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Villains & Vodka

(Top Shelf #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  683 ratings  ·  164 reviews
My 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
Published December 5th 2017 (first published December 2nd 2017)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  683 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Eve (Between The Bookends)


descriptionMan of man am I LOVING this series. Everything about these books from the f@cked up characters to the fabulous New Orleans setting checks every one of my boxes. Miz Hensley has quickly written her way into occupying a prime spot at my "Favorite Authors" table. Of that, there is no doubt. And to say I am super excited to read about these other twisted f@cks would be the understatement.


I found this one to be well written and well paced. It was a quick read that took me around three hours to fin
Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
Harley Crow was a man to be feared. No doubt. He was a killer and was most definitely the villain of this story. But Marlowe Masters wasn’t afraid.

Harley kept looking for a crack in her armor, but couldn’t find any. The more he pushed, the more Marlowe pushed back.

Until the heat gets turned up a notch and not only is Marlowe finally afraid, she’s absolutely terrified.

Yeah, I’d say Harley finally scared her ;)

I love the way Alta Hensley writes. Her stories are more plot-driven than anything else
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
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Villians & Vodka (TOP SHELF #2) By Alta Hensley was the first thing I have read by this author and It was an instant hit for me.
So I am going to start this review by saying I am loving this whole top shelf vibe, very catchy indeed. This series does have some fabulous titles and also what terrific covers are involved, Totally fangirling here.
So villains & Vodka what did I think?
Well, I went in with my expectations so-so and got a pleasant surprise. This was a very entertaining read t
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read by Miss Hensley. I have to say, this book is not working for me. Its too weird. Usually i do like dark romance. The characters are off. Hartley claims he is mean and cruel assasin. With how the author develop his character, i do not see the cruelty in him. More like he keeps bragging he is broken and cruel but his action does not speak of that.

Marlowe is also very confusing. I try to understand her,but i just can't.

2 stars
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

4.5 stars

Harley Crow is a master at his job. Everyone fears him. He's good at what he does. An owner of the club, Spiked Roses, he's another character that we are introduced to with this group of characters (that I am already in love with!).

Marlow Masters sees and wats Harley from afar. She knows she can match him, but working in his club for over a year has made it a point to keep her distance from him. But one night changes it all....

These characters were hot from the beginning. I knew somethi
Laura Lee
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Villains & Vodka (Top Shelf #2)
By: Alta Hensley
4.5 Stars

It all starts at Spiked Roses in the Tasting Room. Where as long as you negotiate your contract to where all I’s are dotted and all T’s are crossed, you will have a great weekend and Monday have enough in your bank account to make life a whole lot better…

That’s what Marlowe told herself. Contract signed, let the weekend begin…
Harley Crow, everyone at Spiked Roses knows about the co-owner. Dark, feared and an assassin. Bad boys, this is the
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Bastards and Whiskey is book one in the Top Shelf series. Although they are standalone reads I highly recommend you read in order. This series is so good you just don’t wanna miss out on any of them.

Harley Crow is co-owner of Spiked Roses. He’s a deadly assassin and a real bad villain. Marlow Masters works at Spiked Roses. She has wanted Hadley for a while so her dreams come through when she gets to spend the weekend with him.

This is another fantastic dark and twisted read by this author. I lo
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harley Crow is a bad man, he's a dark, cruel, heartless assassin. He's also a co-owner of Spiked Roses, but he doesn't take part in the clubs "tasting's". Marlowe Masters has worked in the club for over a year and Harley has become an obsession, she really wants him to notice her and the club has a "tasting" coming up, Harley intends to go, so Marlowe has a chance to catch his eye. But will she be strong enough to deal with his dark, twisted passion.
What happens when pain meets pleasure and vil
Isha Coleman
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
At the base of every good story is the villain. That entity that defies logic, creates havoc and lurks in the shadows. Whether human, physical or emotional they make their presence felt. But what happens when the villain and the hero are one and the same? Alta Hensley walks a bit too close to the fire with Harley and Marlowe. The danger is the thrill. Can creatures of darkness step into the light and find love? Villains & Vodka is both a conundrum and a revelation. The puzzle is figuring out whi ...more
Shabby  -BookBistroBlog
Yanno how you keep the best liquor on the top shelf ? Thats how these stories are. In here we get to drink Chilled Vodka, straight up ! Harley Crow is one of the owners of Spiked Roses , bdsm/fetish club . He's as chilled and potent as the vodka he drinks. And there's a girl lusting after him from afar, Marlowe Masters . She gets her chance with him in the Tasting Room and she grabs it!
Her daddy always told her, Never get into a car with a stranger . Yet she does and she pays for it
The story
♥️Fantasy Land  Book Reviewer♥️
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In this next installment, we get the higher gun Harley Crow. The man I would be most afraid. He is a killer through and through and makes no qualms about it. He makes no excuse about what he is and how he makes his living. However, he does not want to bring anyone else into it. He knows his life is dangerous and for that purpose, he takes steps so that no one around him can or would get hurt.

