5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Audiobook Review: Roman by Melanie Moreland 🎧

I rescued her because I had to. I fell in love with her because she gave me no choice.

Roman Costas
Powerful. Intensely private.
Cold. Dangerous.
When he unwittingly puts an innocent woman in danger, he does something he never planned.
Becomes involved.
He didn’t anticipate the feelings Effie Warner brought out in him.
He didn’t expect the woman he rescued to become his world.
All he knows is that he’ll burn down the city to keep her safe.
No matter the consequences.

Author:Melanie Moreland
Narrator(s):Maxine Mitchell
John Lane
Series:Men of the Falls (Book 2)
Length / Pages:8h 32m / 382
Trope(s):Mafia Romance
Close / Forced Proximity
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Narration Type:Dual
Location:Niagara Falls, Canada
Release Date:6 March, 2024
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Roman and Effie come to life

Roman is the second book in the Men of the Falls series. We got right hand man, Aldo’s, story in the first book and now it’s time for Roman to meet his match and go kicking and screaming into love. I’ve read the ebook and now I like to listen to the audiobook featuring, as always, the wonderful John Lane and Maxine Mitchell.

Roman is a stern, serious and successful casino owner and business man – oh and head of a mafia syndicate. It’s that last fact that probably keeps him so private and alone. If you’ve read Aldo – which you do not need to have done to enjoy this story – then we’ve already had glimpses of Roman’s lighter side, but in case we’ve forgotten who he really is, we’re reminded of the fact that Roman is a lethal, ruthless man.

Which is why I was so ridiculously delighted when we’re introduced to Effie – a small spitfire of a woman who is Roman’s opposite in every way. She’s fierce and smart but not too proud to cry when things get too tough. And boy do they get tough for her. But I liked her immensely and was rooting for her the whole book through. She wasn’t overly sassy – which could have easily happened to push back against Roman’s control – but I felt she was a real person. Basically, she had me at her love of reading and her worry over who would water her plants when she had to leave her apartment for a while! Maxine Mitchell always thrills me with her performances. She becomes which ever character she narrates and in this case, she is Effie. I love that she adds to her performance by acting the role and I am easily lost in her performance.

“[The narration] really adds life to an already brilliant book.”

Now back to Roman. What to say about him? He’s everything that his description says he is – but every minute with Effie sees his defences crumbling as he fights against the feelings that she’s making him feel. I’m not sure why I like it when my heroes suffer as they fall in love but it seems to be catnip for me. And no-one fought as hard as Roman did against falling in love – he went kicking and screaming, getting angry and raging. T’was delightful! But despite the whole mafia thing, he’s a good man and despite wanting to give him a good kick up the rear with his protestations that he wasn’t capable of love, I was rooting for him, too. John Lane reading as Roman was everything I could have hoped for and more. He just adds a richness and depth to the characters and the story. I felt the emotion in his words and found myself tearing up so much more than I did when reading. It really adds life to an already brilliant book.

Effie and Roman are a great, if unusual, couple. The baker and the head of the mafia syndicate. But they worked and I loved how they filled the other out – helping Roman to be more calm and Effie to be more bold. The sex scenes were hot but also full of feeling and although scattered throughout the book – they fit in perfectly with the story.

And there’s no getting away with the fact that this is a mafia book – something that does not usually float my boat. But if I was ever to get into the sub-genre, then I would hold this book up as how to do it. It wasn’t too gratuitous but there was still that air of menace that showed that Roman was a dangerous man. There was killing, sure, but I could rationalise it all. And the mafia setting did give the book some action to sit alongside Roman and Effie’s love story.

Melanie Moreland has given us another book that gives us a hint of her Men of Hidden Justice but with enough differences to keep it fresh and interesting. With the wonderful narration of John Lane and Maxine Mitchell – the story and characters come to life. I really wanted to wallow in Roman and Effie’s life some more even after the end. Love a good Melanie Moreland story and love them even more in audio. Definitely 5 stars.

* I received this audiobook in exchange for my honest review

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

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