Book Review · Organised Crime

// REVIEW \\ Evgeni’s Obsession by Merel Pierce

Evgeni’s Obsession
(A New Reign #1)
by Merel Pierce

Photo by vierro on Pexels.com

I’ll be honest and say that I beta read this, so I have a slightly vested interest but this is still my genuine opinion of the book.

Back when my kindle was still new and shiny, I discovered a love of mafia romance. I read every single one I could get my hands on, to the point that I overloaded on them and stopped reading them altogether. So I did initially worry about being the right person to read this, but incredibly well written characters and an intriguing storyline soon had me spellbound.

This is NOT an omegaverse, which is what the author is perhaps more well known for, but I’m still happy to recommend this novella serialisation that is fairly slow burn. Despite there being no actual sex scenes in this book, the sexual tension is high with enough scorching chemistry to hold your interest. The opening scenes are a little contrived, though they were given a nice sense of individuality and were definitely required for the set-up of the story.

Great writing meant I soon found myself caught up in the story, loving the not very subtle flirting between Elena and Evgeni and wondering where the tale would take me. Both MC’s were very easy to like, neither is perfect but they are honest characters, both believable and “normal”. Good world building and succinct descriptions readily set the scene. Enough to do a good job of building a mental picture, without being OTT or distracting.

Evgeni, our anti-hero, is actually a fairly decent human being. Well as much as a Bratva member can be, but he does have a sense of decency and integrity that set him above many of his mafia brothers. What really impressed me is that he isn’t portrayed as rich or powerful or indispensable within the organisation. He is, for want of a better description, just a common foot soldier, though one with both drive and ambition.

Elena is no doormat, but wisely chose her battles to pick. She’s a fun-loving girl and I can’t wait to see how she handles the situation with Evgeni. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I do need to comment on how refreshing it was that in later parts of the book she wasn’t led by her libido.

There were times where in other books I would have been rolling my eyes at the heroine’s out of control lust, as in those circumstances sex would be the last thing on your mind. Instead we get a much more realistic response of Elena wondering if/when she (view spoiler) and avoiding being physically close to Evgeni. I did a little happy dance that whilst she might find him attractive it didn’t make her forget the dire situation she is in.

Throughout the book one thing that stood out was how very genuine the emotions felt. The author certainly has a wonderful ability to put you inside her characters heads and hearts and has left me eager for the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre– Bratva/Mafia Romance
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55285689-evgeni-s-obsession

She came to Moscow to escape, to forget how her life was falling apart. All sunshine and sweetness, she calls to the predator within me like no other woman has. I think of nothing else.
But she is a good girl, not made for a soldier of the Bratva. I try to keep my distance, but the pull is too strong. Oh, my solnyshko. I fear I cannot let you go.
Fate has gifted you to a monster.

** Evgeni’s Obsession is the first book in a new Bratva dark romance series that features sizzling chemistry, danger, suspense, and a cliffhanger that will leave you gasping for breath**

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Book Review · Organised Crime

REVIEW //\\ Ruthless Sinner

Ruthless Sinner (Zetas #6) by A.J. Adams

A well crafted, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable story.


Spirit is definitely full of just that, a tough cookie of a heroine who, even when life kicks her down, paints on a happy face and thinks of others. Coop is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, all parceled up in one gorgeous package. Both of them have secrets, both of them have known suffering, both of them are loners, used to coping on their own.


When Coop first met Spirit he really didn’t impress me, he wouldn’t take a polite no and then took offence when she stretched the truth to fob him off. It took a loooooong time but Coop did eventually realise just how wrong he had been, but not until Spirit has suffered through a few fraught encounters, and a lot more, with him.


I don’t want to say too much due to spoilers, so I’ll stick with how much I loved these characters. We get glimpses of old favourites, from previous books, though this story could very easily be read standalone. Neither of the main protagonists are perfect, they both have made mistakes but equally they are incredibly loyal people. The chemistry between them felt very natural, meaning it was incredibly easy to believe in the developing relationship.


The romance between Spirit and Coop is only one element of the book. There are also a couple of different mystery elements and plenty of action filled plot that add up to one really great read.  Ruthless Sinner is quite a long book, allowing plenty of time to fully develop both the characters and the story line. It was the perfect balance, so that nothing felt rushed but at the same time it didn’t drag either.


I sort of guessed who the bad guy was, though it was more of a hunch. I wasn’t totally convinced it was definitely that person, for a while, and I did waver over other suspects too. The suspense element was really well written through the story and the big “show down” was unexpected, twisty and amazing. I loved how it drew in previous elements of the story, how it sort of drew a line under things and allowed a fresh start of sorts.


Elements of the book are pretty thought provoking too. Coop is a “chemist” who cooks up drugs for the cartel to sell, he kills other bad guys and makes no apologies for that. Spirit, with no qualifications and in need of money, spent a brief period as a sex worker and she seemed to be the more judged for that past. She had done nothing to harm anyone, but was a pariah in her community. Looked down on, disregarded as trash, yet she had the most caring and forgiving soul. In real life I really wouldn’t want to know a Coop, because drugs to ruin lives, but (a) this is fiction and (b) in all other aspects he was a very honorable man. He drove himself into the ground to try and ensure the safety of local women. He was also loyal to those who had earned his trust and respect. We can be pretty quick to judge and in some ways this is a case of ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.


