Tag Archives: Mafia/Mob

Between Heaven and Hell

By Erin Trejo

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Synopsis

Cordae “Demon” Vitale.
People feared me. They respected me.
I was the Boss of the Vitale family at twenty-two.
One of the youngest in history.
I ran my business exceptionally.
My emotions were never part of this life.
Ava made me realize that there was more to life than what I had.
She pushed me to limits I didn’t think I could go to.
At the end of the day, I was forced between heaven and hell.
Much like the rest of my life, I was teetering on that fine line in between.

Losing something that means a lot to you, can change a person.
It changed me.
I will travel to the ends of the earth to get back that one thing that meant the most to me.
I will destroy everyone in my path to make that happen.

Review

Heaven and Hell, Cord and Ava are light and dark. I really enjoyed the Mafia story however I did find part 1 of this jumped quickly and I did not overly feel their connection, physically yes but not emotionally. Sections of this story were not fully explained, Ava’s parents, Daniel being warned off, why did he do that and then not monitor her if he was interested and then to just happen upon her at the clinic. He then says he knows all about her?

I easily followed Ava and her emotional connection to Amelia but with Cord I did not and then with the ending of part 1, his actions did not make sense because I had not believed he even barely interacted with Amelia for him to feel his loss and heartbreak, I can understand the anger but that was because he was the boss and he was taken by surprise.

Now onto Park 2 – this is where the story just blew it out of the park, I thought the pacing action of the underlying Mafia story was perfect and then it was like a light was switched on and I could understand and feel Cord through the writing, I just wish this had happened in Park 1, although Amelia’s part was sad it did not overly upset me as she was really barely in the story line apart from a few odd paragraphs. It would have been better to see more regular interactions between those two characters to see a build-up of affection and acceptance with each other to then understand the devastation. I know I keep harping on about Amelia but I do believe she was a pivotal  character to Cord’s make up as a man and his emotional wellbeing and it was the start of him unravelling his cold demeanour and perhaps dreaming of having a family and being worthy of love.

I was surprised and excited with the new character in part 2 in Italy, however again would have loved to have seen a more detailed conversation between Cord and Ava on those lost years – I wanted to know more!

The sex scenes between Cord and Ava were very enjoyable. Ava was just a lovely character, I also would have liked to have known more about her family in part 1 as it was just fast forwarded over her and also perhaps a couple of chapters on her relationship with Gambino would have tied things together. I would have liked to have seen Daniel and Cord early on having that conversation where Cord told him to never see Ava again instead of just hearing it second hand from Cord in a conversation with one of his men. Was Daniel with Ava because her father was the Mayor? Was there a gentleman’s agreement to date his daughter? Her mother too, never saw her then she was another storyline?

I am wondering whether this would have flowed better with perhaps Ava having some POV chapters at critical moments in their relationship – particularly in Italy, with Amelia, her own family and also Daniel.

An enjoyable Mafia story, I really did love these two main characters and Cord definitely had moments of pure darkness then Ava would show him the light and give him hope.

Favourite Quote:  “It means my beautiful girl.” Ava smiles and the rest of the world ceases  to exist. In this moment, she is the girl that brought light into my soul.

Between Heaven and Hell

My Rating: 

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Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)

By Cora Reilly

Synopsis

Growl
He’d never had something to himself, never even dared to dream about owning something so precious. He was the unwanted bastard son who’d always had to content himself with the leftovers of others. And now they’d given him what only a few weeks ago had been out of his reach, someone he wasn’t even allowed to admire from afar, one of their most prized possessions. Thrown at his feet because he was who he was, because they were certain he would break her. He was her punishment, a fate worse than death, a way to deliver the ultimate punishment to her father who had displeased them so greatly.

Cara
She had always been the good girl. It didn’t protect her.
She didn’t know his real name. People called him Growl to his face, and the Bastard behind his back. Both were names he couldn’t possibly have chosen for himself. His eyes were empty, a mirror to throw back her own fear at her. He was a brutal hand of the Las Vegas Camorra.
And now she was at his mercy.

