2019 Round Up-Top Ugly Cry Books

I don’t know if there are going to be 10 or not, so this is probably just going to be a 1 part post. For me, an ugly cry book is different from a book that makes me cry. There are some books that will give me tears because there is something sad going on, a break up, a death, so on and so forth. Generally, they last for a couple of minutes, and they are just tears running down my face. An ugly cry is just that, really ugly. Full on tears, snot running out of my nose, sobs, the whole 9 yards. These are the reads that make my husband ask me if I’m OK. He’s learned to accept the answer that it’s just an ugly cry book. So, here are some of the books that made me ugly cry this year. There are some that I’ve already mentioned on other lists that gave me ugly cries, Nicky James’ Long Way Home and Eva Dresden’s Broken, so they are just getting Honorable Mentions here. So, let’s get on with the ones that made it, shall we?

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Nicolina Martin-Redemption

Redemption is part of Nicolina’s Russo Saga, and is its own Duet with Absolution. (Expect to see that one show up tomorrow or Wednesday.) Anyway, no matter what the title says, there isn’t a lot of redemption going on in this book. This is the story of Christian and Kerry. Kerry is just a nice, sweet woman who happened to be working at a childcare center where a mobster’s son went. When she asked him a question, he sent Christian after her. When we first met Christian, in an earlier book, I really liked him. I didn’t by the end of this book. In fact, I downright fucking hated him. When Nicolina read my GR review on in, she asked me what my ugly cry moments were, and there were moments, not just a moment. Because it is a duet, it is a cliffhanger, but the second one is already out, so there’s that.

Addison Cain-Ravaged Captive

Ravaged Captive is the 4th book in Addison’s Wren’s Song books. They are Omegaverse and RH. All of the books have made me cry, but this one really made me cry because everything started to really fall apart. Caspian, Toby, and Kieran are at each other’s throat, Wren has been tossed out and thought dead, and the doll is in the way. I think that it was the addition of the doll that really got to me. I expect that the next one will also give me an ugly cry. Sooooooon.

Anna Wineheart-The Pretense

Anna is one of my favorite MM Omegaverse authors, and I’m lucky enough to be able to ARC her books. All of her books have some strong emotions in them, but The Pretense was just loaded with it. It’s a second chance, pretend boyfriend kind of story. It can be read as a standalone, but if you read all the Men of Meadowfall books in order, you’ll enjoy it more. They are all interconnected. There is one very particular moment that gave me a seriously ugly cry. There are some other spaces where I got teary, but this one particular scene was so hard, so heartbreaking that it really stuck with me, and made me ugly cry hard.

India R. Adams-Blue Waters

Blue Waters wasn’t published this year, but this was the year that I read it, so it counts to me, and since it’s my blog, that’s all that matters. This is the first of the Tainted Waters series that feature Whitney, Link, and Crash. All of the books in the series have made me full on ugly cry, but I’m just going to go with the first one here. It’s not a very long book, but it is very intense. Everything builds on the things before, but you do get a second to catch your breath in between. The entire series is worth reading. I don’t know that I would recommend reading them back-to-back, because of the intensity, but I would definitely recommend reading them.

B.B. Blaque-FTW

FTW doesn’t mean for the win here. It’s outlaw MC slang that means Fuck the World, and that is pretty much what happens here. This is the 3rd book in BB’s Masters MC series, and it is dark. I fell in love with Colt, Tuesday, Kash, and Barely when I read their books the first time, and I was really looking forward to this one. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a happy book. There were terrible, terrible things that happened, and I was devastated. BB will have GFY, Go Fuck Yourself, out soon, and I can’t wait.

OK, there they are, the Top 5 ugly cry books from this year.

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Sara Fields-Vendetta

Sara has written a bully/mafia romance. It sounds like it wouldn’t work together, but it really does. Vendetta manages to switch from a bully to the mafia rather well, I think. And with this book, Sara has joined Jennifer Bene and Cari Silverwood in writing a disturbingly hot gun scene. I mean, hot, and disturbing. What does that say about me?

So, here’s our story. We have Col, who is the bastard son of a mafia boss. He has been hiding in plain sight, under a different name. Now, he’s 20 and about to graduate from a fancy academy in Connecticut. He tends to stay to himself while he’s there. In fact, he tends to stay to himself everywhere. He lives with his guards and cook at his house. The closest thing he has to a father is his Bio teacher who has trained Col and guarded him his entire life. Then, there’s Blaire. When he was a kid, he and Giordino were headed to a restaurant when Col saw a beautiful little girl standing at the backdoor of the place they were headed. He talked Giordino into taking her into have dinner with him, and finally finding jobs for her parents. Now, she goes to the same academy as Col.

