Crime Lord’s Paradise (Crime Lord #4.5)

crimelord

After Gavin Pyre steps down from his position as crime lord, he and Lyla focus on picking up the pieces of their lives and creating the paradise they deserve.

Publisher’s Note: This novella intersects with book 4, Awakened by Sin, so books should be read in sequence.

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This is a 128 page novella that catches us up with original couple Lyla and Gavin in the Crime Lord series. I’m pretty sure this book is the result of obsessive and persistent begging from fans, lol.

OMG. I had forgotten how completely badass Gavin is!! He is uber sexy and dark and it is overwhelmingly obvious in this instalment that Lyla is the only thing keeping him just this side of the line.

But, man! that girl has changed. She went from this annoying, facetious young woman in the introduction to the series to a fierce woman and mother, battling PTSD and poor parenting models and rising above.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It felt a bit like a catch-up with old friends and will eagerly await book #5.

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Twisted Loyalties (The Camorra Chronicles #1)

Camorra Chronicles 1

Fabiano was raised to follow in his father’s footsteps as Consigliere of the Chicago Outfit – until the man abandons him. Left to fend for himself, Fabiano is forced to fight for a place in the mafia world. As a ruthless street fighter, he quickly earns his place as the new Enforcer of the Las Vegas Camorra – a man to fear.

Leona wants to build a decent life for herself, away from her drug-addicted mother. But soon she catches the attention of a dangerous man – Fabiano Scuderi. Staying out of trouble and living a normal life are near impossible with a man like him.
Leona knows she needs to avoid Fabiano, but men like him aren’t easy to shake off. They always get what they want.

Fabiano cares about only one thing: the Camorra.
But his attraction to Leona soon puts his unwavering loyalty to the test. Is Leona worth risking everything he’s fought for, and ultimately his life?

This is the first book in the Camorra Chronicles. This series is a spinoff from the Bound Series. Both are Mafia romance.

I have had a love-hate relationship with several of my one-click authors lately, and unfortunately, this is one of them.

I detested the previous book that I read from this author, so I bought Twisted Loyalties with some hesitation. It was better than I worried it would be, but also is not one I can imagine myself reading again and again.

Fabiano is very different from the little boy of 5 that we first met. He has grown up hard and dark and cruel, so much so that he would be willing to kill his own sister for political gain, if ordered to by his Boss.

I found that these characters were difficult for me to relate to, although the write is much improved from what I recently experienced in the previous novel.

I do intend to read the next book and hope that Ms. Reilly is able to build on it.

So should I recommend this book? If you are a mafia romance junkie or like your heroes dark, definitely give it a go. Otherwise I would say pass and save your money.

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Wild Cat – a review

Wild Cat is the eighth book in the Leopard series by Christine Feehan. This series has really been improved with each book, and I loved Wild Cat and the previous couple of novels as well. The stories have become much more engrossing than the earliest ones, and I love the community feel when there are different characters mixing together.

If you are familiar with Feehan’s other series, you will notice that the Leopard books are much more erotic and sexual than the others, which are fairly tame (at least by my standards). I love this aspect and the pseudo-bdsm nature of the relationships.

Wild Cat features one of the heroes for whom we have been long awaiting a love story: Elijah Lospostos. Here are the deets of the book.

wild cat

A simple request for Siena Arnotto: deliver a gift to her grandfather’s friend. One look at Elijah Lospostos, hard-bodied and stripped to the waist, and Siena succumbs to a feline stirring she never felt before, and to Elijah’s reckless and pleasurable demands. But when that pulse-throbbing moment ends in the murder of an unexpected intruder, Elijah accuses the shaken and confused Siena of setting him up.

Then Siena discovers the truth of her Leopard heritage, of the secrets in her grandfather’s inner circle, and the sinister plot of revenge that has put her in jeopardy. When Siena’s grandfather is assassinated, she realizes the only man she can trust is Elijah. Now as her Leopard rises from within, Siena and Elijah share not only an animal instinct for survival—but a desire so raw and wild it may be the only thing that can save them.

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(Please note that this review contains minimal spoilers. I did my best to leave out the big things and any spoiler you find is from one of the first handful of chapters).

Wow, does Elijah Fuck The Hell Up. He doesn’t really “do” gravelling either to make amends. The arrogant bastard just decides that Sienna should forgive him because he regrets his actions, and more or less bullies her into doing so.

My last two sentences probably make Elijah sound absolutely irredeemable, right? Well, not quite. He didn’t physically harm her. He humiliated Sienna and caused her to lose all confidence and trust in herself which is arguable worse, but I’m more willing to accept this because it is not the result of a gender imbalance.

Also, in his (incorrect) understanding of the situation, Elijah did believe that Sienna had just tried to assassinate him. So ya, I’d probably do a whole lot more in that situation than just throw a naked woman out of my house and call her a few choice terms. And he does his damnedest to protect her after realizing his mistake.

Some of the readers who interact on the author’s social media and website are really not fans of the Leopard series. The sex is too headed or the men too overbearing. They maintain that this is emotional abuse, claims that were commonly thrown at this book, and the previous. I wholeheartedly disagree.

I love the story and the characters. It was sweet to see Sienna integrate into his world by mixing with past heroines, and I wish that Drake and Eli had had expanded roles. This is one that I would read again and again.

If you are looking for a book that exemplifies the type of simpering romance where the hero caters to the heroine’s every whim, these are not the books for you. If you like pushy alphas who lead in a relationship and are incredibly possessive of their ladies, we’ve probably found your niche.

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