Review

Love the Cover, it is totally Growl and he is one man that bursts from the pages of Bound by Vengeance.  This story to me was more about the relationship building between Growl and Cara and less about the Mafia struggles. I really enjoyed the change in directions and look forward though to the next story where we hopefully see how Growl and Cara develop in their relationship.

Cara was a stunning character with strength, resolve and an ability to adapt to her surroundings, I really savoured how her character changed so dramatically through this story. Her interaction with Growl’s dogs for me as a dog person was one of my favourite components of this story.

One thing that was strange to me was the fact I never saw them discuss or mention birth control, after six weeks of being together I really expected her to be pregnant, she was a virgin and very naive and protected and then they have sex, I cannot recall any mention of condoms or birth control like in the other Blood Mafia Chronicles.

Now onto the series, I love this whole group of books, I could easily follow how this story entwined into the two Mafia families especially New York and loved seeing Luca, Matteo and Romero at the end.

I did feel the story was slightly rushed towards the ending, I would have liked to have seen a bit more communication and interaction with the family in New York.

I do not normally comment on the odd editing errors but there are quite a few in the version of the book I purchased from Amazon, the first few did not bother me but then it actually became really evident like in every chapter which was a shame.

I really would love to see some babies start to appear from these couples, in particular Aria, Gianna and now Cara.

Quote: ‘How could you lose yourself if you never had the change to find yourself?’

Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)

My Rating: 

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El Diablo (The Devil #1)

By El Diablo

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Synopsis

I was ruthless.
I was feared.
I had sacrificed. Myself. Her. Everything…

Living in a world where I was worth more dead than alive was a choice. I was a bad man, never claimed to be anything else. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. Seen things that can’t be unseen. I’ve caused pain that I can’t undo.
It was all my choice.
Every decision.
Every order.
Right and wrong never mattered.
Until her.
She was under my protection, until she became my obsession.
But who was going to save her…

From. Me. The devil himself.

Fate brought us together. Destiny destroyed us.
STANDALONE. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Full length novel.

Review

El Diablo delivers those book moments (yes there are more than one) when you’re reading and you want to stop, it feels hard but you know you have to continue.  This story tied me up in knots, I was scared for the secrets, not wanting to know but really needing to know if my feelings were correct. This story is amazing – I simply loved it.

El Diablo  is told in two parts, however the overall theme is about the women who moulded this man to be who he is.

The first half told his story of young first love, his protection of his sister and his devotion to his mother.  This is a hard story with loss and different types of love and him becoming that man.  One scene with his sister and her friend is an incredibly tough chapter but moulds this man.

Moving on to the second half – this was my favourite – it is more dark, raw and gritty.  I held such sadness for Briggs and totally devastation for Lexi but wow their characters and how they affect El Diablo kept me turning those pages.

Lexi was my favourite character of all the women for sure, the interactions, emotions and drama were fantastic.  It was so interesting to see how part one of this story ultimately paved the way for how El Diablo lives and conducts his life.  I was trying to piece everything together, I gave up and just enjoyed the passionate and heart breaking moments that was Lexi’s life with El Diablo literally conducting her life like a conductor of a orchestra.

El Diablo’s secret is outstanding at the end and ties all my questions together and thank god I got my answers, amazing how the author intriquitely weaved all the characters together. I cannot believe Sophia’s connection to it all and my god the lengths El Diablo goes for Lexi is breathtaking and I cried with relief at the ending.

This story is dark and dirty but the ending is beautiful and one of the best I have read in such a long time – so fulfilling – it is so worth the devastating journey.

El Diablo (The Devil #1)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Dominic (Benedetti Brothers #2)

By Natasha Knight

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Synopsis

Dominic

I was the boy who would never be king. The monster who could never be loved.

Gia was just a job. Just another girl caught in a world of monsters.

It didn’t matter that I liked the look of her.
I didn’t care that she cringed when she saw my soul.
I liked it.
I liked her fear.
And I wanted her.

