Bound by Vengeance is the fifth book in the Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles by Cora Reilly. You can read my previous reviews, starting here.
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.
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.
— — —
What a mess. I had such high expectations for this book but have very few positive things to comment on.
The author previously and briefly posted on her official author facebook page that she was undergoing some personal problems in her life and that she would try to get the book out on time. Just TWO updates later, the book is finally published almost a year and a half late. As a reader, I felt let down by her lack of updates and seeming lack of dedication to fans.
I get that bad things happen in life. You don’t need to spill the details online or make apologies for that. Life happens! To all of us. But when you expect fans to remain loyal and pay for and promote your work, you do owe them something. When you cancel pre-orders because the book isn’t written yet and don’t offer any explanation or apology, and then do it AGAIN, and completely abandon your official social media accounts, you aren’t going to have much of a fan-base left.
I chose to buy Bound by Vengeance because I had high hopes and wanted to give it a chance. I’d seen teasers a year and a half previously, and had obviously wondered about the characters all this time. I should have saved my money.
Bound by Vengeance was awful. It was full of typos, plot holes, unrealistic writing and is more than 100 pages shorter than the first in the series. It reads more like a novella than a full length novel, which it was marketed to be. And there were a couple random German words in the text, like the author (who lives in Germany) wrote it in that language and then used Google Translate to convert it to English.
The “heroine” is Cara, an 18 year old airhead who is TSTL… Too Stupid To Live. And the anti-hero “Growl” is supposedly super smart and super vicious, willing to do anything instructed but is the most easily manipulated character in history. He will sacrifice himself and bring down the Mob he has kept in business for years for some little chit he met a few weeks ago and doesn’t even love?!!! Don’t think so. And don’t even get me started on the dogs.
I also don’t like how Reilly tried to spin the end of the book. Cara is secretly related to the feared Head of the NY mafia, whom we met in a previous book. Surprise! Not. Saw that coming from the beginning. I also realized the first scene we met him that Growl was the son of the head of the Las Vegas Mafia.
I really don’t have anything positive to say about this book. I wasn’t fond of the previous in the series and this was awful. I don’t recommend it. Stick to the original trilogy and then move on.