Category Archives: Cheryl’s Reviews

The Fighter and the Baroness by Sunniva Dee

The Fighter and the Baroness
Sunniva Dee
Publication date: November 29th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Victor Arquette knows the meaning of sacrifice. Destined to legendary status in mixed martial arts, his life is founded on it. Dedication equals sacrifice, and sacrifice means around-the-clock training, no partying, no junk food, no alcohol—and no women.

Helena von Isenlohe is the heiress to Kyria Castle. Due to her father’s lack of financial prowess, the restoration of the ancient German estate rests on Helena’s shoulders. A failed attempt leaves a wealthy man alone at the altar—and the fleeing bride on a plane to the United States.

A chance meeting, and Victor and Helena’s chemistry is undeniable. Except, her presence clutters his focus. Victor shouldn’t crave their nights, shouldn’t be concerned where she is or with whom. And meanwhile in Germany, Kyria Castle deteriorates at a suspicious speed, indebting Helena further to the man she left behind.

Victor and Helena believe in duty. They embrace sacrifice. But when love strikes, it strikes hard, and sometimes you have to choose where your heart is truly at home.

Goodreads / Amazon


My cheeks warm with embarrassment at the people waiting behind me. A female employee helps me unclasp the diamond bracelet and matching necklace. The crown though is impossible to get out of my princess ’do.

“Can I wear it through the security portal?” I ask, broken shoes in one hand.

“No, I’m sorry. It will buzz,” the security person explains. “The portal is created to alert us to most metals besides gold and silver.”

I can’t tell him I wear gold. Real, irreplaceable, century-old heirlooms. He wouldn’t believe me anyway. “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to try.”

He lifts his arms in subtle agreement, a have-it-your-way, and I enter the booth, walk out without incident. Employees from two checkpoints stare at me while I pick my stuff off the band. I shake my head, slowly at first, but then I have nothing to say, no witty comeback, and my flight instinct kicks in. I get up on my toes so I don’t stumble in the too-long skirt and stride as slowly as I can into the transit hall.

I need to not stress the hell out. Just, I wish someone was with me to talk me down. I could call Elfriede. I don’t have my phone. I need a new phone. God, how pathetic am I?

Once I’m sure security isn’t following, I haul butt down the corridor. Tiles are cold under bare feet, it turns out. I’d step into my shoes again, but one of them is broken. Would people stare less if I limped and my heels creak-clacked against the floor?

A high-end fashion store beams in the distance. “We’ll help you blend in. Hurry, hurry,” it calls. I run. Benches are in the way. I’m getting clumsy. I’m panicking. Suddenly, a potted palm tree appears out of nowhere, half-blocking my view of the Promised Land, and my torso doubles around it as I slam to the ground.

I let out an ungraceful oomph. And realize I’m not on the ground after all. No, there’s an arm around me, and miraculously I’m on my feet, wobbly but sort of erect.

“You all right?” an American accent asks.

“I was going to Cloe’s over there,” I explain in German, pointing feebly and not feeling as regal as I’ve been taught. Dark eyebrows contract from within a tanned face above me.

“Sorry?” His arm is still strong around me, really freaking strong, and somehow I’ve got a death grip around it while trying to pry him off.

I translate the same stupid sentence to English. “I was going to Cloe’s. It’s over there.”

His brows are perfectly thick or thin and their arcs are so perfectly perfect they look like they’ve been combed, but then the furrow between them smoothens and I discover his eyes.


7 (2)5 Star Review

A Modern Day, New Adult Fairytale with a love story inside a love story that moved me to tears. This is my favorite book from Sunniva Dee, hands down!

Victor Arquette was a Thailand-born orphan, left to fend for himself at the age of three. All he remembers of that time is his best friend—a dog that takes the place of his mother, a feral hunger that nearly kills him, and a teenage fighter who shows him kindness by feeding him and turning him onto mixed martial arts.

Victor—name given to him by his adoptive parents upon observing his fighting skills—is disciplined and determined. He has one goal—to become an MMA fighter in Vegas. That is, until a chance run-in with a beautiful, barefoot, runaway bride at the airport causes him to want more out of his life.