Monsters didn’t get to live happily ever after, though. I knew one day I’d have to go back. Because time neither forgave nor forgot.

And neither did I.

Old debts needed to be settled. Enemies punished. It was past time I returned to the family business. I’d been gone far too long.

Gia

All my life, I believed in fairy tales. Not the Disney kind. Never those. I always knew life was darker than that.

I was the daughter of a foot soldier. The sister of a snitch. A nobody.

Monsters had been part of my life for as long as I could remember, but none as dark as Dominic Benedetti. None as cruel. None as broken.

I had no illusions about what he was. I had no desire to save his soul. And I couldn’t care about his bleeding heart.

But love isn’t always beautiful. It could be a twisted, ugly bitch.

I’d always known this was the kind I’d find. The only kind that could touch me.

Because some of us, we belonged in the dark.
And Dominic and I belonged in the dark.

Author’s Note: Dominic is a steamy standalone romance. He is the ultimate Anti-Hero, so be prepared for a crazy, rough ride. To fully understand Dominic’s actions, I recommend reading the first book in the Benedetti Brothers duet, Salvatore.

This book is intended for mature readers. No cliffhanger and no cheating.

Review

Love the cover, love the drama, love the sex and love the Mafia – Dominic is pure danger and I devoured him.

Firstly, the timeline between Salvatore (Book 1) and Dominic (Book 2) was perfect in my eyes and I appreciated the dual perspectives of Gia and Dominic.  I read Dominic in a day, I could not put down but to fully appreciate his story you need to read Salvatore (Book 1) first.

Dominic’s personality and emotional baggage is still so strong and as are so many returning characters who play their part in manipulating his current actions and mood.

The way the author threw us head first into the situation between Dominic and Gia and then allowed us to go back to know how they got to the cabin was very easy to follow.  Gia’s torment, heartache and fear gripped you from the first few pages – I was hooked and petrified.

It only took me a couple of chapters to get my head back into the whole wonderful Mob world that Natasha Knight involves us in.  We are given romance, heat and passion but a fantastic Mob mystery to try and follow who is wanting to take over the kingdom.

I was happy that we also get to see Salvatore and Lucia again and I did love how Effie played her part as that storyline was one of my favourites from Salvatore.

The connection between the two main characters of Dominic and Gia has a slow and steady build up – it was perfect for me.

Dominic (Benedetti Brothers #2)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Dirty (Raw Family #2)

By Belle Aurora

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Synopsis

My marriage seemed perfect from the outside looking in.
People envied me. They wanted my life, wanted to be me.

Mrs Alejandra Gambino.
Wife of Dino Gambino. Daughter of Eduardo Castillo.
Respected. Loved. Mob royalty.

They had no idea of the horrors that lurked behind closed doors.
They didn’t know I was at the lowest point a person could reach.

Enter Julius Carter.
Aloof, handsome, blue-eyed Julius Carter.

He saved me.
I screwed him over.

Now everybody was after me. My life was forfeit.
It was only a matter of time. I was a dead woman walking.

The question was, who would get to me first?

Review

Firstly if you are disappointed with Dirty being Julius’s story you are in for an absolute cracker of a journey.  We actually get two stories that run parallel and then combine in an almighty finish that will leave you gagging for Raw: Rebirth. If like me you needed to know about Twitch (considering the way Raw ended !!) – I admit I went to the back of the book and yes I read “A note from Belle”.  I needed to hear from her and I felt happy after reading her message considering I had read Raw probably more than four times since 2014 keeping my love of Twitch, Lexi, Julius, Happy and my hate of Ling alive.

So much to say, so happy, tears for Twitch and Julius and their extended family, you think you knew everything, my god Raw touched the surface.  Dirty whilst dark, vicious and deadly was such an inspiring read for me with strong characters.  So many answers and knowing that more goodness is to come, I am simply so happy, Ana and Manda are two wonderful characters I want more of.  This tale is woven beautifully considering the harshness of Ana’s life and then we get the whole six degrees of separation, loves the twists and turns.

