Tag Archives: Mafia/Mob

A Penny’s Worth

By Cynthia Austin

Synopsis

Sara Conrad just about had it all, wealth, beauty, a prominent place in Las Vegas society as the owner of a popular nightclub, and a reputation that was second to none.

There was only one thing Sara failed to possess…

Her life.

That’s because it was dominated by a despicable sociopath, her husband, Ezra Silverstein, who rarely let Sara out of his sight and manipulated her every move.

Out of desperation, Sara turned to a bodyguard at her club, Max Tobias, for sanity and salvation. Before long they are on the verge of a torrid affair that threatens not only to engulf them personally but their very lives, as well.

When Silverstein catches wind of Sara and Max’s relationship, he is determined to make them pay for their betrayal. He makes it his mission to inflict a blood thirsty punishment on his beloved Sara and her romantic rescuer.

As events reach their dramatic climax, Sara is stunned to discover Max is not really a bodyguard at all. This revelation turns her entire world upside down leaving her vulnerable and unable to trust anyone, especially the man to whom she had given her heart.

Riveting. Unpredictable. Page turning

The story of a good woman trying to survive in Sin City where Satan himself has set up camp in her own marriage and the only man she had truly loved turned out to be a virtual stranger.

God help her.

Review

Drama, Secrets, and games combine together for A Penny’s Worth.  Secrets and revelations at the end of this story were simply astounding.  Hatred is simply not adequate as to how I felt for the men in Sara’s life using her.

The story has a slow build up particularly the first half.  I did feel slightly bogged down with all the drama and Sara’s rotating emotions.

The vulnerability that Sara showed at times made me connect to her.  When Sara became the hard nosed Mob Queen the change kept me riveted to the story. A Penny’s Worth is not a Romance novel at all in my opinion.  This story takes you into a gritty world of organized crime.

The author noted she fought to keep the name Ezra for Sara’s complicated husband. I am glad she did as I cannot think of another name that would fit.  Ezra even now gives me chills as to the actions he has taken in his life.  He was such a surprising character and that final scene with Sara had me shaking.  Ezra had so many different moments, at one point I felt sorry for him, then hated him, and ultimately feared him.  Sara’s marriage was simply a roller coaster with Ezra.

Max Tobias, I struggled to connect with him at times due to his secrets and he has plenty of them.  Some secrets I thought I knew others were surprising curveballs in the story.  I actually also found it slightly strange her brother dropped out of the story towards the end.  Another side story that was one of my favorites was the Fischetti family.

A Penny’s Worth definitely had me pausing through the story, feeling anger and utter betrayal.

In conclusion, to have seen Sara reconcile with her mother and father together would have given great closure. Being given an epilogue showing Sara achieving some happiness on the beach at a Barbeque with a family feeling safe and loved like she dreamt of.

Quote:  He had set all the players nicely on the board, but perhaps he chose to place the wrong protector next to his Queen.  The bishop has been a betrayer.

A Penny’s Worth

My Rating:  

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Sapphire

By J A Low

Synopsis

An unconventional love is tested to its limits in this completely immersive dark ménage suspense, for fans of JL Perry and Pepper Winters.

Mateo is used to being in the spotlight, he craves it in everything he does . . . except when it comes to his love life – that is firmly in the closet.

Tomas shuns the spotlight, the one he was born into, he wants nothing to do with it or his high-flying family who now reject him for his choices in love.

But Tomas’ and Mateo’s carefully constructed lives are turned inside out when they discover a beautiful, battered woman on their doorstep. The woman with the sapphire eyes has no memory of who she is or how she got there. Can they help her remember before the men who are after her find her first?

The first standalone book in the BRATVA JEWELS series from the author of the DIRTY TEXAS books, JA Low. 

Review

Sapphire is an incredibly dark, dangerous and highly emotional read.   You are given some very intense and brutal scenes surrounding women that even I struggled with at times.

The menage scenes between Tomas, Mateo and Sapphire were very erotic however still held such warmth and emotion.  All three characters connection was built up at a slow and sensual pace.  I, therefore thoroughly enjoyed the time they spent together in their home.

The mystery surrounding Sapphire at the beginning of the story jumps times at the right places and you are in for a very wild ride.

