Tag Archives: antihero

CHILDREN OF VICE (Children Of Vice #1) by J J McAVOY


REVIEW :: CHILDREN OF VICE by J J McAVOY 
Gritty, raw Mafia romance spin off from Ruthless People Series

First in the series spin off from the Ruthless People series. You do not have to read Ruthless People series beforehand but we LOVE this series and recommend it!
Now it’s time to revel in the reign of the Callahan children…

SYNOPSIS

I, Ethan Antonio Giovanni Callahan, first son of the former head of the Irish mob, Liam Alec Callahan, and former head of the Italian mafia, ex-governor, Melody Nicci Giovanni Callahan, solemnly swear to ruthlessly protect our family name, business and way of life, no matter the cost to me or anyone else. I shall show no mercy; I shall offer no forgiveness; there will be no peace for those who stand against me.

I will live for my family.
I will kill for my family.
I will marry for my family.

I, Ivy O’Davoren, the only daughter of Shay O’Davoren, solemnly swear to ruthlessly and mercilessly exact revenge on the Callahans and all those who betrayed my father and family.

I will live for revenge.
I will kill for revenge.
I will marry for revenge.

           CHILDREN OF VICE is available to purchase below

          


**Spoiler Free Review by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 stars

‘The Belladonna and the Mani di forbice.’
‘The beautiful poison and the duel blades.’

We’ve read every single JJ McAvoy book, and bar one, we’ve loved and fallen in love with every single one. Her stories are compelling and an indulgence we love to partake in. This is a spin-off of the Ruthless People series featuring the children of Liam and Melody Callahan. Whilst this series can be read on it’s own, we highly recommend reading the Ruthless People Series, as not only is it one of our all-time favourite mafia/mobster series, you’ll also get much more out of this series.

‘To repent they must be sorry. To be sorry they must feel pain. So let there be pain.’

Without question, this Author excels at writing intensely intriguing and downright exciting mobster stories. She’s one of our all-time favourites. The Children of Vice series features the stories of adult siblings- Ethan, Donatella and Wyatt Callahan.

‘Fury. Wrath. Rage. Death. Ethan, at this very moment, was all of those things, personified in silence.’

This first book is Ethan Callahan’s story- the oldest brother. Now, if you’ve read Ruthless People you know what kind of childhood this boy had and as the head of the family you know the shoes he has to fill. If not, the Author does a good job of catching the reader up. If you know us, you know we absolutely love our anti-heroes and they don’t come much more anti than this man. He is a power of reckoning, meticulous in his revenge and powerful in his planning. Nothing fazes him. You could say he is as cold as ice with no second thought to when and how as long as it plays out in favour and as he planned it, using other lives as collateral or weapons with an almost domino effect. He is incredible- he is cold in his ruthlessness. The pressure and weight on his shoulders is immense and he knows no other way nor a different life.

‘Ivy O’Davoren was mine, and now the whole world would know.’

Who in their possible right mind could be with a man like Ethan or possibly live up to the role as wife of the ultimate mastermind, the puppet master: Mani di forbice? Well, we couldn’t imagine, yet there she was; Ivy O’Davoren – the belladonna. This woman is fierce, wronged, cold and accepting of the fates. Their story was on the edge of your seat reading. Every so often our jaws dropped as the plot unfolded. Surprising twists and secrets revealed. Over the top? Absolutely! However, there is no question that sometimes over the top works as it satisfies a craving that needs to be filled.

“…the world isn’t black or white. Sometimes you need to do bad to do good and worse to do even better. The Callahan’s made themselves the worst. The money, the fame, the power was built on blood and bones. Why? Because no one else could do it.”

We couldn’t put this book down for love nor money, it was truly compelling and gripping. JJ McAvoy has such a talent for balancing darkness with humour -in the sense that- something horrific could’ve just happened yet the sarcastic wit and almost dark comedic timing immediately veils the sombre somewhat melancholy mood. Sibling relationships are hard at the best of time, however, if you’re siblings at the top of a mobster dynasty; the spotlight and responsibilities heightens and results in dire consequence. And so the series continues in the next book which is Donatella’s story and wow…..we are dying to find out what happens next!

“That is the tragedy of women born with the ambitions of men.”

So why not a 5 star? Well, Children of Vice would have been a 5 star for us if not for the editing issues as well as some timeline issues that distracted us from the story at times. We have mentioned the editing issue before which seem to have continually plagued this Author since book one. We do hope she finds a good one that can sort this continuing problem out for her because her brilliant stories deserve no less.

