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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, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE VEIN CHRONICLES by ANNE MALCOM :: SERIES REVIEW

Paranormal Series with a snarky heroine and a book boyfriend who will slay you!

SYNOPSIS – FATAL HARMONY BOOK ONE

I may be the villain of the story, but at least I get a leading role.
Evil is a term thrown around history and literature as if it’s something so easily definable. A concept to fight against.
Evil doesn’t exist.
Neither does ‘good.’
Vampires do, though.
I just happen to be one.
I’ve cruised through the centuries managing to avoid all the wars, supernatural and human, but still going to all the best parties.
I would say I avoided bloodshed, but it’s kind of part of the whole ‘vampire’ thing.
I’ve lived on the fringes of a society that considered cruelty and sadism favorable character traits for almost five hundred years. Now I’m in the middle of a war that might just put my nonbeating heart in a lot of danger.
Battles, I can handle.
The impossible attraction between me and the vampire slayer, not to mention the penetrating gaze of the king of our race, on the other hand?
I might not get out undead.

✲✲✲✲

SYNOPSIS – DEATHLESS BOOK TWO

My life was never black and white.
Heck, it wasn’t even black, white and gray.
Lines were not drawn between good and evil, and if they were, I would have jumped those suckers for fun.
But now it was simpler. It wasn’t black and white. Or gray. It was only one thing.
Blood.
A crimson-tinted world. That was all I needed.
All I wanted.
Him.
Despite the war raging around us, or the secrets between us, there was nothing simpler than blood.
It didn’t matter that it would be fatal.
After all, it’s the things we’re not undead without that will kill us in the end.

Purchase The Vein Chronicles Series below

Fatal Harmony Book One

          

Deathless Book Two

          

 


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
(complete spoiler free series review)

 

Fatal Harmony – 4.5 Stars
Deathless – 3 Stars

“What do you know about a rebel faction of vampires, witches, demons, werewolves and a variety of the supernatural vying for world domination?”

We are avid readers of paranormal stories – we crave them much like vampires need the sustenance of blood. Well, almost. So biting into this series was like a hit of fresh blood. A new to us Author and the promise of a paranormal satisfaction to quell that incessant need. We were immediately hit with a sensation of pure bloody bliss. The story was incredibly well written, it was action packed, the humour sarcastic and dry – just how we love it – the paranormal world-building was slow but intriguing. There really was something for everyone, what with Vampires, Slayers, Demons, Witches and Wolves.

‘The grave did not cater to such pious emotions as love, nor listen to promises whispered on the eve of the battle. The grave came for everyone. Even immortals if they happened to be star-crossed lovers.’

Who doesn’t love a kick-arse heroine who oozes self-confidence and rocks a wickedly sarcastic sense of humour? Well, we were immediately loving on Isla, the sassiest Vampire we’d met in a long while. Isla is a feisty, sexy, and scandalous Vampire of stately descent and fights to rival and outdo any other breed but has a penchant for humans no, matter her denial.

‘A Slayer. First used as villains in our bedtimes stories, slayers were what went bump in the night for us. The only thing that could kill us. Designed to kill us.’

Isla becomes entangled in a coup to end the supernatural world as she knows it, being the target of not only a nameless and faceless enemy but also her own family whom she’s been trying to survive for centuries. Added to the mystery, the violence, the double crossings and the drama is one enigmatic King of Vampires and a dark and broody Slayer who’s an enemy to all vampires.

‘He was hot when he got all murder. Granted, I’d only seen him murder, but that’s how I liked my men: broody with a side of homicidal.’

We have to say we were rather partial to the enigmatic Slayer….and Isla was….well you’ll have to read it yourselves to see who is the smooth-talking love of Isla’s bloodthirsty existence. A funny sidekick, a Scottish rogue and a sexy and savvy witch. We were in paranormal heaven.

“You want to tell me why it felt like you fuckin’ died in my arms the second after you made me feel more alive than a thousand battles could have?”

“That’s what you are, Isla – the ultimate battle. My ultimate battle.”

