Scotch knew that being a waitress in a mob-owned strip club would be trouble, but she promised her best friend she’d stand by her. Costello hated the expectations heaped on him as the eldest son of the Badd mafia family. It was even worse that he was actual royalty. But he’d given his word. And Costello was a man of his word. When a meeting with a rival gang goes south, Costello vows to protect Scotch from everyone looking for a piece of her. Even his own family. He planned on keeping her safe. She planned on staying alive. Neither planned on falling in love. I picked Royally Ruined up on a whim…. and I ended up staying up all night reading it. I couldn’t put it down! I needed to know what was going to happen next. I was so invested in the characters and their story.
I’m not normally a fan of ‘bad boy alpha males’; they often fall into clichés or controlling jerks. Costello may have the veneer of a bad boy, but underneath he’s actually sweet and self-sacrificing to a fault. As the story progressed, I cared more and more about Costello and his past. I even found myself rooting for him. Even though he was dangerous, deadly, and ruthless.
While it took me a little bit to warm up to Costello, I adored Scotch from the word go. She was uncompromising but at the same time willing to listen and adapt. She never felt like “the load’ or a 'damsel in distress.’ She stood up for herself, but knew when to run. When she got into trouble, she used her brain, wits, and skills to get herself out. I absolutely loved that.
I also enjoyed the side characters. I’d like to see more of them, particularly Lula and Thorne.
But this book was mostly about Costello and Scotch figuring out how to solve the giant mess they found themselves in. And let me tell you, the ending is satisfying. So very satisfying.
*** I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley.
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