Blaire is a senior too, even though she’s a couple of years younger than Col. She’s also the queen bee at the school. She has built up people and ruined them. She’ll do everything she can to make sure that she gets what she wants, up to and including digging up all the dirt she can on anyone. When her parents go out of town, she has big parties. Her parents don’t care, so she throws huge bashes with booze, drugs, and hot and cold running sex. This night, she’s going to have another big party, and Col is going to ignore it, except he hears her boyfriend making plans to drug her and rape her. Since Col’s her protector, even if she doesn’t necessarily know it, he has to go to the party and save her.

The two of them together are explosive. They are very much nitro and glycerin, shaken, not stirred. It doesn’t matter if they are mad at each other or happy, there is just a lot of chemistry between them the whole time.

I think that Blaire was a little naive. I mean, she walked into a situation where she thought that she had all the power but she had nothing. She didn’t know what was going on and worse yet, she didn’t even have an idea as to what the repercussions of her actions would be. I mean, I like her, I think she learns her power and her strength as the book goes on, but she starts out kinda naive.

Col was harder for me to like, at least at first. He really tries hard to hold a wall in between him and the rest of the world. A couple of chapters in, and I started to get a better grip on him, and a better understanding of why he was the way that he was. He is a very forceful character.

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The whole teaching Col a lesson thing really paid off for Blaire.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Cora Kenborn-Drawn Blue Lines

Drawn Blue Lines is the 3rd book in Cora’s Carrera Cartel series. I haven’t read the first 2, but I had no problems understanding what was going on. There was enough backstory in the book that I knew what had come before, but not so much that it would’ve annoyed me if I had read the other two books.

So, here’s our story. Adrianna Carrera was brought up as Marisol Munoz. That wouldn’t be such a huge problem, except the Muonzes and the Carreras are rival cartels, and they want to pretty much want to totally destroy each other. And they damned near succeed too. At the opening of the book, Adrianna is the only Munoz, or quasi-Munoz, left standing. Well, she’s not actually standing so much as she is being tortured by someone who is trying to reorganize the Munoz cartel. She doesn’t know who they are, just that they don’t really like her, not at all.

Then we have Brody Harcourt. He used to be a DA in Houston TX, but things happened and now he’s a top lieutenant in the Carrera cartel. He also has a really tense and strained relationship with Valentin Carrera, the head of the cartel, and, oh yeah, Adrianna’s older brother. He’s the one who outed Marisol as Adrianna, which petty much destroyed her life. So, now she’s out for revenge. She’s going to force Brody to take her to Valentin, and if he won’t do it willingly, she’s got info that would probably get him killed that she will blackmail him with.

Brody and Adrianna are combustible. I can’t even say that they are like oil and water, because they are much more like nitro and glycerin because when they get together, things are quite likely to go boom. Or, you know, Adrianna is likely to punch Brody. They are very passionate people, and I don’t mean passion as in hot and filthy sex, although that is there too, but they are full of this wild energy and emotion. And when you get two passionate people together, they aren’t going to have a smooth road, not at all.

Adrianna is tough as nails and as strong as steel. She is incredibly determined and resolute. She knows what needs to be done and she’s going to do it, no matter what. But for all that strength and grit, I think that she’s also really fragile. There’s something deep in her that hurts, a lot, all the time, and it drives her. I think that sometimes that hurt makes her make decisions that aren’t the smartest things at the time.

Brody is smart, but I don’t think he is nearly as smart as Adrianna. Maybe savvy would be a better word. She knows how to navigate a world that Brody is still trying to figure out. Of course, she’s been in it all her life, so that helps. But, I still think that she’s smarter than him, intelligence wise too. He’s kind of an idiot at times, mostly because he is kind of trapped in place and he’s wallowing. He’s willing to wallow too. He doesn’t seem to want to change. He’d rather sit and drink. A lot. He really needs a swift kick in the butt or a punch to the jaw, or someone walking in on him when he’s wanking it.

The book is pretty fast paced, and Cora has made sure that you know where and when each section is happening, which can be helpful. I’m going to have to go back and read the other 2 so that I can see what happened to this point. whiskey-1814159_1920

I didn’t trust Cris from the beginning. He just seemed kinda slimy.

OK, that’s all for this one! Go check it out! Happy reading!

Jane Henry-King’s Ransom

Jane’s newest release combines two things that she’s very good at writing. King’s Ransom is a Daddy story and it’s also the newest book in her Ruthless Doms books involving the Russian & American Bratva.