Marlowe Masters has her history of the dark and dangerous past. When she decides to take Harley on f
Alecia (The Staircase Reader)
I love a novel with a good Anti-Hero and Harley Crow is just that!

Harley is a really...this man is an assassin!
One thing Harley doesn't do is form attachments with people. He doesn't need a weakness nor does he want one.

Marlowe Masters is a very secretive character. She keeps her past locked up tight within herself but from the context of conversations I sensed a darkness looming deep within. When Marlowe is invited to The Tasting Rooms, "Who's Afraid of the Dark?" theme nights sh
Nina ~ Meleth Bookaddicted ~
VILLAINS & WODKA – fitting title, because Harlow Crow for sure is no hero. He’s a messed-up and truly sick assassin, who gives the motto ‘Who is afraid of the Dark’ a whole different meaning… And can I just say I love the uniqueness of the names Marlowe and Harley?

This story is predictable… yet it’s not. It’s kind of insane. And dark. And twisted. These two definitely do not need the help of any potential enemies to destroy themselves or what they could have… Lol.
Oh, and I found it quite interes
Erika's Book Blog
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark
*Bows down to the Author* I highlighted so many passages in this book, it was insane!! Like hypnotic, dark poetry, Harley Crowe is my absolute favorite type of book boyfriend!!

"I felt he would dance naked around my fire with wild abandon. Naked and howling at the moon as he did so. I just needed a chance to show him where I burned."

As always, the limits are pushed, right is wrong, and wrong is right *raises eyebrows* oh so right. I question my sanity when I fall head over heels for a villain, bu
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Days later and I am still trying to wrap my mind around this book! Villains & Vodka left me with the book hangover I long for.

Harley Crow will own you from the moment you start the book. He is feared by everyone.

Marlowe Masters moved to NOLA to escape from her past. She has longed for Harley Crowe for almost a year, but he never pays her any mind. What happens when one night changes it all?

Villains & Vodka consumed me! I did not want to put it down. Every time I thought I had the the
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Harleys dark twisted book.
Full Review to come
Kathy West
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Alta Hensley book to date!!
This book was more than I ever expected! Just when I thought I had everything figured out.....EVERYTHING CHANGED!!!!! This book is in my top books of the year!

"Do you have scars on your heart as well ?” “ Not yet .”

Harley Crow is an assassin. A killer. The villain. Part owner of Spiked Roses. He has never loved anyone before. He knows that with the way he lives his life, that love cannot be a part of his life.

Men drank booze out of fancy glasses that cost m
Nina DuBois
Villains & Vodka was better than the first book in this series but not by a whole lot. I was expecting to love this book because I was immediately interesting in how dark and dangerous Harley Crow was. He is an assassin and seemed to be into some pretty dark stuff while also being mysterious. I also like Marlowe and his obsession with Harley. She seemed to be a pretty strong character who had experienced some bad things in her life. So when she goes into the Tasting Room to secure a contract wit ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First reading from this Author, the story was kind of slow for me. This is only my
opinion to me I could never see the connection between the main two characters.
April Symes
Villains & Vodka (Top Shelf #2) By: Alta Hensley—WOW WOW WOW… what more can I say. This story will really take you places and have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Harley Crow is a bad man-- he's a dark, cruel, heartless assassin. He also co-owns Spiked Roses but he doesn’t partake in the clubs "tasting's".
Marlowe Masters has worked in the club for over a year and Harley has become an obsession with her. She never thought she would get a chance with Harley but what happens wh
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is book 2 in a new series and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I read book 1 so I know the background on the world of Spiked Roses. I did love revisiting the dark playground for the wealthy and elite and it was great meeting Harley and Marlowe.

