I feel like I need to preface this one by saying that I love Rachel Van Dyken’s contemporary romances. She loves playing in those gray areas, with blurred lines and complicated relationships. And while she has written several mafia romances in the past, that’s just not a part of her work that I’ve explored. The start of a brand new series, this seemed like the perfect time to try one out – and it does do a great job setting up the story. However… this one just wasn’t for me. The romance is lackluster at best, it’s not truly a standalone because there are appearances by MANY characters from her Eagle Elite series, and the hero does some things that are just a little too extreme for me. There’s definitely an audience for it and I think it gives the reader a good indication of what the series is going to be like, so I’d recommend reading this before moving on to Ruthless Princess.
Essentially, this is a quick, SHORT novella that’s more an introduction to the world than anything else. Our couple met about two months ago and they’ve been sneaking glances at each other in class ever since. It’s not long (like, a couple of pages) until these two are getting steamy, and then the story is all about our hero’s complicated family after that. If you’ve read the Eagle Elite series, there will be plenty of appearances from characters from those books (and if you enjoyed that series, this will probably work better for you). If you haven’t read the series, it’s a lot to take in, but I did love the family vibe. That’s not where this falters for me.
There are some intriguing things going on and characters I’d love to read more about, but there just wasn’t enough to keep me turning the pages. This really isn’t a love story; we spend barely any alone time with our couple when they’re not burning up the sheets or making a lifelong commitment (pure insta-love), so I didn’t connect with either character. And while I do enjoy a good mafia romance on occasion, there’s mafia and then there’s MAFIA, if you know what I mean. Our hero has taken countless lives – including family members – and honestly seems pretty bloodthirsty. I did NOT have good feelings about the relationship at all, and it plays out like it was doomed to fail all along.
This series (especially the next book) is going to win over fans of darker bully romances, New Adult romance, and readers who don’t mind plenty of bloodshed. We’re introduced to the couple from Ruthless Princess and I can already tell that it’s going to be one heck of a ride. So if you’re ready for that kind of journey, I know Van Dyken’s going to do a great job of writing an intense read – just know what you’re getting yourself into.
**This novella is a fun, bonus, standalone prequel to the brand new Mafia Royals Romances for both fans and new readers.**
The prequel to the much anticipated Mafia Royals Romances…
Something dark this way comes.
He’s gorgeous, mean, and mine.
He catches me dreaming about him, and then just like my dream, he decides to make me his.
I should have said no when he asked me to swear fealty to him.
The knife clued me in first.
The blood second.
And third, it was the blessing of the most famous mafia bosses in the known world as they sat around the dinner table and told me that I had no choice but to join.
Because they knew my secrets.
And running meant I was nothing more than target practice.
I said yes, because of my bully.
And he told me he’d keep me safe.
But who keeps me safe from him?
Ruthless Princess is coming May 19th
A mafia romance about best friends turned enemies by Rachel Van Dyken, the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Eagle Elite series.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend…
I never thought my father would ask this of me, to become the second generation at Eagle Elite University, to rule with an iron fist, and to take care of anyone who gets in our way.
But ever since the incident.
Ever since Him.
There’s been a war in our little clique.
After all, a house divided cannot stand.
He’s the problem, not me.
He used to kiss me like I was his oxygen.
Now he looks at me like I’m his poison.
But we both drank it, again and again, never believing there would be a day when our love would start a war.
And our friendship would shatter into a million pieces.
Then again, the worst thing you could do in the mafia is hang on to hope that your life will be normal.
The second worse thing?
Fall in love with your best friend.
And heir to the Nicolasi throne.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/3bdZ5ob