Sweet Temptation

temptationThe first time Cassio met his fiancée, she called him ‘Sir’.

After losing his wife, Cassio is left to take care of two small children while trying to establish his rule over Philadelphia. Now he needs a mother for his children, and someone who can warm his bed at night.

But in a traditional world as his, choosing your wife is duty not pleasure. Rules have to be followed. Traditions heeded. That’s how he ends up with a woman—a girl barely of age. She might not be what he and his children need, but she’s wicked lovely and a sweet temptation he can’t resist.

Giulia always knew she’d marry a man her father chose for her. Only she never expected to be given to someone much older. Suddenly she’s supposed to be a mother to two small children when she hasn’t even held a baby in her life.

Giulia quickly realizes that Cassio isn’t interested in a relationship on equal footing. Her mother always warned her that men of power like Cassio don’t tolerate insolence; yet, tired of being treated as a nanny and clueless child-bride, Giulia decides to fight for her vision of a happy family.

—                         —                         —

Sweet Temptation is a “side-quel” novel that isn’t part of the regular Camorra and Born in Blood Mafia series, but features characters who are a part of that world.

The book blurb up top, taken from Goodreads, sums up just about every part of the book for you. There is no mystery or surprise. You have a romance novel set in the mafia world and now you know exactly what to expect.

I wanted to love this book so badly. I really did. Twisted Emotions, the book where these characters first appear, was my favourite of both series and I hoped I would similarly love Cassio and Giulia.

Unfortunately, the quality of writing was not there.

Sweet Temptation was extremely predictable. As mentioned, the book is heavily summarized in the blurb for you. In addition, everything went smoothly for Giulia. Apparently she has the golden touch because everything she tried with a difficult baby and traumatized toddler worker perfectly. There were never any missteps, despite her lack of experience with children.

Even spending a day shopping in the mall with an infant and toddler goes perfectly, despite the fact that she was a stranger to them at the time, and had zero experience with littles.

I’m sorry, but that is entirely unrealistic. I like my romance to reflect some aspects of the real world. You want to write about witches or were-cats? Cool. Tell be that sociopath mafia men can fall in love with their arranged marriage spouse? No problem. But do not try to sell me on the idea that nothing will go wrong for the main characters and they get to live in some fairytale bubble. I’m not going to buy that in a million years.

I wish the author had spent more time and gotten some more honest beta readers for this book because it had amazing potential and a good build-up, but as a fan, I was left feeling let down. I don’t know if I would read this book again.

* * *

xx

Collateral (Collateral Damage #1)

collateral

Gabriela

Stefan Sabbioni showed up in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. Uninvited, he stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck.

I thought he’d strangle me with it.

That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.

I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.

He’s come to make good on his promise.
He’s back to take that something precious.
Me.

Stefan

Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.

Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.

I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.

And she is most definitely mine.

—                         —                         —

Collateral is the first book I have read from Natasha Knight. It was recommended to me online and the blurbs drew me in. I have found one of my new favourite series!

Collateral is a dark romance, mafia romance novel. Gabriela and Stefan start as enemies, and, well, I can’t quite say the are lovers by the end of this book, but hopefully they will be by the end of book number two.

Gabriela is being forced into marriage with Stefan as he seeks revenge for his brother and father’s deaths, at the hands of Gabriela’s father. Natasha Knight is one of the few authors who is writing in this trope and in possession of actual talent.

The majority of this story takes place in the south of Italy, and as I stare out my window at snow, I am more than a little jealous of Knight’s descriptions of warm weather, turquoise water and soft sandy beaches.

I finished reading this book in an evening and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, which thankfully, is already released! I definitely will be checking out more books from this author ASAP.

* * * * *

xx