The Bratva story is simply heartbreaking and will at times be hard to stomach but this is a dark romance.

Sapphire although a standalone concluded with the introduction of the next story’s dramatic turn of events for two supporting characters.

Sapphire

My Rating:  

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Firefly (Redemption Book 2)

By Molly McAdams

Synopsis

Firefly is the new novel from New York Times bestselling author, Molly McAdams, a dark, twisting story of redemption and true love against the odds, perfect for fans of J. B. Salsbury, Jamie McGuire, Sophie Jackson and Lisa Renee Jones.

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favourite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. 

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare – the man who set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello – the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

Don’t miss Blackbird, another powerful romance of love in the darkness from Molly McAdams.

 

Review

Firefly kept me on the edge of my seat, the anticipation and fear that Lily would be revealed, the suspense and mystery of who were the bad and goods guys and the men in her life who loved and were really there for her.

I was torn, I would put the book down and walk away only to race back and read more as I was beside myself with anxiety and fear for Lily.  I wanted her to reconcile with Kieran, to have their dreams realised and then I wanted her to run away with Dare as the next chapter I hated Kiernan.
The lonliness and desperation of Lily just broke my heart and when you get to the 75% mark of this story you literally are in for some spine tingling moments that will just shatter you.  I was blind sided by the revelations at this point and then the ending was just brilliant with secrets revealed and the story was tied up perfectly – I am left totally satisfied.
Firefly was paced to perfection, it had darkness, moments of friendship but also tremendous terror and such heartfelt declarations of family, love and finding the lightness in the dark.

Quote:  “I’d give you the world if you asked for it, but not at the expense of your life.  Don’t ask me to stop saving you, because I don’t know how.”

Firefly (Redemption book 2)

My Rating:  

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Stealing Amy (Disciples #2)

By Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty

Synopsis

They grabbed the wrong girl.

They thought I was his wife, not the woman he’s obsessed with.

Ivan Romanov is one of the Russian mafia’s biggest financial backers.

And he’s been destroying my life piece by piece just to get me in his bed.

I never wanted to be in this situation.

Stalked.
Cornered.
Desperate.

I was doomed. About to be forced by a powerful man who was willing to take what I didn’t want to give.

Then he came, a demon in the dark. A dark voice that told me to be a good girl if I want to live…

Review

Making no apologies here I simply loved Stealing Amy, yes it is totally left of centre but I could not put this down as Amy is a sensual woman and Andrew is just all alpha man  This is fast paced, has great humour and continues on with the mystery story that surrounds the Disciples series.

Now to be honest I did not overly enjoy book 1, Keeping Lily, it was too fast paced for me but all reviews I read for book 2 said to read book 1 – I did and I am glad because you need to meet Lucifer before you get to Andrew.  Lucifer is an interesting character and it is great to see him progress further in this next instalment.

Amy and Andrew’s connection both physical and emotional just clicked all the way and then add Amy’s beautifully adaptable daughter Abigail and it just cements itself as a great romance read.  I read this in a day, it gives you everything, passionate sex scenes and then mystery and suspense.

We also return to see Lucifer and Lily who surprisingly felt more together as a couple and I actually enjoyed them in this book and also seeing more of their family.

Jonathan and his interactions with Abigail, looking after her and Amy, he was a favourite character for me in Stealing Amy.  I would also love a story on Simon as I think he will have a strong web of protection around his heart and it will take a special girl for him to lose control.

Quote:  She’s not going to be simply a wife to me or the woman who warms my bed No, she ‘s my possession. My fucking obsession.

Stealing Amy (Disciples #2)

My Rating:  

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Visit Author:  Izzy Sweet and Sean Moriarty


Keeping Lily (Disciples #1)

By Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty

Synopsis

My husband traded me away to save his own life…
And now I belong to the devil.
One night and everything in my life changed. Two words and my world turned dark.
“Take her”.
Owing the most ruthless crime lord in Garden City five million dollars, my husband chose to trade me and my children away to save himself.
I was on the cusp of freedom, so close to divorcing that scumbag I was married to.
Now I’m enslaved to a man who is obsessed with me. A man so wicked and beautiful, they call him Lucifer.
So alluring, he makes the angels weep with envy. He’s so powerful, I can’t stop myself from bending to his will.
He’s determined to master me, and he won’t rest until I give him all.
He wants my light, and he wants my dark.
He wants my body, and he wants my heart.
But most of all, he wants the one thing I can’t give him. The one thing I can’t bear to part with…
Insert 

Review

Keeping Lily delivered some great romance moments but at times I did struggle with some of the connection between Lucifer and Lily as it felt really rushed but the sex scenes were enjoyable.  Lily has a strong need to feel protected based on her background story so you can overlook her rapid need for Luifer and his magic touch but other times not so much.

