✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4 ⭐️ Review: Tijan’s A Cruel Arrangement ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Tropes: anti-hero; alpha hero; mafia romance; forced proximity; grumpy/sunshine; opposites attract; heroine in danger; tragic past

Tijan’s next Kings of New York story, A Cruel Arrangement is a fitting follow-up to Tijan’s A Dirty Business. Both books envelop the reader in a harrowing tale of mafia tribulations couched in sultry romance. Where Trace and Jess’s love story is fraught with the forbidden element of their relationship, Ashton and Molly’s romance is high adrenaline from the very start to its end. 

As Tijan does well, A Cruel Arrangement is full of minute-by-minute tension. Ashton and Molly are opposites: he’s the new head of a mafia family, and Molly is the owner of a local bowling alley. Her father is a street “rat,” owned by Ashton’s family due to his extravagant gambling debt, and Ashton has taken on the family business in the wake of the deaths of his uncles. They shouldn’t work; however, something in Molly matches Ashton’s darkness, and the two are drawn together like magnets. 

This book has much to be solved because danger is afoot at every corner. Tijan places her characters in sundry difficult situations, and Ashton and Molly must work their way out of them. A Cruel Arrangement is page after page of trials, yet Ashton and Molly forge ahead, their attraction palpable on the page. Even in its darkest moments, Tijan has grafted a sweetness in Ashton and Molly’s pairing. 

Given the suspense in this book, I didn’t figure out the villain’s accomplices until Tijan revealed it. This, thankfully, kept me turning the pages of her story. The ending, however, was abrupt and not fully fleshed out. Yet, I’d like to believe there might be another book. 

If you’re an avid reader of suspenseful, dark mafia, A Cruel Arrangement will give you some good feels, but I’m not sure the most dedicated reader of mafia romance will find it dark enough. In the end, I’m here for Tijan and her stories, and this newest book didn’t disappoint. 

In love and romance,

Professor A


✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Jolie Vines’s Burn, the final book of her Dark Island Scots series ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Jolie Vines’s epic conclusion of her Dark Island Scots series, Burn, is like riding a way at the Mavericks: adrenaline-inducing and extreme. In fact, the entirety of this series has been a departure from her earlier books. She still calls on her brand: heroes who fall maddeningly in love with their heroines on sight, even heroes who would be more aptly considered anti-heroes, and heroines whose character qualities bloom under this love. The story is the driving force of a book such as Burn, and Vines offers a bonfire of an ending. Throughout the series, she has focused on the same common themes: the depravity of human trafficking and the corruption of the political system. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter whether you are a reader in the US or one in Vines’s native England; these themes feel global in the manner in which she presents them. Even though they are presented as a community evil in Scotland, it’s felt in any country. The foundation of the books in her Dark Island Scots series does two things: 1) it entices the reader into the entirety of the series because you must read the first book to the last one to find its conclusion, and 2) it drives the reader forward more than character development. Honestly, her characters don’t change much throughout the series. Instead, their situations change. That’s the meat on the bone of this series. It keeps you engaged and is a wise authorial choice for Vines. 

There is an ultimate intrigue in a story such as Burn: what is considered heroic? It’s one of my favorite questions for a dark romance because a character such as Jamieson is complicated as he commits murder and engages in arson. How can a character such as he be absolved of these crimes? Well, the answer is simple: in the same way that Batman does. When it’s done in the name of justice or to right a wrong, it makes it easier for the reader to accept, and Vines writes this truth well in Burn

Just as Vines does with the first three books of her Dark Island Scots series, there is plenty of spice to entice, but, for me, the draw for a book such as Burn is the plotline and its intricacies. Thankfully, she gifts us the perfect ending to a series wrought with turmoil and injustice. In the end, the bad guys get what is coming to them. And it’s exactly as it should be: a huge wipeout of justice.

In love and romance,

Professor A


✍🏻 Professor Romance's 5 ⭐️ Review: T. M. Frazier's Pike, Book One in the Pawn Duet ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The first book by T.M. Frazier I ever read was Nine. Yep, that’s right. I hadn’t read any of the King series books prior to being dropped into Nine’s story. It was there that I encountered my favorite type of hero: the anti-hero. From King to Bear to Preppy, I found myself intrigued by Frazier’s ability to craft heroes who were seriously flawed within the context of society, but who had strong codes of honor. The second series of Frazier’s that I read was the Perversion Trilogy which offered that same construction of character: a flawed, deviant anti-hero, a heroine whose pure essence redeems the hero, and a story that shows the worst of society as a way to show the power of redemption through love. Even in moments when the story is painful, Frazier shows us that love will carry us through it. 

