Mafia Lullaby by Alta Hensley & Measha Stone
Whilst this deals with dark themes of captivity and sex slavery, it didn’t hit very high on my dark-o-meter.
Reading reviews on Goodreads, I was surprised at the number that mentioned finding the DD/lg theme disturbing, I thought it featured fairly minimally. Ariana’s co-captives had been regressed mentally to a 6 year old, via drugging, though if you don’t regress, well there’s no returning to your normal life, which leaves living out your days in a whore house, or not living at all.
To my mind the shock factor/ horror comes from the fact that these are drugged sex slaves being sold off to goodness knows what future abuse. The age play element was mainly calling their trainer Daddy, the reader being told they were colouring and the fact that they had ‘nannies’ who looked after them during the day. I was more concerned that we didn’t truly see much in the way of any credible training, if I’m honest.
The writing flows seamlessly and I couldn’t say author A wrote this part, whilst B definitely wrote that. The two voices were blended into a very easy to read writing style. The characters felt very firm and consistent, the story had good pace and, whilst it is similar to many other “captive” stories, I definitely found it to be an enjoyable read. Both Ariana and Costello were likeable characters and their story was quite sweet, if also a bit kinky and a lot ‘wrong’ (though NOT for the kinky element I hasten to add!).
It was all just a little too nice for my tastes, a little too gentle with its timely interventions and easy solutions. I like my captives to suffer and other than a few spankings/paddlings I didn’t really experience that. I didn’t feel enough fear, terror or despair from Ariana, nor menace and cruelty from Costello. In fact he was just far too nice and gentle a man, particularly considering he was involved in the abduction, torture and training of sex slaves. Acknowledgement was given to the fact that he was a “bad man”, and Ariana did challenge him over his attitude and regard of his previous trainees. I just couldn’t marry the man we saw in Mafia Lullaby with the job he was doing.
I would have enjoyed this more if they had both been a little bit fiercer, if there had been more fire and fight. However that’s because I like my captive romances on the pitch black end of the spectrum and I’m confident this book will be perfect for many readers who like a lighter shade of grey. Mafia Lullaby is still a well written book and one that is definitely worth giving a try.
Genre – Mafia/Contemporary Romance
She’s a Lullaby girl. Her fate is sealed.
In a twisted, underground House of depravity, the women do not belong to me. But they are mine to train. To groom. To perfect in the most wicked of ways.
This dark House changed me.
What was asked of me, corrupted the man I once was. But the sickness did not break me. I remained in control regardless.
Cloaked in secrets and lies, I have a new focus…
I want my own Lullaby girl.