Lily’s children are an interesting side story and Lucifer’s interaction with them did soften my perception of him and it made me forgive him for his other brute actions.

My main complaint with this story is that towards the last few chapters I actually stopped and I did a kindle search as I was reading this at 10pm at night and all of a sudden a major story line was thrown in and I was like – Back the freakin truck up – did I miss a chapter?   When did that happen? How did they not talk about this? Was it mentioned and I missed it when Lily was out shopping? Then BOOM we are at the Epilogue a few months later – I kind of thought I missed a moment in the relationship!! I actually searched twice as it has done my head in and I feel like I missed a major moment in their emotional and physical relationship which could have helped me connect to them in a more romantic way.

There is also a fair bit of violence and lots of names thrown around with different gangs mentioned which must lead into the next book.

The Disciples series I believe has that something, it is dark and a little bit dirty.  I have already bought a copy of Stealing Amy (Disciples #2) which I am looking forward to reading.

Quote:  Even through the blur of my tears, he’s beautiful A beautiful monster. But he’s my monster. And despite everything … I love him

Keeping Lily (Disciples #1)

My Rating:  

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Visit Author:  Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty


Emilia: Part 1 (Trassato Crime Family #3)

By Lisa Cardiff

Synopsis

Freedom and a meaningful life away from the violence of the Trassato Crime Family is all I ever wanted…

But what I want doesn’t matter now that I’m caught in a tug of war between two men in the dangerous world of organized crime.

Marcello Masciantonio is the man my father expects me to marry. He wants me because I’m the daughter of Dominick Trassato, New York’s most powerful crime boss. He says he’s my future, and I want to hate him, but I can’t deny the spark that burns between us.

Salvatore D’Amico is perfect. He supports me. He understands me. He’s willing to betray my father and give up his family to have me. He doesn’t care about the power that comes with being part of my family. He wants me for me.

My choice is simple, right?

Wrong.

Everyone has an agenda, including Salvatore and Marcello, and just when I think I have everything figured out, I realize I don’t know a damn thing.

Truths are lies. Freedom is lonely. But worst of all…

My love triangle is actually a hate triangle.

Review

Firstly, another great cover for this series, I love them all.  I have read Kon and Gian (Trassato Crime Family #1 & #2) and I highly recommend you read these aswell as although not linked I think you will understand the underlying mafia connections.

Emilia’s story I devoured, I had knots of fear and hurt in my throat, there were times I put the book down took a breathe and dived back in.  Emilia has so many people controlling her life, making decisions and at Chapter 21 I too felt so desolate with her.

The author wove the love triangle/hate triangle together perfectly, I was torn as to who was the good guy and bad guy, I changed corners like Emilia did and I too believed the lies and secrets and felt betrayed towards the end of this story.  This also answered questions and explained to me more in-depth the relationship between Emilia and her father as I had so many questions after completing Kon (Book #2).

When all is revealed at the end I was shattered and was willing Emilia to make her hardest decision of her life.

Now onto the ending, personally some readers will think it is a cliffhanger and yes in a way it is but you do get some answers but I still have so many questions and my god will Emilia: Part 2 have some explosive revelations?  If Emilia: book 2 was available I would have one clicked and downloaded that bad boy and continued my trip with Emilia to the point where she gets her justice.

I am actually going to go back and read Kon again as Emilia returns to the family fold and I want to go back and see if I missed anything.

I cannot wait to see what twists, turns and secrets the author is going to reveal in the next instalment of the Trassato Crime Family.

