Almost 20 years ago Aleksio’s mother and father were murdered right before his eyes. Murdered, because they were the head of the Albanian mafia in Chicago and his father’s best friend wanted to take over. He escaped, and now he’s back for revenge. Almost 20 years ago, Mira watched as the small coffin containing her best friend was lowered into the earth. Except it was a lie. Now he’s back and he’s out for revenge. Revenge against her father. And she’s the perfect hostage. But neither of them can stop the feelings. Neither of them can stop the attraction. But is it enough to save them?
Sometimes you just want a well written dark mafia romance. And this is exactly that. (And despite what you might think by my Born to Be Bound rants, I don’t hate the genre. I just want it clearly labeled.)
Anyway, back to this book, it’s got all of the classic tropes, including abduction, childhood friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, hurt/comfort, and a little light BDSM. But this isn’t erotica. It’s sort of a cross between dark romance and romantic suspense. The action starts strong and doesn’t really let up until the end.
The characters are well rounded for the most part. I found myself liking Viktor quite a bit, along with Yuri and Tito. Aleksio is a tougher nut to crack. He’s complex and an interesting mix of emotional and cold at the same time. I liked and I disliked Mira at the same time. I got a bit of “not like other girls“ from her, which I didn’t totally love. I also didn’t love one section where she went a little TSTL for a moment. It’s a spoiler so I don’t want to ruin it but you’ll know it when you see it. At the same time, I liked that she wasn’t a passive heroine. And that she didn’t compromise her morals. On to the triggers for this book. The initial sex scene is a bit dubious consent. Which is right in line with a dark romance. That said it’s sort of up to the reader as to whether or not it goes fully dubious consent. However it is important to note going in that this book does contain graphic depictions of violence, abduction, dubious consent, BDSM, Degradation kink, discussion of prostitution, murder, discussion of child abuse, and a whole slew of other stuff that I’m probably forgetting. Which is basically shorthand for read with care.
In all, this was an entertaining well written read with engaging characters and a good over arcing plot. The romance between the two leads is integral and complete. But the series arc is still ongoing, and I’m interested to see what happens with Viktor’s story coming up. So because I liked but didn’t love this book it gets:
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