Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

Review: Villains & Vodka | Top Shelf Series by Alta Hensley

VILLIANSANDVODKAMy life is one long fevered dream, balancing between being killed or killing.
The name Harley Crow is one to be feared.
I am an assassin.
A killer.
The villain.

I own it. I choose this life. Hell, I crave it. I hunger for it. The smell of fear makes me hard and is the very reason the blood runs through my veins.
Until I meet her…

Marlowe Masters.
Her darkness matches my own.
In my twisted world of dancing along the jagged edge of the blade…
She changes everything.
No weapon can protect me from the kind of death she will ultimately deliver.

*Villains & Vodka is a dark billionaire romance. If you don’t like a splash of shock, a dash of taboo, and a heavy dose of sex, then don’t take a sip of this TOP SHELF cocktail.

4 Stars

Romance | Adult Fiction | Erotica/BDSM | Contemporary

Well holy bananas batman that escalated in all the right ways – just….wow.

I gotta say, if you haven’t started the Top Shelf by Alta Hensley you are missing out, I seriously love this series. And although each novel is considered a standalone novel, I highly encourage reading them in order as one kind of builds for the next, especially once you realize who the synopsis is based from for the following novel. I will admit that Bastards & Whiskey is definitely my personal favorite still even after reading Villains & Vodka, but nonetheless the second is just as great. Before I dive into the actual review I did give a quick disclaimer so I am probably going to continue doing that for this series but for this I wanted to specifically mention a little more detail. Of course this is still a dark romance with dominant and submissive dynamics, steamy taboo and multitude of sexual experimentation. However I also want to mention there is a slight trigger warning, so again if you are faint of heart or do not care for these types of scenarios in your reads, then you will not want to sip on this cocktail in the least. But if you do decide to go into this bar with me, I promise it will go down smooth.

Now that the red tape is lined out for you, lets dive in…

Villains & Vodka is definitely a little more darker than book one, which is not bad in the least bit. One was definitely more Dom/Sub orientated while two is more role playing dark fantasies. It starts right off the bat with Harley Crow, one of the other owners of Spiked Roses who also happens to be one of the sexiest, deadliest assassins. He has a dark and twisted past that still bleeds into his present, and his personality is just as dark and twisty. He is completely intense presence and seeps out just an essence of ruthless, heartless sex appeal. I really enjoyed his character, I liked the intrigue and mystery of his inner personality, it was really crippling and jaw dropping sexy at the same time. 

Of course Harley would be nothing without a little action, so our next step is Marlowe Masters, another waitress working in the gentlemen’s club. At the point of her introduction she is absolutely obsessed with Harley. All she wants is for him to notice her because she literally wants to drink him up. Because of this she signs up for the Tasting in hopes Harley will be there for a contract purposeful. Up until this point he has never joined, her disappointment lingers further because even throughout the bar Harley never notice Marlowe. I honestly really liked Marlowe, I felt she was sexy and fun twist type of character with some emotional baggage that aided to her personality that played on her chemistry throughout the novel when she is involved with Harley. 

Speaking of which, it should come to no surprise that Harley contracts Marlowe… whoo – hot damn the chemistry. Their chemistry is really focused on their darkest type of desires. Harley for one really craved fear, it was actually a big turn on for him to which you have Marlowe who on many occasions proves her edgy personality by standing up to his attempts to scare her which then only proves that her darkness matches Harley. This really intensifies their sexual encounter. 

The issue I had unfortunately with the novel is that it was so much build pace it was too fast. The insta-love attraction took an escalation that made me not appreciate their connection to what I wanted.  From the chemistry of their first meeting to their steamy fuck fest, it quickly transpired into something a little more questionable that I just wasn’t pleased with mid-way. I loved how it ended, I still really enjoyed the build, I just would have preferred more. More to their depth, more to their growing connection, just an overall more flow of a blossoming relationship. 

Ultimately this is still a great book! I still love this series and admittedly I loved Harley’s backstory, his personality was panty dropping yummy. Still doesn’t compare to Kenneth, I told you I am a sucker for an asshole, but nonetheless Harley was the perfect dark hero. I cannot wait to continue this series, if you haven’t picked this up yet you are missing out and I highly encourage you to take the jump and start it now!

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