Because love can bleed into the darkest heart
Terrified and on the run, I was lost.
He found me.
I witnessed his crime and he gave me a choice.
Marriage or death.
I never expected to love him.
But the choices were never really mine.
Could this avenging angel of death ever love me back?
His touch consumed me.
Did my heart stand a chance?
|Series:||Men of Hidden Justice (Book 1)|
|Pages:||310 / 6 hrs, 19 minutes|
|Trope(s):||Insta-Love / Lust|
|Point of View:||First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Near Toronto, Canada|
|Release Date:||25th October, 2021|
Great characters – great voices
I am a huge fan of Melanie Moreland and always find her books so absorbing and easy to fall into. Equally, I have loved every audiobook of hers as you get a different dimension and perspective of the worlds and characters she builds. This book is the first in a new series, The Men of Hidden Justice. It’s a bit darker than the other stories of Ms Moreland that I have read but still with the romance and likeable characters that you would expect. This book stands alone and comes complete with its very own HEA.
We start off with Evie being on the run from her life and while the situation and her circumstances are dire, you realise from the first that she’s got a spark about her. She’s powerless but never weak and I liked and rooted for her from the first. I loved her honesty, the way she could bring a strong man to his knees just by being herself and I especially enjoyed her growth and her finding her voice and her power.
Evie is voiced by Maxine Mitchell who is definitely one of my preferred female narrators. She does very well in portraying Evie – giving her voice that scared edge to begin with and growing stronger alongside the character. I’m always impressed that Ms Mitchell doesn’t just read her lines, she acts them out. It really immerses you in the story and makes you like and believe what the character is going through.
Matteo was a difficult character to understand at first – which is good as it mirrored Evie’s own issues with him. He’s stark, cold and somewhat ruthless. He’s also demanding and a bit stuck in his ways. But he’s also a tiny bit obsessed with Evie and with keeping her safe which I adore in a book boyfriend. They way you can also see him changing throughout the story as he comes to terms with the fact his focus in life is no longer his work – it just made me happy. As did the fact that he couldn’t keep his hands to himself and kept changing up his routine so he could spend more time with her. Sigh.
Even better, Matteo is voiced by the delicious John Lane. Sigh. Such a deep and shiver-inducing voice – he was absolutely perfect for the stern and oft-times grumpy Matteo. I could go on and on about what a good narrator Mr Lane is but suffice to say that he was perfection.
There is a sort of insta-love – or at least insta-lust – in the relationship between Matteo and Evie. Well, on Matteo’s part at least. I could definitely feel their connection and while the declarations are early – they felt real. The compatibility of our couple also worked well when it came to the sex scenes which were delicious plus feelings. It was all the sexy, sultry butterflies you want in a romance but with that added bonus of real emotion. Happy times for me!
As I said, this isn’t a mafia book but it does have the same sort of darker vibes you often get with that trope. But while it’s not overly scary, violent or suspenseful, and it didn’t frighten a wimp like me, it did touch on – or at least mention – some vile things around human trafficking.
I read this story in ebook and got thoroughly invested in the story and the characters. Listening to the audiobook just made me love the characters more and made me more invested in both the love story of Matteo and Evie, as well as the secondary storyline. It was a joy to listen to and this is a series that I know I’m going to revisit again and again the future. 5 stars from me.
* I received this book 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.