Quote:  You’re my reward… Brought me to you…

Emilia: Part 1 (Trassato Crime Family #3)

My Rating:  

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Villain

By Jackie Wang

Synopsis

I go by many names: Playboy, Hustler, Villain.
They call me a sadistic a-hole because I rob from the poor and cheat on the weak.
Do I ever regret the choices I’ve made? All the damn time.
But it’s too late to turn back, and too late to start over…
I’ve never even considered giving it all up for anyone or anything before. Never had a reason or motivation to change.
Until I met her.
Callista Rayner. Heiress. Goddess. Need-her-ass-up-on-my-mattress.
My last chance at redemption.
Problem was, I couldn’t afford to fall for her, because I didn’t want to ruin her.
I didn’t want to destroy her, like the others that came before.
Too bad I had no choice.
Too bad she was my pawn and I had to use her.
Too bad, too bad, too bad.

Note: This dark romance contains sensitive subject matter and is intended for a mature audience.

Review

Villain tested my resolve and I found myself feeling so angry and upset for Ryder, regardless of the decisions he made in his life I was so upset for how he was living and found myself really angry at the adults who had played him.  I hated how he was living, he had nothing and was scraping by, it really made me sad and I could rant all day about ‘The Kept Woman’ !!

I wanted his revenge, I was with him every step of the way as his father is a brutal man and then throw in all the other people playing with his feeling and emotions well no wonder he is so aggressive.

The last quarter of this book just explodes with so many questions but also big answers and then the final chapter just blows it out of the water, I had no clue and well I was pleasantly surprised by this so well done to the author.

I kind of wished we had a couple of more chapters after the explosive revelations as by then I really had connected to Ryder and Callie as a couple in the romantic sense.

So my only complaint was I did want more emotional connection between Ryder and Callie, I did not feel them, they were both playing their cards so close to their chest if affected my ability to think they were attracted to each other emotionally and physically.  I really did not connect to them until right at the end which was a shame and I also found her friendship group strange.

Quote:  I married a monster. The monster wore a kind mask. He Said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’

Villain

My Rating:  

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Sovietnik’s Fury

By V.F. Mason

Synopsis

Vivian
Terrified at what my family wanted to do to me, I ran away from them straight into the arms of a gray-eyed stranger.
The man taught me how to love, creating a cocoon around my heart that nothing could break.
I thought my old life was behind me, but my dreams didn’t come true.
They had found me and manipulated the situation in their favor, destroying my life in the process.
To save the man I loved, I had no choice but to betray him.
He was out of prison now.
He would come for revenge.
All I could do was pray for mercy.

Sovietnik 
Five years.
That was how long I had spent in prison for the crime I didn’t commit.
My life, my status, my woman were stolen from me.
So many people due revenge from for the injustice done to me.
But I’d start with the one who betrayed me the most.
The woman I loved, the only woman who occupied my thoughts all those years, from the moment I’d met her.
The only woman I used to live for.
Vivian.

Warning: 18+ due to sexual content, profanity, abuse, graphic violence, and adult subject matter. Standalone, although connected with Pakhan Duet series.

Review

Firstly, I love the cover, yes I too wanted his beard to run between my legs just like Vivian, wow their passionate scenes were H.O.T.!

Sovietnik’s does have immense fury, anger, betrayal but his ultimate love for Vivian and the need to protect her made him the champion.  The way the author told their love story between the past and present seemed to entwine without breaks, it simply flowed perfectly for me.  I do not normally like going backwards and forwards but I found in this story I was hungry for everything, their history, the plotting and I had questions and all were answered.

Well done to the author, I did not pick The Director, I had a hunch but until it was revealed I was still second guessing myself which in the end provided a great twist.  There are also other great small stories within this suspenseful journey especially with the Sovietnik’s family, Vivian and her sister and parents too that I loved.

The Sovietnik does get his revenge, it is at times dark, raw and gritty but done with total relevance to the story and I was with him every step of the way considering the injustice served to him.  I did also enjoy the friendship with his group of men and I found the Russian mafia story easy to follow.  I also really loved the endless protection and moments of humour given particularly between Vivian, Jake and the Russian men.

I literally picked this up and could not put down, it had me gripped to the pages, second guessing myself and then falling in love all over again with Vivian and the Sovietnik like they did 5 years earlier.

The Epilogue is brilliant and left me totally satisfied with the conclusion to their love story.

