TOP 20 OF 2022: Brutal Vows by J.T. Geissinger

As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and that list wouldn’t be complete without the finale to J.T. Geissinger’s deliciously addictive mafia romance series. I have loved EVERY book in this series – and the spinoff series too – so it was no surprise that Brutal Vows won me over in a matter of minutes. I also loved that it surprised me so much; I had my own ideas about how the book would play out, and I was so very wrong. My eyes were glued to every single page! I’m incredibly sad to see the series go, but it was a wild and steamy ride while it lasted.

You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!

I was HOOKED from the very first page, and I devoured the whole book at an alarming rate – I loved it! There are times when you can tell that an author is having FUN with a story, and this is one of those instances. This couple is drawn together like magnets, and their chemistry lit up the pages. I loved the intensity of this sweetheart of a hero – he’s a jealous, possessive killer, but he’s also kind of a cinnamon roll who is starved for praise and affection. His fierce protectiveness and unwavering care easily melted my heart, and the steamy scenes had such great intimacy to them. The storyline is NOTHING like I expected, and I absolutely adored the unpredictable nature of it. This might be the most over the top installment of the series, but it was also the most addictive, and it had zero trouble holding my attention the whole way through. In fact, in trying to come up with one criticism for my review, I was going to say that it was too short… but it’s 400 pages, so I guess that’s just me being greedy.

If you want to go in blind, then stop here. Just know that it was excellent! This can be read as a standalone, but the series is definitely better together. Essentially, the story follows Spider, the sweet killer that we’ve come to know and love throughout the series. Still reeling from an ill-fated crush gone terribly wrong, Spider has closed off his heart. He agrees to an arranged marriage that will benefit his boss, knowing there’s no chance that he’ll fall for his 18-year-old bride. Except… Spider never factored in her stunning, viper of an aunt. What’s supposed to be an uncomplicated, unemotional transaction quickly turns into anything but, as Spider struggles with his attraction to a woman who is completely off-limits. Not only does Reyna have a reputation as a terrifying black widow, but Spider has also just agreed to a lifetime commitment to her niece.

I’m not sure how Geissinger manages to make such dark subject matter feel so light and playful, but she has mastered that skill throughout this series. There is an insane amount of chemistry sparking between Spider and Reyna, and that electric connection is the foundation of the book. I loved their forbidden interactions, I loved their intimate moments, and I loved the steam as well. It’s another HOT installment to the series, though each book has had its own vibe. Spider brings a softness that contrasts to Reyna’s rough edges, and the combination was perfection. I knew Spider was a softie, but I never expected the sweetness that he’d bring to this dark romance. He’s also super INTENSE, with an overwhelming presence that adds a special something to the story. I loved that Reyna is so resilient, strong, and such a great complement to Spider. Their instant connection turned into something deeper, and the journey was a very fun ride. I couldn’t get enough of these characters – it was deliciously addictive.



An Irish mobster with a brutal grudge.
An Italian mafia princess with a dark secret.
Two enemy empires joined in sacred marriage vows.
Let the hating games begin.


If this arrogant Irish mobster my brother sold my niece to thinks I’m going to play nice over this arranged marriage BS, he should think again.
I don’t care if this match with the Mob will make my brother capo of the Five Families.
I don’t care how much money, territory, or power it will gain us.
I especially don’t care that the Irishman is the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.
I won’t allow my innocent niece to suffer the same way I did.
Even if I have to kill him.


I’m supposed to marry sweet, beautiful Lili. So why can’t I stop thinking about her swamp witch of an aunt?
Reyna who hates me. Reyna who challenges me. Reyna with the guts of a Viking, the body of a fertility goddess, and the attitude of a feral cat.
Nothing good can come of what I’m feeling for a woman who’s not the one in the wedding contract I signed.
A woman I want so much, I’ll have to burn the whole world down to get.
If she doesn’t kill me first.


Start the series today!


An explosive new novel of love, lust, and obsession from bestselling author J.T. Geissinger.

Five years ago, my fiancé disappeared. He left me with a wedding dress I’d never wear. Left me with the kind of scars that can’t be healed. The man I built my future on vanished like a ghost. All that remained was my broken heart and a million unanswered questions.

Until a mysterious stranger arrives in town. 

Tall, dark, and dangerous, Kage is as full of secrets as he is sex appeal. Though I know he’s hiding something, I’m drawn to him like a moth to flame.

The intensity of our connection is addictive, unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Heat crackles between us with every look, desire flares into passion, and I fall hard, helpless to resist.

But when I discover how he’s tied to my fiancé’s disappearance, I learn what happens when you fly recklessly into fire:

You get burned.


Read my review here

About the Author:

J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

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