This installment did not push my boundaries like the first one. That is not to say that it wasn’t dark, but I guessed the twist right away. For obvious reasons I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, but it was a tad predictable. I did enjoy t
Rubee Bailey
Book Review

Dry AF
Chuckled a bit
LOL/Side-eyed by strangers


Luke Warm
3rd Degree Burns

Character Depth:
Spilled cup of water

Audio Narration:
A for Effort
Oscar Worthy Performance

Couldn't have been more obvious. I knew every predictable "twist" and "turn" before it happened. As soon as she mentioned Kidnap Play I knew he would try it to scare her. Which was really dumb. The insta-love was annoying, as
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You have books that make it hard to write a review because you don’t how to discribe the book and how it makes you feels. This is one if those. It was such a ride reading this book. Nobody does a mindf**k like Alta Hensley. It will have you clutch a pillow or your pet for comfort and make you yell at the characters..

Harley Crow reminds me of the mc Happy from SoA. And I loved how realistic but also how hopeful Marlowe was. Their interaction were beautiful to watch.

I absolutely loved the book and
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 sad stars

3 and a half stars. I really was excited for this read, but after getting into it, I can safely say I seen all this playing out, predicted it even. And even with me saying that I was ok with that, but the ending, not a fan at all, so much was left unanswered, and with the state that they were in at that moment, ugh, I could have physically snapped when I turned that page a seen that was literally the end. Who ends a book on a note like that? Obviously this author
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harley Crowe wasn't afraid of death. In his line of business fear could get you killed. The life of an assassin came easily for him. He had no soul and any guilt he may have felt passed on many deaths ago. His name created fear in people which gave him a rush like none other. Harley lived by one rule and one rule only - leave women alone. He has never killed nor would he ever kill a woman. being an assassin was not the only hat Harley was wearing. He also has a legit business on the side, Spiked ...more
Dora Ruiz Davalos Books and Tequila Blog
While I love regular, HEA Contemporary Romance, I tend to lean to the Dark side a lot, and I’m fortunate when I come across a books I loved that fits in this particular sub-genre. Villains & Vodka, the second book in the Top Shelf series, fits this little niche quite nicely. Any book that features NOLA as a setting gets extra points, in my book, there’s just something almost mystical about The Big Easy. This book features Harley Crow, one of the owners of the Spiked Roses, a private Fetish club, ...more
Tanaka K (The Romantic Angel Blog)
I love Alta Hensley. Ever since I was introduced to her books this year, I just became addicted to her stories. Alta Hensley's stories always has a full throttle of dark, a dash of taboo and a long delicious sip of unforgettable romances that will swept you away to another universe. Her ability to catch your heart and give it a spin is simply magnificent. To me, her books are just simply hypnotizing. I was waiting for Villains & Vodka ever since I saw it as a teaser at the back of Bastards and W ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-romance
*Received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review*

I'm actually really conflicted about rating/reviewing this book because I liked the story and the characters intrigued me but I'm not happy about the way that things were resolved in it. I couldn't for the life of me understand where the characters heads were by the end of the story. It makes no sense to me for things to have resolved that way after where the characters were at emotionally in the aftermath of the events that took
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alta Hensley has given us a puzzle to sort out with her latest Top Shelf series with Villians and Vodka. I have been on pins and needles waiting for the second addition to be released and now that it has finally come, I wanted to savor every word within this dark, twisted novel. Alta knows no bounds when it comes to the darker side of romances. She doesn’t hold back with her creative thoughts and plots and I am completely infatuated with this book.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Harley Crow is “...t
Liz ~ Liz's Reading Life
Who's afraid of the dark and the big, bad wolf?

Marlowe Masters isn't afraid nor does she easily get scared. She thrives in the dark while others cower. Since coming to the Spiked Roses the darkest of the dark has captivated her like no one before. If only he'd notice her.

Harley Crow has always kept to himself because of his chosen profession. And he's never mixed business with pleasure. He's everything dark and demented and he's see no reason to believe change his way now.

Tonight's Tasting Room
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Alta Hensley is a USA TODAY bestselling author of hot, dark and dirty romance. She is also an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author. Being a multi-published author in the romance genre, Alta is known for her dark, gritty alpha heroes, sometimes sweet love stories, taboo undertones, and engaging tales of the constant struggle between dominance and submission.

Alta also loves to connect with her readers

Other books in the series

Top Shelf (6 books)
  • Bastards & Whiskey (Top Shelf #1)
  • Scoundrels & Scotch (Top Shelf #3)
  • Devils & Rye (Top Shelf #4)
  • Beasts & Bourbon (Top Shelf, #5)
  • Sinners & Gin (Top Shelf, #6)

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