TL;DR
In summary this is an action packed, well written, steamy mafia romance with two great main characters and a fantastic plot. Highly recommended.

Title – Ruthless Sinner (Zetas #6)
Author – A.J. Adams
Genre – Mafia/ Contemporary Romance

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53410129-ruthless-sinner

Blurb
Determined to get her mother the healthcare she needs, drop dead gorgeous Spirit Westcott works as a stripper, not caring that it cements her reputation as the Beauview village bad girl. But when Spirit falls foul of John Cooper, the newest member of the notorious Zeta Cartel, she loses her job. Furious, Spirit confronts Coop–only to discover his secret drug lab. When Coop decides to save her, by disappearing her and keeping her captive, Spirit is less than impressed. However, she quickly learns that Coop has an even deadlier secret, and one that may drag her into the abyss.
When dangerous, single-minded John Cooper learns his best friend was murdered, he resolves to exact bloody vengeance. The knowledge that his prey is a Zeta, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cartels, doesn’t stop him. Coop joins the organisation, only to discover that finding his prey won’t be easy. To his annoyance, sexy Spirit Westcott is also a spanner in the works. After embarrassing him in public, Coop suddenly finds himself saddled with her as an unwanted captive. Then, just as things couldn’t get worse, a killer starts to pick off Beauview village girls. As Coop is drawn further into the cartel, he is forced to make decisions that may cost him his life–and that of his love.

Book Review · Organised Crime

REVIEW – Darker Than Love




This is a short read since it’s the prequel to Darker Than Love by the same authors. There is a lot of action in this, including some scorching hot sex scenes, and plenty of character building. This didn’t leave a LOT of space for world building/ background setting BUT there was enough of that and I fully expect to learn more in the full length novel.

Mina, Yan and Ilya are incredibly intriguing characters and I can’t wait to learn more about them. I will definitely be continuing what I hope is their story in Darker Than Love. A great prequel, novella that is currently free and is well worth reading to see if these authors are for you.





3.5 stars

This is my first encounter with either of these authors and based on this book it won’t be my last. I know that some readers may criticise that the first 25% of this book is the free prequel, but since there is still a good 4 hours of reading remaining in the book it’s still great value for money.

There were things I loved about this book and things that, for me personally, could have been better/different. However you can’t please all of the people all of the time! I loved that Mina was a genuinely strong character, a fighter, a survivor and one bad-ass female. I didn’t care for the one TSTL moment that flared like a warning beacon and resulted in quite a cliched ‘plot twist’. HOWEVER, clever writing around this allowed me to still enjoy the story and forgive this obvious move.

I liked how very different Yan and Ilya were, I have identical twin sons so I know how true this can be. Mine are like chalk and cheese 😂. Ilya broke something inside me when he had his heart-to-heart with Mina, this may be a work of fiction but I’m still hoping she had a chat with Yan at some point and opened his eyes to Ilya’s needs. It also explained why he appeared to be a bit of a douche at times, and I’m really hoping Ilya (and Anton) will get their own stories in the future.

Yan – what a guy. I loved him, I really did but he changed far too quickly and easily for my liking. I needed the dark, broody thug to remain for longer. I needed his resentment of Mina to be a little more forceful, a little more convincing. Whilst it took him most of the book to realised he could have, and indeed did have, feelings for Mina, those feelings changed him far too quickly. Softened him to swiftly, leaving behind a man who clearly was no threat whatsoever to the heroine. If you’re selling me a dark romance then I need the heroine (and Hero) to suffer, I need to feel peril, threat, conflict, I need to feel the couple are walking a knives edge and one slip could end it all. I didn’t get that feeling for most of this book, and that’s why I couldn’t give it a higher rating.

The writing, the flow, the dialogue and plot are all great (aforementioned plot cliche aside) and all worked together to make a very good read. Overall the pace was also good, with the book generally holding my attention. I did lose focus part way through, though I’m not sure if it was a me or a book thing. It was at about 58% in, just after Mina’s TSTL moment, so I’m not sure if it was just my frustration at knowing where one part of the plot was heading. However I pushed through and soon found myself totally caught up in the book again.

My final thought is that whilst the sex scenes were scorching hot, I did end up skimming over some. There were just too many and not all of them added anything to the story other than eroticism. I love a good sex scene as much as the next person but once or twice I felt as though it distracted from the story, rather than enhancing it. I already got that this pair couldn’t keep their hands of each other, that sex was a way they communicated their feelings for each other. I didn’t need it smashing over my head quite so many times. It started to feel almost as though they were filler, and this story didn’t need that.


So in summary I recommend Darker than Love because it has a great writing, a good plot, wonderful characters and is really enjoyable read.






