First book in the Scarlet Scars Duet. A gritty, powerful anti hero Mafia romance.
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
4.5 engrossing stars!
“You got me?”
“I got you.”
J.M. Darhower has again delivered an enthralling story that set our hearts racing at a million miles an hour! Hollywood needs to make her Mafia romances into a movie, because her words are so visually captivating, we can imagine it playing out before our eyes, as we did with Menace. We were once again captivated by her story, fascinated and madly in love with an antihero with a ‘couldn’t give a fuck attitude’, and a feisty, strong heroine who had us championing them both at every turn.
We first met Lorenzo Gabini in Target On Our Back, and were beyond excited when we realised he was the central character in Menace. You can absolutely go into this duet as standalone’s as Menace/Grievous are essentially Lorenzo and Morgan’s story with JM Darhower doing a fabulous job of getting us up to speed without wasting a precious moment of actual story.
‘Nobody trusts their gut anymore, but they ought to. Sometimes wires get crossed in the brain, things get all jumbled, everything gets confused, and your heart…..you can’t fucking trust that son of a bitch. It’ll be the first to betray you. It’ll make you feel like the world is a beautiful place. It’ll make you forget all the darkness. It’ll make you hope, and believe, and then it’ll destroy you, just when you start to think maybe it’s okay to not be so goddamn frigid.’
What an exhilarating, exciting start to this duet. As usual with this authors stories, she grabbed us from the very first page and never let us go. There’s something so incredibly addictive about her stories, and Menace is no exception. The Mafia, the Bratva, a troubled girl and man with a thirst for revenge, all went into making this one a totally addictive winner and we need the next book!
“What do I smell like?”
“Like sex and shame….and something distinctly vanilla.”
“It’ll fade. It’s just my lotion…vanilla orchid. The sex, well, I’m afraid you’ll have to wash that off.”
And the shame?” I ask, strolling toward her. “How long until that fades.”
She laughs dryly. “I’ll let you know if it ever happens.”
Lorenzo Gambini, is the epitome of the antihero. He’s the guy you would expect to hate but can’t. He’s brutal, pragmatic, unforgiving, has a short fuse and is intolerant of most people except his brother Leo, who he will protect at all costs. He’s also bored and completely unapologetic about his lifestyle and his thirst for violence. He loves oranges and is one engaging, witty and snarky narrator injecting humour amidst the mayhem. Seriously, this guy had us in fits with his internal monologue. At times it was as though he was arguing with the reader. It was priceless! His outlook is ‘it is what it is and I don’t give a fuck’ in the world according to Lorenzo and yup, we fell in love with him!
Lorenzo quite literally bumps into Morgan Myers, a ballsy, troubled young woman with a price on her head who is hoarding many secrets. Just what and who is she running from/to and why? Lorenzo’s boredom soon turns to intense interest when it registers with him that Morgan has pulled one over on him by stealing his wallet. No one gets one over on Lorenzo Gambini! He seeks her out and soon realises Morgan needs help when it comes to light that she has somehow pissed off the Russian Mafia.
‘I used to read all these fairy tales, and I just think about how fucked up it is to realize that heroes are make-believe but monsters are real.’
The story is told in dual pov’s with an interesting pov added in which kept us guessing as it heartbreakingly unfolded throughout the story. J.M. Darhower never fails to breathe life into every new book she produces, despite a similar theme being woven throughout. We couldn’t look away from this book for a second and we need Grievous now! What a gritty, dark, sexy, heartbreaking and engrossing ride and we’re not done yet!
“Who broke you?”
TBB also Recommends
MONSTER IN HIS EYES SERIES by J M DARHOWER
Monster in His Eyes Book One :: amazon us | amazon uk | our review
Torture To Her Soul Book Two :: amazon us | amazon uk | our review
Target on Our Backs Book Three ::our review| amazon us | amazon uk
For MORE TotallyBookedBlog J.M. Darhower Recommendations,