    From the Ashes: Unknowingly sharing the same goal—burying their own pasts deeper than the fires of hell can reach—Black and Quill are unaware that jumping into that fire will do more than ignite their feelings, it could lead to their own demise.

    I was excited about this because Quill piqued my interest when he first appeared in Book 2. I was thrilled he’s paired with Black because they’re total opposites.

    Quill is the colorfully tattooed smallish barista who latched on to Black and flirted every chance he got. Black is this grumpy giant who couldn’t understand why Quill, 20 years his junior, was interested in him. After the events in Book 3, he hired the young man to do deliveries.

    At first, the story was cute and amusing with Black trying to fend off the relentless Quill. Then things took a darker turn when it was revealed Quill was a victim of domestic abuse. Black was in full protective mode because he took such crime personally.

    Why he takes it personally was a story so tragic and horrific it triggered my anxieties. And I’m normally the type of reader who’s barely ruffled by blood and gore scenes. The author didn’t make it too graphic, it was just that terrible. You can feel how heartbreaking it was for Black to talk about it. Also, the scene where Quill was being hunted had me holding my breath. I was so terrified for him!

    My heart went out to Black and Quill! I am so glad this is romance, and the happy ending is guaranteed, or else I would be completely devastated.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Born In Flames
    Artist: In This Moment
    Album: Mother


    Snow Storm: The city of Haven Hart rests under the heel of Christopher Manos. Snow has found a home, a family, and the love of one of Haven Hart’s most powerful men. When Christopher and Simon are kidnapped, Snow risks everything to find his family. Snow calls in every favor he is owed, risking his life promising favors in return, all to save his family and the man he loves.

    This installment returns to Christopher, Snow, and now teen, Simon. The happy couple wants to celebrate Simon’s birthday. Chris promised his nephew the two of them would go camping so that they could spend some quality time together. En route, they were ambushed and kidnapped.

    Manos family skeletons were unearthed when Christopher came face to face with their kidnappers. The lengths Snow would go through to save his family knew no bounds. He even went so far as break his friendship with Poe by asking him to do the unthinkable, betray the Hart heir.

    This part was particularly juicy because I was hungry for crumbs about the Hart heir. Poe guarded his secrets like a dragon guarding his hoard. I’m so tempted to skip to the 7th book!!!

    Anyway, Snow was wonderfully brave and smart, even if he had to hurt Poe in process. Thankfully, they reconciled later on. With Black’s help, Snow hatched a clever rescue mission. This book also has a mid-series feel to it, bridging the past events to the present and laying down the seeds of things revealed in the next book. It’s not as dark as the previous book but still very gripping!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Find You
    Artist: Ruelle
    Album: Rival


    Triple Threat: Lee, Jones, and Ginger deal with dangerous situations and mounting stress daily working for the most powerful assassin organization in the world. All of those things seem like a walk in the park compared to the friction that sparks between them. When all three are assigned to the same job, ignoring the heat from the inferno of desire becomes impossible.

    Lee, Jones, and Ginger are Black’s people. Jones is the muscle and Lee’s best friend, while Ginger is the recruit. Lee is a hacker who went to the dark web to track down human traffickers who were running an auction. Then they discovered Ginger’s brother being sold and rushed to save him.

    This is a road trip poly romance running alongside a vigilante mission to take down the human trafficking ring. It had Jones and Lee pretending to be buyers while Ginger worked in the shadows since his close resemblance to his brother would give them away. They had to follow instructions and codes to various locations before they could retrieve their “merchandise.”

    Given the stomach-turning crime tackled here, the author did a good job keeping things from becoming too disturbing. The plot brings various arcs together and edges closer to the finale. I love how things are starting to fall into place. At the same time, it had me asking burning questions!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Bloom
    Artist: Murder By Death
    Album: The Other Shore


    Raven’s Hart: Haven Hart stands on the edge of good and evil. Having balance between the two is the only thing keeping the town from crumbling to the ground. For years, one man has been charged with maintaining that balance. Poe. The air of mystery surrounding Poe is one of necessity. Poe will need the help of his friends to fight the ultimate battle; not just save Haven Hart but everything and everyone he holds dear to him.

    Finally, Poe’s book!!!!

    I will not say much about the plot. All you need to know is that it’s so worth it to read the first six to get to this! My jaw dropped to the floor at the revelations. And that’s just in the opening chapters!

    I was also floored to know the true measure of the weight and heartache Poe carries. This guy is holding Haven Hart together single-handedly. And doing it while barely holding himself together. It’s a wonder he’s still standing, the poor man! Poe is amazing!!!

    Davidson King definitely saved the best for last! Haven Hart was never the same after this!

    Rating:
    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: You
    Artist: Tally Hall
    Album: Good & Evil

    The Haven Hart series is about family. The good ones, the ones people found, and the ones they’d rather forget. I loved how the main characters were so alive and real, I felt like I knew them personally. Their stories moved me, scared me, amused me, made me feel like I’m part of their lives. Their stories are a delicate balance of good and evil, much like the city that gave the series its name.


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    Haven Hart Boxset 1-4: US | UK
    Haven Hart Boxset 5-7: US | UK

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    HAVEN HART BOXSET 1-4
    HAVEN HART BOXSET 5-7

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