This book is Stefan’s story. He’s the pakhan in Atlanta, Nicolai’s father. He also officiated at Caroline and Tomas’ wedding. He’s the elder generation, and we’ve seen him in just about everyone’s book. So, it’s about time that we get to focus on him.

So, we have Stefan, who is getting ready to have his second grandchild from Nicolai and Marissa. One day, while Marissa and another Bratva woman were out shopping, some traitors tried to hurt them. What the traitors weren’t expecting is that Nicolai was acting as security for his beloved wife, because he was training in new security. So, he grabbed the guy, called his dad, and brought him home to take care of him. Which, of course, means that he got hauled into a shed and bad things happened to him.

Then, we have Taara. She works as Stefan’s housekeeper. Her mother did the job before her, but now her mom’s hospitalized because of dementia. Taara is happy with her job, because she’s madly in love with Stefan, and she wants to make him happy and comfortable and taking care of him does that, and makes her happy. She sits on the stairs and watches him, and then goes into his bedroom to make sure that his bed is nice and ready for him. I mean, girl has it bad for him. One day, she gets up early to go into the garden to take pictures of the flowers, like she always does, when she hears someone coming. She hides so no one sees her, but then she follows the guys and peeks into the window. That means that she ends up seeing something she shouldna oughta seen.

She gets caught by one of the Bratva guys, who hauls her in front of Stefan and Nicolai and gets accused of being a spy. All her pictures are destroyed and her phone, because she had some accidental pix of Stefan and Nicolai as they were taking the traitor to the shed to be dealt with. So, instead of killing her as some suggested, Stefan ends up caning her, in front of lots of people. Then he decides that he has to test her.

You see, Taara has one huge advantage here. She’s an Afghani refugee. Her mother fled to Russia, and from Russia to the US. And the Bratva’s enemies, the Thieves, have a thriving human trafficking trade. Currently, they are selling Afghani women, and are using that to try to take down the Bratva in the US. Stefan is going to go in and shut it down, and Taara is going to be perfect to use as his slave. It will prove her loyalty.

So, I have to admit that I really kind of hated Stefan at times, which saddened me, because I’ve always kinda liked Stefan. OK, maybe hate isn’t the right word for it. I was definitely grumpy with him though. Mostly because he had his head up his ass. When his head popped out of his ass, every time his head popped out of his ass, he was much better.

Taara is a sweet woman. She’s also got some real strength to her. I thought that she was a little naive though, at times. I think that some of the things that happened would’ve been different if she was a little more practical, but then again, we wouldn’t have had such a good book.

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I think that Stefan should’ve told Taara about her mom earlier than he did. It was kinda shitty on his part to wait, I think. I mean, I understand his thinking, but…

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Renee Rose-Dead Man’s Hand

If you’ve missed the Tacones, you can now be put out of your misery. Renee has taken mercy on us, and released Dead Man’s Hand. This is Gio and Marissa’s story.

So, back a couple of books ago, the Tacones were supposed to be meeting the Bratva in a local cafe, one that the Tacone family has used over the years. Only this time, it wasn’t as easy a meeting as it could’ve been. No, it was an ambush, and the Bratva tried to kill all the Tacones. Most of the Tacones made it safely, but Gio got shot. Now he’s better, at least physically, but he doesn’t know what he’s alive for, he’s dealing with PTSD, and he’s having nightmares every night, and sometimes, the woman at the cafe, Marissa, is the one who gets shot and even killed.

Marissa’s family has owned a lovely little cafe for years. She’s helping her grandparents keep the cafe going as well as working at a restaurant. She’s working every chance she can, and it’s wearing her thin. But then, her little cousin Mia needs a $30K operation, and they need the money right then and there because they don’t have insurance. So Marissa turns to Gio to get the necessary money. And that starts a wonderful chain of events. Well, some wonderful and some terrible. But things happen.

Marissa and Gio are both broken people, for different reasons. Their brokenness shows up in different ways. In Marissa, it causes her to not trust anyone. She’s afraid of what will happen if she does trust them. That frustrates Gio, because he wants her to trust him, and she takes 2 steps back for every one she takes toward him. Of course, she’s torn between what’s going on with Gio and her family, which isn’t a nice place to be.

Part of Gio’s problem is that the family has changed what it’s doing, which means he doesn’t know who he is in context to what he’s always done with his family. That part right there leaves him confused and not sure what to do, and then add in the PTSD from the shooting, and you get all kinds of confusion. Luckily, he has Nico who can help him get some stuff straight. And Marissa kinda smacks people around for him when necessary.