From chapter 45 take yourself somewhere quiet, ignore the world because you are in for one hell of a ride – its Raw and Dirty.  Chapter 47 with Twitch and Evander is one of my favourites.


Ana is my hero, how this beautiful woman could endure the Dirty life she was forced into, you need to put on your big girl panties dear reader to follow her life but the journey to the end is pure redemption.  Ana has so much to give to the Raw Family and I believe we have only touched the surface and that she has some redemption to be delivered.

Fantastic continuation of the Raw Family, how can I love another like Twitch well Julius stepped up to the plate big time, what a hero he is.  Learning more about Twitch and his family and all his connections, it was riveting and is a true mob style story.

Ling Ling I did not like in Raw but Dirty left me devastated – how Ling could be so deceitful, she is not right in the head, I do hope in Rebirth that Julius delivers pure justice.

Dirty (Raw Family #2)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Trapped

By Amanda Lance

Trapped

Synopsis

On the way to investigate a fugitive sighting, 21-year-old news intern Aubrey Kent is injured when an unexpected storm destroys the newscopter—along with the rest of the crew.

Now, stranded in the Canadian wilderness and on the brink of death, Aubrey is rescued by a handsome stranger whose cold disposition is as frightening as the remote cabin in which he lives. With no way to reach civilization before spring, Aubrey becomes Jack Gordon’s unwanted roommate. Her hope for rescue is much more desperate when she sees his hostile attitude and violent behavior.

Aubrey and Jack wait out the winter, they grow closer—their delicate friendship blooming into feelings neither of them could have anticipated. But the weather and the wolves aren’t the only dangers in the mountains. As Aubrey uncovers the reason for Jack’s self-imposed isolation, she realizes she’s closer to the story than she imagined—a story that might cost her life.

Review

Firstly love the cover.

This is going to be short and sweet as I do not want to give away any of the moments of pure suspense this story takes the reader on.  I am so surprised as to how this story evolved and the two characters emotional tug of war.  The ending left me shattered beyond belief and I walked around in a daze thinking what did I just take part in.

This is told from Aubrey’s point of view and is perfect and flows just right, the build up to some really intense scenes left me on the edge of my seat, I simply could not put this down.

Jack is perfect as the troubled recluse and although we do not get into his head my god he wears his emotions on his sleeve.  Jack and Aubrey provide some really light moments of humour and then within moments a darkness prevails.  Reading this I could literally feel the cold seeping into my bones, the environment I could picture in my head, the descriptions were just spot on.

I was shattered beyond belief with the way this story evolves and the ending WOW – major heart wrenching, tear jerking, spit the dummy, break my heart moment which really left me needing a major hug.   I honestly did not see the ending coming – I was surprised which is a refreshing change.

Quote: Just like his smile, Jack’s laugh was like potato chips: I couldn’t stop with just one

Trapped

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Raw (Raw Family #1)

By Belle Aurora

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Synopsis

***Author Note: This is not a love story. This is a story of love gone wrong.*** Growing up the way I did, you’d think I’d be more screwed up than what I actually am. Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street. Best decision I ever made. Now, at the age of twenty six, I’m educated, employed and damn good at my job. My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it’s like to grow up unloved. But the saying is true. The world makes way for those who know where they are going. That’s me. I know where I’m going and I’ll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace. But then there’s him. I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me. He makes me feel. It’s unconventional. But it’s real. I’m sure you’re wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker. So am I. This isn’t a story. This is my life. ***This book includes situations that some may find uncomfortable.

Review

Quote: There’s something about Twitch.  He’s just … raw.  Everything about him is raw.  And Gritty. And Unbound.

I have to be honest, this is the fourth time I have read this book – Twitch will cut you apart, break your heart and fracture your soul. Alexa and Twitch have such an incredible journey to travel and it’s not over by a long shot.

