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)|
|Trope(s):||Insta-Love / Lust|
|Point of View:||First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Near Toronto, Canada|
|Release Date:||14th October, 2021|
A bit darker – still delicious
I am a huge fan of Melanie Moreland and always find her books so absorbing and easy to fall into. I have to admit I had a wee bit of trepidation about this book as I’m not really a fan of the mafia trope of which I assumed this book was. While it has similarities with that trope – it doesn’t actually fall into that category – and I shouldn’t have worried as I hugely enjoyed this story and it thrilled me just as much as other books of Ms Moreland’s that I have read.
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 feels in some way 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 power.
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.
There is a sort of insta-love – or at least insta-lust – in the relationship between Matteo and Evie. Well, Matteo at least. I could definitely feel their connection and while the declarations are early – they too felt real. I did have a moment of worry at the beginning that there was a slight imbalance of power in the relationship. While I decided that actually probably was true, it also helped to show the development of the relationship and how it became much more balanced as they learnt more about each other and grew closer.
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 really 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 gratuitous, and it didn’t frighten a wimp like me, it did touch on – or at least mention – some vile things.
I have to also pay homage to that unbelievable cover. It’s perhaps the most gorgeous cover I have ever seen and even more wonderfully, it really depicts Matteo as Melanie Moreland wrote and described him. Absolutely delightful.
Once again, I devoured a book by Melanie Moreland and got thoroughly invested in the story. There’s just something about her writing that makes me happy as I’m ready and makes me want to read more and more and more. This is also the kind of book I found myself still thinking about after I’d read the last page so I’m delighted that there are more books coming in this series (although this one does stand alone and has a wonderful HEA and epilogue). Once again, it’s 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.