5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Aldo by Melanie Moreland

My best friend is the king of the Niagara Falls underworld. There is no one I am more devoted to. Until she catches my eye and changes everything.

Aldo Ricci
Right hand to Roman Costas.
Enforcer. Loyal.
Alone. Happy to stay that way.
Until she walks into his life.

Violet Nelson
Unexpected. Alluring. Off-limits.
But he can’t stay away.
The last thing he expected from her was the one thing he’d never sought.

Author:Melanie Moreland
Series:Men of the Falls (Book 1)
Trope(s):Mafia Romance
Workplace Romance
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Niagara Falls, Canada
Release Date:14 February, 2024
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It’s another winner!

Okay, most importantly – do not fear – this is 100% not part of a duet. It’s the first book in the Men of the Falls duo meaning that Aldo and Violet get their own happily ever after in this story and it’s a whole other couple in the next book in the series, Roman. And there’s no over-arching story running across the books so this book stands completely alone.

But to this book…

Melanie Moreland could write absolutely anything and I would absolutely devour it. Case in point – I’m not usually partial to mafia romance but it’s Ms Moreland so I know that I’m in good hands.

Aldo Ricci is the right hand man of Roman Costas – casino and hotel mogul and king of the Niagara Falls underworld. Aldo is serious, stoic and other than Roman, no-one ever gets close to him. His absolute bafflement when he meets – and can’t stop thinking about – Violet is adorably hilarious. Which is not something anyone would dare say to Aldo. But he’s actually a really lovely guy – a big, protective teddy bear who is absolutely smitten with Violet. Strong man, soft heart. Happy sighs.

I admit that Violet was not what I expected. Rather than a shy, virginal type (that I’ve nothing against), Violet was sassy, confident and fiercely independent. I was surprised with how much I liked her. Despite her circumstances, she was nobody’s victim but she definitely had a vulnerability when it came to Aldo. But at the same time, he gave her strength. Definitely the perfect pairing.

“[Melanie Moreland’s] characters stole my heart and their romance gave me the perfect blend of feels and sexiness”

And that was even more evident when it came to the bedroom. This couple were on fire. Even at the start when it was “just sex”, there was a connection there that made it so much hotter. And even the cheeky little bit of bum stuff wasn’t enough to put me off their, or my, pleasure!

There’s a little bit of suspense in the book but it wasn’t a mystery and, thankfully, it wasn’t too scary (other than the thought!). It kept the story moving and gave just that perfect touch of peril to our couple’s relationship.

And oh my god, the secondary characters in this story captured my heart almost as much as Aldo and Violet did. Roman was absolute perfection and I cannot wait – absolutely cannot wait – until the mighty fall under the spell of love. And while we didn’t see much of Luca and Justine – I just have to have their story told. They were equal parts hilarious and romantic. Need, need, need!

There will be some comparisons to Ms Moreland’s Men of Hidden Justice series and while there are similarities – these men are are definitely more ruthless. Oh they’re still good men in their own ways – but there’s definitely an undercurrent of ruthlessness and brutality about them. But I was still swooning over Aldo and happy to cheer for him and Violet to get their happily ever after.

As always with Melanie Moreland, her characters stole my heart and their romance gave me the perfect blend of feels and sexiness. Without a doubt it’s 5 stars and I am already all-in with this series.

* 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.

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