With her latest offering, Pike, the first book in a duet, Frazier takes us back to the place we love to hate: Logan’s Beach. At the beginning of this year, I finally jumped onto the King series ship. I knew King of the Causeway was coming, and I wanted to better understand the story of Nine, so I started reading. And this reader binged the series. Hardcore. I put off teaching and reading ARCs because Frazier’s Logan’s Beach compelled me further into its darkness. I loved every moment of it. When she announced Pike’s book, you can bet that I signed up quickly to read and review it (and hopefully, it’s second book, Pawn). Pike intrigued me in Nine. There is something compassionate and soft behind his hard exterior, making him like the other heroes in the King series: enigmatic. And this is Frazier’s superpower. This is the reason that readers adore Frazier. She is writing romance that seems so wrong at times that it is wonderfully right. 

Pike is no different from his King series predecessors. Like her other anti-heroes, Pike’s past has influenced his present; Nine and the other men are his family in the absence of his own biological family; there is an outside influence seeking to destroy his life in ways that are dangerous and predatory; and a woman enters his life and threatens to challenge everything he believes about love and relationships. As Mickey enters Pike’s life, it’s clear that his rejection of love will change, and his sole purpose will move away from his criminal activities to protecting and living for her. 

As I was reading Pike (trust me when I say this: I picked this up one afternoon and finished it before I went to bed. It is an absolute page-turner), I marveled at Frazier’s skill in writing. Why is Pike, along with her other books, so interesting to read? One word: chemistry. Frazier has this super ability to craft chemistry. People might say “well so what? Other romance readers do that.” That is true to a degree. Frazier’s superpower allows her to take a hero, a male who, quite frankly, would be unloveable to most because they are criminals and builds an instantaneous attraction to a heroine, that you turn the page until they finally consummate it. Frazier makes us wait for it in Pike. For much of the story, Pike and Mickey fight. They challenge each other; they push back against each other; and Mickey remains resilient in the face of Pike’s abuse/retribution. And it becomes their foreplay. Frazier creates an attraction so palpable that you feel it as you read each page. As the reader, you cheer for them, waiting for the moment when the distinct connection between the two explodes and they can’t deny themselves any further. It’s at that point that Frazier offers us her secondary superpower: the craftsmanship of a possessiveness in the hero that changes his life’s direction. After bingeing her King series and reading Pike, I realized this is Frazier’s genius, and her readers are the better for it. 

Along with this dexterity, Frazier offers up heroines who are as broken as their heroes. This means her heroines and heroes complete each other, each being a piece of the puzzle of the other’s soul. This makes it easy for us to accept the world of Logan’s Beach because the love between her hero and heroine ameliorates this world. We can accept it in her current romance, Pike, because Pike and Mickey, while not together in this book, will eventually find their happy ending (hopefully!). When that happens, all will be right again in Logan’s Beach. Mickey as the heroine is resilient, intelligent, and incredibly capable, and I am waiting anxiously for more of her story in Pawn

If you are a fan of T.M Frazier’s King series, then Pike and Pawn MUST be in your Kindle Library. It is exactly what you love about Frazier’s writing because it is more of Logan Beach and its criminal characters. Frazier left me, as she does so well, on a major cliffhanger, and May can’t come fast enough with the conclusion to the powerful story she has told in Pike

In love and romance,

Professor A


✍🏻 Are you ready to go back to Logan's Beach? There is some serious s%it going on there. T.M. Frazier's Pike is HERE, and it's everything you love about Frazier. Get your copy now! ✍🏻

Pike - RB banner

Born into chaos. Baptized in the gutter. 

Pike, the first in the all-new “gritty and captivating” The Pawn Duet from USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier, is available now!


I was raised by the violent laws of the streets, spilling blood without the hindrance of useless emotions or connections.

Unfeeling. Unloved. Alone.

My life was perfect.

Until her.

While on a manhunt for a mysterious enemy, one hellbent on taking both my business and my life, I find Mickey. She’s covered in mud, rambling nonsense, and clearly out of her mind.

She’s also a distraction I don’t need.

That is until I discover a connection between the girl and my enemy.

Mickey isn’t a distraction anymore.

She’s the perfect weapon.

One I’ll use to exact my revenge.

The plan is an easy one, but there’s something about Mickey that’s making it more and more difficult. 

A familiarity I can’t place. A need I can’t explain.

A want I have to deny.

After all, she’s not mine to keep. She’s a tool. My pawn.

My sacrifice.

Pike -AN

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About T.M. Frazier

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world

T.M. enjoys writing what she calls ‘sexy wrong side of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines.

Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.

She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

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