Sovietnik’s Fury

My Rating:  

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Kon (Trassato Crime Family #2)

By Lisa Cardiff

Synopsis

Once upon a time, I was the woman you envied.

I had it all. A wonderful family. The perfect fiancé who also happened to be my best friend. Money and resources. The power and influence that came with sharing the Trassato name.

One night my fairytale became a nightmare, and I’ve been living in Hell ever since.

A rival family killed my fiancé. My father succumbed to cancer. In the middle of it all, I bargained away my future to Konstantin Trincher, a member of the Russian mafia. It seemed like the perfect solution at the time—my brother’s girlfriend in exchange for me.

Only things weren’t that simple.

I promised myself to Konstantin and my family promised me to Nico DeAngelo, the underboss of the Trassato Crime Family.

Konstantin and I form an alliance to unravel our bargain. The only problem? We didn’t expect to fall for each other in the process.

Now I’m forced to choose between love and loyalty.

One choice will break my heart and the other will break my family.

Review

Firstly love the cover, that is definately Kon, I could imagine him and I also recommend that you read Gian first as he does feature quiet heavily in this story.  Kon is the brother-in-law to Gian who has married Kon’s sister Evie, they are estranged in part of this story.

Kon, book 2 of the Trassato Crime Family definitely has lots of drama, some mystery and also answered some questions that I had from Gian book 1. I loved Kon and Carmela as a couple, they were passionate, stubborn and had great banter with each other.

Carmela I loved as a female lead character, she has experienced heartache, betrayal and also learns how to stand up and fight for who she loves.  Carmela was very different to Evie and another new female character introduced was Emilia. I cannot wait for Emilia’s story, wow she is one big black sheep of the family, I think her story is going to be great and I hope she eventually gets some reconciliation with her father.  What she has gone through has me asking so many questions.

Kon entwines the Russian and Italian famlies and the ending I loved however I do wish they announced everything about their relationship but perhaps we get to see and hear it all in book 3 – I hope so.

Kon (Trassato Crime Family #2)

My Rating:   

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Crave

By Dani Rene

Synopsis

Samael
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Can love overcome hate?
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When I first laid eyes on the perfect little blonde,
I didn’t think she’d change my life.
But the first time I tasted her, felt her, took her,
I knew she was mine.
I laid a wordless claim because as much as I desired her,
I couldn’t have her.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I craved the dark, she filled me with light.
I loved delivering pain, she craved it.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Opposites merged by circumstance.
Hearts melded by passion.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Angel
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Can light defeat darkness?
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I should have feared him.
Everything about him was drenched in the darkness he exuded.
But one glance into his cobalt eyes, and I knew I was his.
My heart allowed him entry, as did my body.
And after the first time, my soul recognized his.
Desired what he delivered.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I craved his darkness, he bathed in my light.
I submitted to his desires, he craved my very being.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Running from him wasn’t an option.
Fate bound us in its intricate pattern.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
*This is a dark romance, suitable for mature audiences, 18+ ONLY. Strong sexual themes and violence, which could trigger emotional distress, are found in this story. Certain scenes are graphic and could be upsetting to some. This story is NOT for everyone. Proceed with caution. Discretion is advised. This is book one of the Forbidden Series, but can be read as a standalone. Each book will feature a different couple. There is NO cliffhanger.

Review

Crave will take you to a place that will make you cry, shake with fear and make your skin crawl, it is everything a dark and erotic story has and so much more but you need to be strong and Angel is an incredible character and shows what the mind and heart are capable of.

Crave is dark and even I struggled with the storyline and at times I became desolate and I admit right here at some points I skimmed a paragraph as I could not cope with what Angel was going through.  I struggled with the hurt and degradation to her at the hands of old men.  There is so much darkness in this story and you are not given light until the last few chapters and by then I was so depressed and raw, upon finishing Crave it took me awhile to process this story.  When Samael found those tapes in his dad’s office that was the final straw for me, it broke my heart.

Crave is dark, more it will break your soul and for a moment in time you will think humanity has forgotten Angel and then Samael does eventually save her and can I say the ending restored my hope but left me raw.

I do not think I could ever read this again but I am so glad I read Angel and Samuel’s story, I am not brave enough to return.

Crave

My Rating: 

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