Amazon US
Sweeter than Hate- https://www.amazon.com/Sweeter-Than-Hate-Darker-Prequel-ebook/dp/B0821JQ476/
Darker than Love – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z743YST/

Amazon UK
Sweeter than Hate – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sweeter-Than-Hate-Darker-Prequel-ebook/dp/B0821JQ476/
Darker than Love – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darker-Than-Love-Anna-Zaires-ebook/dp/B07Z743YST/

Book Review · Organised Crime · Romantic Suspense

KINGMAKER SAGA #5 – Dark Horse




Dark Horse
(The Kingmaker Saga #5)
by London Miller



Oh my that twist!

For a while I thought this would be a 3 star book (4 on Amazon), good but not great. However I’m now debating between 4 and 5 stars! The start was slower, less intense than previous books, we met several new characters and also learnt a lot more about some of the supporting characters. On reflection this world and character building was vital, building up to the most emotional of endings. Karina and Uilleam are not the people they once were, and I’ve gone from loving to hating and back to loving them at various times through both this and the DoM series. I can’t wait for this pair to get the HEA they so very much deserve.

As already mentioned there is a huge bombshell of a twist, you start getting hints half-way through the book. The signposts for the big reveal are intentionally very obvious and easy to spot because the beauty of London Miller’s writing is in the subtle, tiny, little details. She weaves seemingly irrelevant snippets of information into complex stories and she breathes such life into her characters that you feel, live and breathe their emotions.

Whilst much anticipated resolutions are attained, suddenly the rug is pulled out from under our feet and we discover that the bad guy was someone else all along. Now I’m left wondering just what will happen in the next book, Alpha Omega, and hoping that London finds time, amidst becoming a first-time mom, to continue writing this series.


PS will we ever find out what happened to Uilleam’s uncle?





First came love.
Then came hate.
And now? Now, there was only war.

When he crossed paths with Karina Ashworth all those years ago, Uilleam Runehart didn’t expect his world to get turned upside down—but he also hadn’t known what it meant to love someone as he loved her.

But greed can corrupt so easily, and what he possessed, he lost just as quickly.

Even knocked off his feet, however, Uilleam isn’t one to back down without a fight, no matter how impossible the odds.

There’s a reason they call him the Kingmaker, and now it’s time to show everyone what that title really means.

From Romantic Suspense Author, London Miller, comes the next thrilling installment in the Kingmaker Saga where emotions run high and love may be the thing that saves them all …







Book Review · Organised Crime · Romantic Suspense

A Step Back In Time

CELT (Den Of Mercenaries #2)
by London Miller

Despite feeling like I have a mountain of arc books to read (a situation I really need to resolve by perhaps stepping down from several teams) I’ve recently been struggling with having enough reviews to share. So I’ve gone into the Goodreads vaults and dug out some from several years ago. My eye was caught by the Den of Mercenaries series, particularly since I know there is another book in the linked Kingmaker series due out soon. If you haven’t read her yet I highly recommend London Miller’s work to you. She is an amazing author who writes romantic suspense/organised crime/mercenary plots that are deep, multi-layered and very complex. The strands weave together into the richest of tapestries sporting the most stunning of patterns.

Sadly whilst I have read the first book, coincidentally named Red, it was in the days before I religiously recorded every review on Goodreads. So I’m starting with the second book of the series, which features an Irish art thief and the innocent girl who gets caught up in his world.

I loved Amber and I loved Celt. I do need to ask though, why does no-one ever warn the hero that keeping secrets will only lead to trouble?

Celt is just such a well written, captivating and incredibly twisty romantic suspense. The main characters have genuine depth, felt like real people you could meet tomorrow (even despite one being a mercenary!) and had amazing chemistry. Celt is just such a swoon-worthy hero, completely stealing my heart. His intention was to use Amber, but very quickly she came to mean the whole world to him.

The intrigue feels totally plausible and is combined with little breadcrumb hints of mystery, enough to send your brain into a frenzy. Celt is packed with action, adventure and peril that has you turning pages as fast as you possible can. There is also a wonderful love story that totally draws you in. Finally there is the ever mysterious, slightly sinister Kingmaker, pulling so many strings behind the scenes.

I really enjoyed this, although it is part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone. However I will warn you that once you enter the world of the Den of Mercenaries you will not be happy until you know just what Uilleam is up to and exactly how he has manipulated all the characters into their current positions. London Miller’s writing will enthral you and leave you needing more.

I definitely recommend not just the book, but the whole series.

Amazon US –> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IFSE56S

Amazon UK–> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IFSE56S

Amazon CA–> https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01IFSE56S

Amazon AU–> https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01IFSE56S

Welcome to the Den …

Six minutes is all he needs to get a job done …

Kyrnon “Celt” Murphy is one of the best thieves in the world. After all, his childhood was spent with a caravan of Irish Travelers that taught him everything he knows.

He got in …

He got out …

No witnesses …

When his latest assignment, one that even the best of thieves couldn’t pull off, brings him into contact with a girl that awakens a part of him he long thought dead, Kyrnon is reluctant to walk away.

But in his trade, witnesses meant consequences …

And sometimes those consequences meant death …