“They said the Callahan’s are greedy and selfish, power hungry thugs who don’t care about their own people anymore.”
“They’re right.”


THE RUTHLESS PEOPLE SERIES READING ORDER

Ruthless People

The Ruthless People Series is available to purchase below

Ruthless People Book One (Currently Free) :  Amazon us | Amazon uk | Our review
 The Untouchables Book Two : Amazon us || Amazon uk || Our review
American Savages Book Three : Amazon us || Amazon uk || Our review
A Bloody Kingdom Book Four : Amazon us || Amazon uk

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J J McAvoy, Pick an Author

RIPPLE EFFECT (A DARK HITMAN EROTIC ROMANCE) by KERI LAKE :: REVIEW

Now Available as one book!

SYNOPSIS
Ripley

They call me RIP.
I’m a killer. A murderer. A psychopath.
In the eyes of the righteous, I’m a monster, born of sin and depravity.
I want to protect her, but I’m not a good man.
I want to love her, but I no longer feel.
She gets under my skin, though, and has awakened something inside of me.
Something I’d kill for.
I’m not her savior—not even close. In fact, I’m worse than the hell she’s already suffered.
I’m her vengeance. Tit for tat, as they say.
And if she’s not careful, I’ll be her ruin.

Dylan

For months, I’ve watched him.
I’ve fantasized him as my savior, my lover. My ticket out of the hell I’ve lived in for the last six years.
I never dreamed he’d be my nightmare.
Had I known what he really is, I’d have never gotten in the car that night, but life is full of cause and effect.
And sometimes the choice on offer isn’t a choice at all.
It’s the result of something already in motion, and we’re merely left to survive the ripple effect.

*This is an erotic suspense/erotic romance not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence and sex.

RIPPLE EFFECT SERIES is available to purchase below

          

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 gripping stars

 ‘For those of us in the flock, survival comes down to how well we manipulate, because a predator’s eyes are naturally drawn to the most innocent.’

We pretty much knew that by picking this four book serial up we’d be in for a violent twisted story that would have us gripped as we turned the pages. After all this is Keri Lake we’re talking about and once again, we were not disappointed! It was compelling, it was intense and it was utterly f**ked up. Just how we like it when we’re in the mood for something dark and gritty. We were hooked! Brilliantly written dark erotic suspense.

‘I’m ravenous and impatient. He makes me this way. He’s become my drug. The rush that excites me, and the high that keeps me addicted.’ ‘I want to absorb some of his pain, some of his punishment that surrounds him, and make it my own.’

We have to admit that we question if we would’ve enjoyed it as much as we did if it wasn’t for the fact that we read the four instalments in one sitting. The momentum would’ve been hampered, as would the uneasiness and utter intrigue we felt, if we’d had to wait. It became a race against time as we just had to know what was going to happen and how two completely messed up characters could find something akin to ‘normalcy’ in the shape of love and trust. So, we definitely recommend reading all four in one hit in order to truly feel the power behind the words; feel the impact of their crucial weight as ripples become a raging current.

‘She’s one of those rare finds that you stumble upon, covered in dirt and grime that, when you scrub away the tarnish, is actually a stunning piece of art.’

Dylan is a conundrum- her past and present all tied up haphazardly with a vicious blood-dripping bow. We get harrowing glimpses, ugly and extremely painful snippets from her past – there is no safety nor security in her life. Whilst there’s no question that she has her wits about her and a sharp intelligence with a penchant for striking back, she also has a caring and vulnerable side which she only reveals in part. This girl is overwhelmingly scarred and her consequent behaviour questionable at times. What she needs is someone who can match her in every way.

‘I’m a vengeance dealer. A mercenary. I feign loyalty to exact revenge.’ ‘There was a time I’d search for something about the bastards that would justify the kills. Something that would eliminate the guilt. Years later, I find myself searching for some reason not to kill. A glimmer of humanity inside of me. There’s nothing.’

Ripley is the ultimate anti-hero; a brutal killer with an urge for over the top violence.  He’s as dark as they come, conditioned to and for evil.  He’s enigmatic and a frightening force. With his own tragic and horrific past he’s a loner and reluctant to form any associations. Vulnerable? Blink and you’ll miss it … but is there a chance Dylan could expose it?

