Rating 4 out of 5
"But wishes are for children and reality was cruel."
"Where I was violence, she was calm. The sunshine after a storm."
"But it was nothing in comparison to the fierce protectiveness and anger that keeps her fighting me."
Trigger Warnings: captor/captive romance, graphic sexual content, forced marriage, previous childhood abuse, violence and gore, mentions of alcohol and drug use, attempted sexual assault, anxiety and panic attacks.
Gabriel Saint was a monster and he had finally found Amelia. She had managed to hide from her past and the present for a while but she always knew they would come looking. How could they not when she had the heir of the city in her arms? Family was all that mattered to the ruling crime family and she had a part of their family. When Gabriel comes for her she fights, even though she knows it's useless. And when he forces her to become his wife she vows she will make his life as miserable as possible. Yet, there is something about Gabriel that Amelia wants to unravel and she soon learns that he wants all of her, for real. To her surprise the more time she spends with him, the more she finds herself giving him. But in Gabriel's world of violence and vengeance there is someone who is determined to make them pay.
Can I just start by saying I never knew how much I needed mafia romances in my life until recently. This book is intense I mean it starts out with murder and suspense and it doesn't seem to ever let up, except for when it gets steamy. The book is a slow burn, and the tension builds between Gabriel and Amelia until about halfway through the book, but it is impossible to deny the tension between the two throughout that point. They have an interesting chemistry that mostly stems from Amelia's fierce protective nature despite her obvious fear.
Gabriel's empire is in turmoil so the last thing he needed was to bring Amelia into the family, but her fierce protectiveness of her son, her willingness to die for him throws all Gabriel's plans out the window. In my opinion the two work well together because they are so different, and the author does an amazing job of highlighting the ways they fit well together. Also Gabriel is perfection: crime boss and secretly a huge romantic. I enjoyed the dual POV's because they seemed perfectly balanced and enabled you to understand both characters and their actions.
I spent a lot of time thinking I had this book figured out only to discover that I was completely wrong. I honestly did not anticipate that the person trying destroy the Saint empire was who it was. The author did a great job of making it seem like so many people that when the reveal comes it is amazing. The book wraps everything up nicely, almost too nicely I think for a mafia themed romance but I'm not mad about it. I just know that when it was over I wanted more.