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Villains & Vodka

(Top Shelf #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  181 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 4.10  · 
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 ·  815 ratings  ·  181 reviews

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The Sassy Bookworm


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
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
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
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
Simply Love 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
May 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And this one was just wow, really good!

Maybe I should reconsider my vote for book one. It pales in comparison to this
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 Romance Reader
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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
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
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
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
E.G. Manetti
3.5 stars

Read as part of Spiked Roses: The Complete Top Shelf Series. I have mixed reactions to this story. I found the characters interesting an the premise intriguing. And yet, it dragged. I found myself skimming entire pages that seemed repetitive or predictable.

Definitely dark, but only in that the hero and heroine were dark personalities.
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
3.5 stars

This was a vast improvement from the first book and I enjoyed it much more. Still I don't think it's all that dark and I had to adjust my expectations.

I really do wonder if this club is as kinky as it keeps claiming to be.

This is not a corny sweet romance but from the beginning we've been told how depraved all its members are and what shameful acts the girls are asked to do. Yet the last hero doesn't partake and Harlowe only is going to a tasting event because it's a big one and all the
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
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.
Space Cowgirl
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never Fall In Love 💘With An Assassin🐺🔪🔫

This is another book in the series about a special gentlemen's club called Spiked Roses 🌹, in New Oleans.

The Man In Black......As Black as his Heart💔.....
Harley🐺🔪🔫 is one of the owners of the club. He is a dead💀 hearted assassin🔪🔫, a dead💀 soul, and at the beginning of this book📙, he recounts one of his "jobs ". The coldness of his personality and work over the years has hardened him to being just a user of young women.

Into the BDSM✋ world of Spiked Roses 🌹
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
I spent 80% of the book being oh so disappointed in the characters of this story. From the way Harley is mentioned in Bastards and Whiskey, I expected so much more darkness from him. But boy was I wrong about his twisted mind.

I won’t spoil it so all i can say is i was quite surprised in the end of it all. Everything about this story was COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED!!!!

On another note, i gave it 3 stars because of the ending itself. This was definitely a forced hea. A story like this, that pushed so ma
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
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Alta Hensley is a USA TODAY bestselling author of hot, dark and dirty romance. She is also an Amazon Top 10 bestselling author. Being a multi-published author in the romance genre, Alta is known for her dark, gritty alpha heroes, sometimes sweet love stories, hot eroticism, and engaging tales of the constant struggle between dominance and submission.

She lives in a log cabin in the woods with her

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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