‘I hate that he has this power over me, but that’s the nature of Ripley and me. We’re fucked up- two wrongs that somehow make a right.’

Whilst being a thrilling and intricate storyline despite the excessively dark, raw and violent theme, there’s a thread of humanity pulsating through the pages which two desperate characters are clawing their way through life to grip in order to survive their respective darkness. Sometimes love comes in different guises and your saviour is who you’d least expect. When life is the actual nightmare what do you do? What can you do?

‘My little Bandit. My goddamn ruin.’


We also recommend
THE VIGILANTE’S SERIES by KERI LAKE

Vigilante's series

Ricochet Book One 

                    

Backfire Book Two 

                    

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Keri Lake, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

GRIEVOUS (Scarlet Scars #2) by J.M. DARHOWER :: REVIEW

Conclusion to the Scarlet Scars Duet. Gritty, suspense Mafia anti hero romance.

THE SCARLET SCARS DUET by J.M. DARHOWER

Menace

Purchase Menace Book One below

purchase link small          purchase link small          purchase

Purchase Grievous Book Two below

purchase link small          purchase link small          


grievous

SYNOPSIS

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.


  * * * *

Grievous

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 fabulous stars!

‘She wants the fairy tale with the happy ending. All I have are bullet holes in a house with no soul.’

And…..breathe! Well, that was one suspense laden ride! What a thrilling end to a fabulous duet. The Scarlet Scars Duet started with the more mellow Menace and culminated in the heart stopping, gritty edge of your seat conclusion, Grievous.  What a bloody fantastic read this was!

J M Darhower really knows how to thrill and entertain a reader. Whether we’re grinning like fools over the banter between a Stars Wars addicted, puzzle loving, orange obsessed insomniac antihero, and a tenacious, formidable heroine who both completely stole our hearts, or reading with one hand over our eyes as she takes us to the brink of anxiousness and back. This lady sure does know how to tell an addictive and unputdownable story. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; in our eyes, this author is unquestionably up there as the Queen of Mafia Romance.  J.M. Darhower can do no wrong!

“Sometimes you’ve gotta play the part, Scarlet. You know that. When most people think of guys like me, they imagine someone like Michael Corleone, so that’s why they get it. It’s kind of funny, really. They’re more terrified of me in a suit with shiny dress shoes than they are when I’m wearing combat boots and carrying a loaded gun.” (Lorenzo)
“Maybe they’re not more terrified….If they’re trembling, heart racing, sweating, I’m saying there’s a chance they might be turned on.”
(Scarlet)
“Do you piss your pants when you get turned on, too?”
(Lorenzo)
“Depends on how turned on I am.”
(Scarlet)

Grievous picks up from the end of Menace, so if you’ve read that, you know that it set up this book perfectly. And if you haven’t read it, then you absolutely must! Don’t worry, we’re not going to ruin any part of this duet with our review of Grievous because we know you love surprises as much as we do.

What we will say is; strap yourselves in for one suspenseful, gripping, unsettling and gritty read. It isn’t pretty, at times it’s downright chilling, but at its heart is a man dealing with the chaos surrounding him, as well as the alien chaotic feelings in his heart, together with a woman who faces her past and who’ll go to any lengths for those she loves. These two are intense, passionate and captivating in their own unique way.

“My wicked little belladonna, beautiful, deadly, so tempting to keep tasting but so goddamn toxic every touch is just too much.”

Lorenzo Gambini is one colourful character. An antihero in every sense of the word. Menacing, lovable, intolerant, unapologetic – a formidable yet highly amusing man. Lorenzo was such a richly nuanced character and we couldn’t get enough of him. His interaction and connection with us as readers was so spot on, we found ourselves answering him back when he narrated to us. He really was so believable.

“There’s something about you, Lorenzo…Sometimes I think you might just be human. ”
“You’re making shit weird again, Scarlet.”

J.M. Darhower is a master storyteller. She brought these two damaged souls to life and led us willingly into her world. She transfixed us, she teased us and she even tortured us, but she somehow managed to do this with us grinning from ear to ear with her unique brand of humour, vivid descriptiveness, chilling villains, lovable good guys, and heart in your mouth suspense and a story we never wanted to end.  No wonder she’s an instant 1Click for us. All the time, every time!

Grievous

* * * *


menace

SYNOPSIS

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.


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Filed under 5 Stars, J M Darhower, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny