Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Title: Sparrow by L.J Shen
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Format: Audiobook (9 hrs and 23 mins)
Genre: Mafia Romance, Dark Romance

Troy Brennan

Every southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart throb with steel blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes

That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to runaway from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’d ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he’d decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.

Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.

three-stars


I never quite clicked with Troy Brennan and Sparrow Raynes. I liked Sparrow because she dealt with the world on her own terms. Troy was kind of a dirty dog and I guess he did Sparrow a solid by handling an issue on her past that cause her a lot of pain. But Troy still toyed with her. He had been watching her for a long time and knew stuff about her. Plus, I can’t get over that he gave her a weding gift picked out by his mistress, brought his mistress into their home and had relations with that crackhead whore, and he let Sparrow wear a dress he knew belong to his mistress to a public outing. That was so foul. Plus he kept that housekeeper. When a man lets his mistress get one up on his wife, I cannot ride with you.

The wife should never be blindsided by the sidepiece. So Troy got two middle fingers from me.

I never felt their attraction was anything other than a physical itch that each needed to scratch. It didn’t feel like love or passion. It just didn’t work for me like i was expecting. How the fixer just shared his business with that guy who took something that belong to him was also weak to me. I enjoyed the twist about bad guy more than anything. The bad guy laid his plan down so properly that it was a tad sad it didn’t work.

The writing was okay but I wasn’t feeling the couple’s chemistry. I will try another book by this author to see if its the writing or just this story.

Ezi

Last Hope (Hitman #4) by Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick

Last Hope (Hitman #4) by Jessica Clare, Jen FrederickSeries: Hitman #4
on 2015-09-29
Pages: 336
AmazonNarrator: Iggy Toma, Kasha Kensington
In the explosive new Hitman novel from the bestselling authors of Last Kiss and Last Hit a jungle mercenary and a female target find love on the run...Mendoza: I grew up in the slums and lost everything I loved to poverty, illness, and death. I had only one skill to leverage myself out of my circumstances—violence. Being hired out as a mercenary hitman brought me money and built an empire. But all that I've fought for is in jeopardy. My next job: Steal secret information that could bring down world governments. Find my target. Destroy it. But then, I meet her.  Ava: Karma hates me. When my best friend Rose is kidnapped, I have no choice but to take a job as a mule for a pair of criminals intent on selling top-secret information to the highest bidder. I should have known that bad luck tends to cling, because the plane I'm on goes down. That I survived a crash-landing was a miracle. And so was being rescued by Rafe Mendoza—hot, sexy, dangerous. The thing is, he wants the information that I need to free Rose. I can't let him have it, but I need his help. And I need to fight this crazy attraction for this mercenary with hungry eyes. Rose is depending on me, and I won't let her down, no matter how appealing Rafe is.From the Trade Paperback edition.
four-stars

I need to start by saying I barely remember Rafe Mendoza from the prior books. He was a pretty minor character. I do not believe Ava was mentioned at all, and if she was, I missed it!

I found this last book to be the funniest in the series. I also found the writing to be a little different. Ava was a hand model who found herself trying to rescue her best friend from mob boss Duvall who is holding her hostage.

The adventure between Ava and Rafe reminded me of Six Days, Seven Nights with Anne Heche and Harrison Ford. It was survival in the jungle, where romance also bloomed. Ava wasn’t as prima donna as I expected but I loved the jokes about Rafe’s male member. It was just too funny. Godzilla, the monster etc. Hilarious.

The plot was okay, but the gradual relationship between Ava and Rafe, where they were able to provide a new lease of life for each other was a clincher for me. I like how the authors made each book different. Each heroine had their own quirks, their own personality and I never felt like I was reading the same book again. In addition, I appreciate it when authors don’t add gratuitous sex scenes. Even though there was a good amount of sex talk, it worked for the book.

The adventure, sex, and eventual defeat of Duvall’s cartel made this series one of the more enjoyable Romantic suspense series I have read in a long time.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

Raze (Scarred Souls #1) by Tillie Cole

Raze (Scarred Souls #1) by Tillie ColeSeries: Scarred Souls #1
on 2015-06-16
Pages: 350
AmazonNarrator: Amelie Griffin, Guy Locke
TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH...Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge... bloody, slow and violent revenge. Revenge on the man who wronged him. Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill 'The Silencer' Volkov, head of the infamous 'Red' bosses of New York's Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it's a virtual prison. Her father's savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring-The Dungeon-ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. She dreams to be set free. Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. While working for her church-the only reprieve in her constant surveillance-Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn't talk. Doesn't communicate with anyone.He's a man beyond saving. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man... ... this man they call Raze.
two-stars

I didn’t like this story because it was TOO DARK and too brutal for me. I wanted a mafia love story, but I got mostly violence with a little love at the end. I was cringing a lot. The treatment and acceptance of abuse towards the female members in this Particular Bratva was too disturbing. Lots of misogyny and violence–nothing sexy here.

I also didn’t enjoy the writing. There wasn’t good character development nor growth. Other than Luca, things just kind of happen because it was the way things are. Kisa was the most disappointing as she vacillating between fearing her fiancee, accepting her fate as the Bratva princess and wanting to soothing him. The Bratva, a family that prides itself of honor, loyalty and violence, failed to even protect their own Kisa and Luca.

There was too much sex especially violent sex, which I viewed as sex of dubious consent. I had a hard time liking the heroine because of her rationale regarding her boyfriend Alec’s treatment of her. The fact that it seemed that most of the Bratva had an inkling of what Kisa endured was hard to listen to and I don’t think I can handle another story in this series. The few instances of love towards the end couldn’t erase the road here so I have to add: proceed with caution if you have triggers regarding violent sex.

View all  of Ezi’s reviews

Made (Forever 0.4) by J.M. Darhower

Made (Forever 0.4) by J.M. DarhowerSeries: Forever 0.4
on October 27th, 2014
Pages: 530 pages
Amazon
Corrado Moretti.

The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.

It's kill or be killed.

Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there's only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.

Never get close. Never get attached. It's a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they're words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn't quite as black and white as it's made out to be.

Made.
five-stars

Sempre and Sempre Redemption part of of my favorite series and Corado Moretti was my favorite character. Honestly, I already fell in love with Corrado in Book 1 so I didn’t even need his background to see the gold man behind the Kevlar Killer. It does help though to understand the man who would be King. To get this insight to the man who seemed to be so brutal and cause terror in the hearts of many, was quite a thrilling ride.
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I enjoyed it immensely. It was sad, it was happy, it was nerve racking and it was kind of redemptive. Most of all, it was cathartic. I really enjoyed seeing the role he played in Vincent and Maura’s life from his perspective. I loved watching the evolution of his relationship with Velia. Most of all, I really appreciated his journey through life from his awful parentage to his rise in La Costra Nostra. Seriously, with his upbringing, it was almost a given where he would end up.
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It was the life of Corrado Moretti, the nitty gritty of such a complex character. This dude was a bad guy, but he was also good in a way. He is probably one of the best developed characters that I ever read in a series. I love how a cold hearted Don is one minute to a soft teddy bear with Celia. This is a man who was student of the life because he knew when to be a soldier and when to a Boss.
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If you are fan of this series, then this book is a MUST read…but you have to read if after you read Sempre and Sempre Redemption.