So many battles, so many twists. We were enthralled and bloody loved Fatal Harmony so we very quickly moved onto Deathless to continue our journey, excitedly. Where the first book excelled and built the story up with great injections of humour and romantic tension, the second one sadly went in the opposite direction for us. Yes, we were still invested and the writing was first class and flawless. However, the humour and jokey aspect overtook the story  and not necessarily in a good way, we began to feel uncomfortable at the insensitive jabs Isla took at various people in society. We started to lose our connection with her as she became a mean girl and not in a good entertaining nor attractive way. No one was safe; from ageism and body shaming to sexuality jokes and vanity. It made us cringe quite a few times. Where book one was slow, understandably so, book two had an even slower pace and became quite repetitive. This left us gutted as we were enjoying everything about this series and were loving the writing. Overall, we enjoyed many aspects of this series but book two just fell short for us, sadly. Saying that though, this series felt different and fresh from a paranormal aspect.

“As it was and always has been.
In Blood.
The blood will run The Deathless night. |
The curse.
The blood will run.”

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Filed under 4 Stars, Anne Malcom, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

CROW (Boston Underworld Book #1) by A. ZAVARELLI

Irish Mobster/Mafia romance series

SYNOPSIS

An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart.

I had a plan.

Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right?

Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I just wanted a soldier. Someone I could flirt with to get me in the door.

That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either.

Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission.

Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong- and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him.

Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.

CROW is available to purchase below for only 99c/99p

         


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Stars

“Family, loyalty, honor, and blood. Tis the only thing that’s true.”

We were in the mood for an anti-hero mob type read and thought we’d try a new author too while we were at it. So we picked up Crow by A. Zavarelli and got stuck in. Whilst erring on the side of the ridiculous, we could not stop reading, it wasn’t too heavy and it was sexy and addictive. In some respects it was that perfect easy read when you’re in the mood for being entertained with mafia double crossings, thrilling drama and lots of hot nookie. We will definitely be picking up the rest of the Boston Underworld series, as we’re invested in finding out what happens to the rest of the characters!

‘I can’t let her go, but I don’t want her to stay either. She’s confusing me. The way she touches me. How she looks at me. Inside, I see her for the fragile girl she really is, and that’s a weakness.’

Mac was quite the kick arse heroine, in fact she had mad skills but with an air of vulnerability. She was fierce and feisty, silly and naïve. She had a good heart with a penchant for putting her foot in it. We have to say she made us laugh too and her intentions were all good. Mac’s journey begins when she embarks on finding her missing friend, Talia. Neither have had an easy life and for Mac, the people she calls friends are her only family.

“You’ve wrecked me, Mack,” he says. “You’ve fucking wrecked me.”

Lachlan Crow, the next prospective leader of the Boston Irish mafia is all about the brotherhood, loyalty and respect. He is unattached and uninterested in forming any romantic liaison, unless it’s a quick shag in the back room. Lachlan is still on a probation of sorts and is being watched by everyone. He has the loyalty and protection from those around him, or does he?  The last thing he needs is a 22 year old firecracker with a shady past and an obvious hidden agenda joining the fractious and unstable relationships with the other mob families.

“The thing about butterflies, Mr Crow, is that they need to be admired from afar.”

Sometimes the more we resist the more tempted we become. This is clearly the case for Mac and Lachlan. They feel an all-encompassing attraction that have no signs of abating. What transpires is one hell of a crazy arsed ride that just didn’t let up. Whilst we weren’t comfortable at times with the extreme use of the Irish vernacular -in fact it got quite distracting in its excess- we enjoyed this story, especially the latter part.


 


THE BOSTON UNDERWORLD SERIES 

Series follows members of the Irish mob family, McKenna based out of Boston and the women they meet.

Crow Book One – Only 99c/99p

         

Reaper Book Two 

          

Boss Book Three

          

Saint Book Four – Only 99c/99p

          

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Filed under 4 Stars, A Zavarelli, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE (The Chaplewick Mysteries #2) by KITTY FRENCH :: REVIEW

Rom-Com mystery supernatural elements series

SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

Purchase MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 stars

“I genuinely cannot fathom what goes on inside your head, ghostbuster,” he says. “You’re the most unusual person I’ve ever met.”

This series just gets better and better! Bravo Kitty French, this second instalment was just brilliant. What a fabulous time we spent back with characters that now feel like best friends, seeing their journey continue, revelling in how everyone is getting on and what’s happening with them, personally as well as their new ghost hunting shenanigans. Melody, Marina and Artie, we want to join your crew! Melody, we want to come drink champers round the kitchen table with your mum and gran.

“Gran, are you offering to lend me your gimp mask?”

“Don’t judge me, darling, I’ve been married for over sixty years, how else am I to keep the spice in our marriage?”