Helena von Isenlohe fled her life as bride-to-be, and heiress to her home—a castle in Germany when she stumbles across Victor. Their attraction is instantaneous. Their connection overwhelming. And their chemistry off the charts.

Neither is looking for love. But they can’t deny what’s happening between them. Despite their efforts to focus on their personal ambitions, love is impossible to ignore.

This book has it all: Sexy MMA fighter, young, princess-like heiress, sweet romance, humor, beautiful writing, a moving storyline. Five Warrior stars from me!



Author Bio:

Between studies, teaching, and advising, Sunniva has spent her entire adult life in a college environment. Most of her novels are new adult romance geared toward smart, passionate readers with a love for eclectic language and engaging their brain as well as their heart while reading.

Born in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the author spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece–Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in Los Angeles, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah.

Sometimes, Sunniva writes with a paranormal twist (Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love). At other times, it’s contemporary (Pandora Wild Child, Leon’s Way, Adrenaline Crush, Walking Heartbreak, and Dodging Trains, coming in late March 2016).

This author is the happiest when her characters let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep the reader on her toes until the end of each story.

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? Drowning Instinct ? By Ilsa Bick Dual Review


There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

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7 (2)5 Star ReviewI read this book close to four years ago and it has remained on my favorite’s list ever since. Recently, I reread Drowning Instinct in a group buddy read and all those same crazy emotions came rushing back. It was just as good—if not better—than the first time.

Have you ever finished a book and felt…just sort of lost? Dumbfounded? In shock, maybe? Because that is how I feel right now. This book was that incredible. I feel like I lost something important to me by finishing it.

First, the writing style is magnificent. The story is told by Jenna, a sixteen-year-old who has just been rescued after nearly drowning. She relates the events leading up to her near death experience by speaking into a recorder, given to her by the detective who saved her. I loved this! It’s the first time I have ever seen this done in a book.

Next, the story itself is beautifully twisted and raw with emotion. Jenna has survived several traumatic experiences, which she conveys with just enough detail to make me cringe, while at the same time making it impossible to stop reading. Jenna didn’t just nearly drown once. She has been slowly drowning her entire life, but not one person understood this—until Mitch Anderson, Jenna’s teacher. The sheer amount of tragedy, mixed with struggle, hope, and pain is so heartbreaking and moving. I wanted to reach into the pages and help Jenna.

Finally, the characters. Such real, flawed, wonderful characters. I hated several of them, but I still LOVED them all. I didn’t know who to like, who to trust, who was wrong, who was right. Because they were all, all of those things at some point.

The blurb states: There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE STORIES.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and everyone cries for his innocent victim. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE STORIES EITHER.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. These are the most interesting stories of all. Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

Truest statement ever printed.

This book will stay with me forever. Ilsa J. Bick has spun an astounding story in Drowning Instinct. An absolutely amazing read.

Kristys Review (2)5 1_2 Star ReviewCheryl made me read this and I HATED it and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT !!! And after I finished it I just couldn’t stop thinking about the crazy ride it took me on. My first thought was WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ. My very next thought was OMG THAT WAS AWESOME! This book is phenomenal at keeping you guessing, at making you question every thing you think you know and at making you feel things that feel wonderful and disturbing at the same time.

This book is beautifully written. I love nothing more than reading a book with gorgeous, intelligent writing.  And the plot is meticulously planned to lead you exactly where it wants you to go, even if your gut is telling you not to go there. It’s just a complete and total mind f@*k in the best possible way. I read a lot of books, I love a lot of books, but I rarely feel profoundly glad I experienced a book. This is one of those. I feel like it reminded me why I read.  Romance can be so much more than boy meets girl, girl loves boy, boy and girl live happily ever after.  Romance can be beautiful, disturbing, confusing and completely engaging.

Read this book. Remember that I told you to. Let me know if you love me or you hate me for it. My guess is……you’ll feel both.

About the Author:


Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I’m supposed to write things like, “Ilsa J. Bick is (fill in the blank).” Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I’m not in the room. Helloooo, I’m right here . . . So let’s just say that I’m a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right), a wannabe surgeon, a former Air Force major—and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, e-books and novels. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I . . . unless you talk to my mother.