I first read Raw in 2014, then twice in 2015 whilst I patiently waited for the next instalment of the Raw Family.  I am sorry, I was not prepared to share my thoughts, I was not prepared to review until Dirty (Raw Family #2) was going to be released.  Once you finish this book you will understand, try being me like so many other readers and waiting since 2014.  The author has received such passionate pleas for the next instalment, you will understand when again you turn that last page.

Raw is one book that has simply stayed with me forever.   I have now read Raw again in preparation for Dirty (Raw Family #2) and I still am emotionally shattered upon finishing this story, it is not over by a long shot.  You will pick up Dirty (Raw Family #2) in the hope that you are given more.

Fair warning, you are not given a HEA however you are given hope.

Alexa and Twitch are explosive, passionate and sensual, you know when you read a book and you get that tingly feeling in your belly, you feel a little bit sick because you just know it is going be hard.  Raw is definitely gritty and will devastate your soul but in the end you will love it – Life is not easy, Love is not easy but sometimes the journey is what makes you appreciate what you have.

Raw (Raw Family #1)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Long Live The King (An Italian Mafia Romance Duet #2)

By W S Greer

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Synopsis

ALL IT TAKES IS A YEAR TO BUILD AN EMPIRE…
Dominic Collazo has taken the infamous Giordano crime family to even greater heights in the year since he became the boss. The Family is making more money than ever, and they’re doing it quietly. Things couldn’t be better for the young kingpin.

ALL IT TAKES IS LOVE TO FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON TOP OF THE WORLD…
Alannah Sullivan may not have many friends, but when you’re lucky enough to spend your life with your soulmate, you feel untouchable. When the love of your life is the most powerful man in the city, you roll with the punches and proudly stand by his side.

ALL IT TAKES IS BETRAYAL FOR IT ALL TO COME CRASHING DOWN AROUND YOU…
There’s a traitor in The Family. Someone who knows everything. Someone who’s sabotaging business and bringing heat to Dominic that can only end in his fall from power. And everyone knows there’s only one way for a mob boss’ reign to end.

ALL IT TAKES IS A MOB KING WHO’S WILLING TO DIE TO PROTECT HIS QUEEN…
Dominic would never let anything happen to Alannah, no matter how dangerous things become, or how guilty everyone around him looks. Even if everyone he ever trusted turns against him and he has to burn it all down to save her. He’ll let it burn, even if saving her means he’ll be consumed by the blaze.nsert 

Review

This follows on from King Pin so you really need to read #1 to understand where Dominic and Alannah have come from and how their relationship evolved from young children to the young adults they are now including their separation.

This story centred again the Mob power games than romance so it left me a little disappointed personally but I still read and enjoyed the book.

The ending I loved – was perfect for me – it had the romance factor that I wanted to see earlier on during the book. I know they were in the midst of a crime family power struggle but I still kind of wanted more passion between these two.  Most of the time I was scared for them both and thinking they are going to be killed.

One part that I found odd within the overall storyline was in relation to Alannah’s work issues and when she told him he did nothing about those people – he was a mob boss why did did he not send them a warning? Then I also found it odd they were not living together at the start of this book when he had such an issue with her personal safety, they were separated for so long in book #1 I really thought they would have been living together straight away with her own protection – she is the boss’s girl.

If you love a mob mystery with murder, kidnapping, back stabbing and game playing you will enjoy this.

Long Live The King (An Italian Mafia Romance Duet #2)

My Rating: 3 Hearts

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Salvatore (Benedetti Brothers #1)

By Natasha Knight

30737857

Synopsis

Lucia

It all started with a contract signed by him, then by me, while our families watched. While my father sat silent, a man defeated, giving his daughter to the Benedetti monsters.

I obeyed. I played my part. I signed my name and gave away my life. I became their living, breathing trophy, a constant symbol of their power over us.

That was five years ago.

Then came the time for him to claim me. For Salvatore Benedetti to own me.

I had vowed vengeance. I had learned hate. And yet, nothing could have prepared me for the man who now ruled my life.