What we loved is how book two builds on the development of characters and their relationships. Book one felt like an introduction and the slow build has encouraged and solidified this deep connection we now feel. Kitty French has made us care deeply for all her characters whilst laughing our arses off and feeling the subtle vulnerability and emotional angst threaded through the story. We definitely saw a different side to the arrogant heart-breaker, Leo as well as journalist and sceptic, Fletch…

‘Needless to say, my mum and gran can’t abide him; he never misses a chance to take pot-shots at us and our industry in the press.’

This is pure British comedy with an ongoing romantic possibility that we yearn for, but for once the anticipation is just as delicious and addictive as a loving end, when and if that comes.

‘He’s offering to be my summer fling, but not my winter coat. My fair-weather lover. Can I do that? I worry that my heart cannot withstand him, but then I also worry that he will for ever be my missed regret.’

The supernatural elements are marvellous and we loved the mystery in this one, it was circus-fantastic, yet so sad and quite distressing too. A perfect blend. It’s fanciful, silly, sweet, funny, emotional and exciting. It’s eccentric and quintessentially British. We bloody love this series! This RomCom is without question a feel-good read that’ll have you smiling and laughing out loud, it’s so different to what’s out there at the moment and we’re loving that!

‘Fletch and I have an inexplicable connection and it’s bloody inconvenient for both of us.’

 


THE CHAPLEWICK MYSTERIES SERIES by KITTY FRENCH

The Skeletons of Scarborough House Book One

                    

Mystery at Maplemead Castle Book Two 

                    

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Kitty French, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

RIOT (A Scarred Souls Novel #4) by TILLIE COLE :: REVIEW

Gritty, dark Mafia romance series to be read in order. Final book in series.

SYNOPSIS

Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

RIOT is available to purchase below

                   


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Stars

 ‘The male with the cruel eyes. The infallible killer. The Pit Bull of the Arziani Empire. Master’s living god among men.’

Wow, what a compelling way to finish this fabulously dark and highly emotional series. It’s been quite the horrific but brilliantly written ride, with each book giving us a new tormented hero and heroine all with a harrowing and tragic past and present.  All with the fighting pit at its centre. It’s been a tearful and upsetting journey but a journey that’s been lit up by a beacon of shining bright love.

“Our names are part of our path to freedom.”

In this series finale we hear the voice of 152, the lost sister of Valentin, and 901, the king of the fighting pit. The master’s favourite but for how long? This series has always had a flair for the dramatic and over the top, but it’s worked for us. We’ve been gripped, addicted and invested in every single book and Riot was no different. We loved it.

‘He was the most intimidating male I had ever encountered. And I was trapped in his cell. Completely alone. In the unwelcome company of a killer. And there was absolutely nothing I could do.’

152 – Inessa, the lost one, the beloved sister. She stole our hearts and they bled for her fate. She was a fighter a survivor and her story broke our hearts. She’s the chosen one for Master Arziani, who runs an evil and inhumane empire set to break the human spirit for his own gains and desires. Using her as bait to get final control of 901 who isn’t running the line of commands. This catalyst sparks a series of events that ultimately sets in motion a revolt that could see freedom at the end of a very long imprisonment under an evil reign of punishment.

“You became my heart. He made me want you like I have never wanted anything else. Even my freedom does not compare. If I had to fight every day for the rest of my life here in this pit, I would do it gladly to have you with me.”

901 and 152 are thrown together as part of a concluding plan for Arziani’s final blood lusting glory. However, where the evil intent succeeds the strength of love, protection and human spirit was ultimately underestimated. There’s such a vulnerable almost innocent essence to 901 and 152’s relationship. Considering the gruesome circumstances, this was such a beauty to read because of this. For two people so deeply embedded in the sadistic and brutal side of life there was such a beauty to their characters.

‘901 thought me beautiful. And he told me in Russian. In the language of our hearts. The language of our home.’

What we absolutely loved about Riot was being back with everyone and everything coming full circle, seeing vengeance and redemption. Finding happiness and love. We loved how it played out, how after such a long time being spent in virtual hell with our hero and heroine we saw a culmination of the previous books through Luka, Zaal and Valentin. We loved the final climax and what a fabulous ending to what has been a crazy good suspenseful, dark and passionate series.

‘We had been thrust back into hell. But this time the only way out was to burn it in our wake.’

‘We would maim. We would slaughter. We would kill. Together, we would fucking raze hell.’


THE SCARRED SOULS SERIES

Raze Book – One

                    

Reap Book – Two

                    

Ravage Book – Three

                    

Riot Book – Four

                   

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Tillie Cole