I’m really looking forward to Paolo’s story. I think that he’s the last of the Tacone children to get into a relationship. I’ll have to doublecheck to be sure.

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The scene when Gio teaches Marissa and Mia to play poker is cute af.

I really don’t care for Marissa’s Nonno.

OK, that’s all there is for today. Go check this out, as well as all of Renee’s other books. Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Beyond Measure

I’m doubling up today because there are just so many wonderful releases that have happened in the past couple of weeks. So our second feature today is Jane Henry’s latest addition to her Bratva world, Beyond Measure. Like the last book, this one takes place in the US. In fact, we met Tomas in the last book. He is the pakhan of the Boston Bratva, and is a good friend of Nicolai’s. This is his and Caroline’s story.

So, Tomas is busy doing all kinds of Bratva-y things, which was causing him stress. One of those things is dealing with a prick in San Diego named Aren, who owes him money but doesn’t want to pay. When Nicolai tells Tomas that what he really needs is a wife, and it just so happens that Aren has a beautiful little sister, the guys come up with a plan. That plan gets Tomas on the phone so that he can set up with Aren to marry his sister, Caroline. Aren is just all too glad to make that happen. So, off to Atlanta goes Tomas.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, Caroline is just trying her damnedest to stay away from her brother and his best friend. There is never anything good for her when the two of them show up. This time, when they show up, Aren tells her that she’s leaving immediately to go get married. She’s dragged onto an airplane, without being able to pack or to say goodbye to anyone, and shipped off to Atlanta, where she will meet her groom and get married. That day. Yeah. She gets taken to Nicolai and Marissa’s apartment, and she is married by Stefan, all before she even learns her groom’s name.

Tomas is a good man, as pakhan go, but I think that he is kinda confused sometimes. I understand him wanting and needing respect due to his position. I mean, he is a big deal, and he does deserve that respect within his group. And I’m not even going to argue about Caroline giving him that respect, because she should. But I think he’s kinda confused in his head about how he should feel and how he should act, which leaves Caroline all kinds of confused and unsettled. Remember, her entire world has just changed in so many ways, and she’s already very unsettled and unsure.

Caroline has gone through so much. She’s so much braver than I would be. I don’t know that I would be able to stand up for myself like she does. She’s stubborn AF too, and frankly, I tend to respect anyone with that kind of stubborn. Unless, of course, it’s my son when I need him to do something, but that’s a whole other story. That stubborn has served her well over the years, so I don’t blame her for sticking to it. I also think that she has a more realistic view of what the Bratva is than some of the other wives do, just because of the way that she’s had to see it.

I really like Ilya, and I hope that we see more of him over the next books. I think that he really matured over the time of this book.

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Ugh, I knew I didn’t like Andros.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Priceless

Priceless is part of the Bratva Dom world that Jane has been writing lately, but it’s not exactly in the same group that we have been seeing in the past couple of books. For one thing, it all takes place in the US. The Bratva group that is the main thrust of this story is associated with the one we’ve seen in Russia, headed by Demyan.

This is Nicolai and Marissa’s story. It’s hard in places, harder than the other books in this world, I think. I wouldn’t necessarily put Nicolai in the same category of herodom as the other guys in this world. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a huge hero, just a different one. I think that he is the most good guy of all the guys that we’ve seen so far, if you want to break it down into good vs. bad. He does bad shit, a lot of it, but I think that he is just good, if that makes any kind of sense. I think it does to me.

Nicolai is Marissa’s bodyguard and driver. He has been for years, but now that she’s right on the cusp of 18, he’s starting to notice her in all new different ways. But she’s off-limits, because she’s so young for one thing, and then because her father is Nicolai’s father’s best friend.

At her graduation party, and mere hours before she turns 18, Nicolai gets word from his sister that Marissa is about to be sold into human trafficking. He does everything to nail it down so that he isn’t acting on rumor, but when he finds out it’s true, he grabs Marissa and gets her the hell out of Dodge. Too bad it didn’t last.

Poor Marissa. She really goes straight through hell. And she spends what feels like an eternity in it, at least subjectively. She really has no clue how long she’s been gone, she just knows it’s hell. I think, though, that she has a real core of steel. Even going through hell, she manages to keep a little of what makes her her.

Nicolai is definitely a strong and determined man. He knows what he wants, and he’s going to move heaven and earth to get it. I think that if he had to skin himself in order to save her, he totally world. I mean, just flay himself and lay that skin at the feet of whoever demanded it.

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The villain is such a jerk. I can’t believe he tries to play it off the way that he does. What a fucker.

Ok, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!