I expected a monster, one I would destroy. But nothing is ever black or white. No one is either good or evil. For all his darkness, I saw his light. For all his evil, I saw his good. As much as he made me hate him, a passion hotter than the fires of hell burned inside me.

I was his, and he was mine.

My very own monster.

Salvatore

I owned the DeMarco Mafia Princess. She belonged to me now. We had won, and they had lost. And what better way to teach a lesson than to take from them that which is most precious? Most beloved?

I was the boy who would be king. Next in line to rule the Benedetti Family. Lucia DeMarco was the spoils of war. Mine to do with as I pleased.

It was my duty to break her. To make her life a living hell. My soul was dark, I was hell bound. And there was no way out, not for either of us. Because the Benedetti family never lost, and in our wake, we left destruction. It’s how it had always been. How I believed it would always be.

Until Lucia.

Author’s Note: Salvatore and Lucia’s story is a steamy standalone romance with a happily-ever-after. No cliffhanger and no cheating. It is intended for mature readers.Synopsis Here

Review

I am keeping this short – you need to pick this up and read it – one of the best mob romance I have read this year.

Fantastic, this captured my heart and soul from the first few chapters and never let me go.

Salvatore and Lucia, two characters full of passion, headstrong, stubborn and who owned their circumstances with such strength.

This story flowed perfectly, we were given moments of reflection by Salvatore and Lucia, moments of intrigue, fast paced suspense and ultimately passionate sensual sexual scenes that simply made me hot and horny.  My god Salvatore was just all alpha man who knew how to please a lady and was just a hero to not only Lucia but Natasha which was a beautiful story in itself.

I could pick this up again, I loved the mob mystery and game playing, the romance of Salvatore and Lucia and also their story of family and new beginnings.  We even get their HEA at the end of the book and see where everyone ends up and I did like how her sister’s journey was also included in the ending.

My only question, will we be seeing a story on Dominic – I sure hope so!

Salvatore (Benedetti Brothers #1)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Willing Captive

By Belle Aurora

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Synopsis

(Author note: This is NOT a dark romance.)

Delilah “Lily” Flynn is used to her drab existence. Lily’s been living it for twenty two years.
Her boring life is suddenly turned on its head when she’s rudely kidnapped from her bedroom.
Or so she thinks.

Nox Taylor is far too high up in his field to be assigned a babysitting job.
There’s nothing more he wants than to complete his mission so he can be rid of the smartass tomboy, Lily.

Day after day, Nox watches Lily and her strange ways. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever met.
Getting close to the girl is purely for her own protection…right?

Lily never imagined she’d make her first real friends in captivity.
What lengths would she go through to keep them?

**This is a stand alone novel and is unrelated to Friend-Zoned**

Review

Loved this – the characters both Nox and Lily but then also the supporting characters particularly Rock and Boo – Oh my I am not ready to leave this world – I could pick this up again as I want to go back to the beginning and follow their journey of friendship.

How the author can take us on a journey with Lily through the emotions of having her entire life being placed under the microscope and in control of strangers to then come out the other side such a strong and dynamic person, the true Lily was just waiting to emerge and I loved her fight, her passion and her ability to love unconditionally.  She was definitely held captive by forces out of her control but she fought her way to freedom to love and forge a new life for herself.

There is so much action, drama but the best part for me was the simple relationships and how they developed over the pages and then when Nox and Lily finally submit to their pure attraction well as the reader you are not left wanting at all – wink wink.

My favourite parts are when Lily after the first few days does not eat and the moment she gets clarity to own her situation and then when she is sitting on the bench at the cemetery towards the end of the book – those two moments for me were true turning points and my heart broke for two totally separate reasons.

The story is ended perfectly, it is all rounded up in a beautiful bow of a HEA and you get to see some magical moments in their life.

We are also given a sneak peak of RAW another of the authors work but this is defniately more on the dark side.

Quote: “I never realised how much I hate my life. Not until he showed me beautiful”

Willing Captive

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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