ARC Reviews,  Reviews

Giana Darling’s When Heroes Fall ARC Review

Thank you to Giana Darling and Candi Kane PR for the advance reader copy of When Heroes Fall, the first story in the Anti-Heroes in Love duet. This story is releasing on May 28th!

I have been so incredibly excited to get this book on my eReader. First off I knew it as Dante’s story and after getting to know him better in the Enslaved Duet. We did not know for the longest time that Elena would be his love interest. After Giana Darling revealed that I wanted this story even more. Elena had always fascinated me, from her cold, bitter portrayal in The Evolution of Sin. I am so ready to dive into her head, head first.

Check out the Goodreads synopsis…

I am the villain of my own story…

Jilted by my fiance.
A disappointment to my family.
Haunted by my childhood traumas.
I felt so much all my life that I resolved to feeling nothing at all.

Until I met my match.

As the most infamous mafioso of the 21st century, Dante Salvatore was madly passionate, unequivocally bad, and entirely too dangerous to know. He was everything I abhorred, yet I found myself representing him in the biggest criminal trial of the decade.

I was so focused on winning and achieving the success I deserved that I didn’t notice the gorgeous black-eyed man’s effect on me until it was too late. My icy heart had been held too close to his flame and now I wouldn’t let Dante go down without fighting with everything I had in me.

Even if the cost of a new life with him meant the loss of my old life and everything I thought I held dear.”

Check out my more detailed thoughts below…

  • Characters: Elena Lombardi has a reputation as a lawyer, standoffish, ice queen. She is still a junior partner trying to prove herself. I have preconceived notions about Elena from reading about her in Giselle and Cosima’s story. There is so much more to her character than I ever thought possible. I found that I had this internal battle with Elena myself. I am so proud of being of Italian heritage and I strive to hold onto every morsel of it. I related more to Dante in that way. I totally understand based on Elena’s childhood that she wanted to leave Italy in the past. She rejects the roughness of her upbringing and goes out of her way to be poised. She has really interesting relationships with her siblings as she is the eldest and claims that she was the only one who remembers the true horrors of life in Napoli. Her fertility issues are written about in such a great way. This explores the combo of how her issues are both psychologically crippling and anti-Italian cultural expectations. To switch gears to Dante, if you read Cosima’s story you would know him as Alexander’s younger brother. Elena gets brought into his orbit as he is standing trial for murder, illegal gambling, racketeering, and money laundering. Dante did not murder this man, rather he is protecting Cosima. He ran away from the Davenports and was taken in by Amadeo Salvatore in his youth, the mafia boss became his pseudo father. I loved how Giana depicted Dante’s loyalty to those around him and how they respected him in return.
  • Setting: The story is set in New York City. Quite early on in the story, Dante has his bail hearing and he is sentenced to house arrest. So the vast majority of the story takes place in Dante’s apartment. It was a wonderful setting as it set the stage for awesome scenes. You had them laughing and cooking together in his kitchen. Cuddling and watching TV in bed. Along with all the fun and unique places they had their way with each other.
  • Pacing: The story was paced really well. I knew going in this would be a duet and I am very satisfied with the ending to this story. Yet I am super duper pumped to be getting its sequel in just a few weeks. Thank you to Giana who writing these books back to back. I also loved how she weaved Italian into the story. There were very few times the Italian was not translated right away and yet it never felt instructional. It felt as natural as thoughts in Elena or Dante’s head. As someone with a basic knowledge of Italian, it was also fun to try to figure out what they said to each other before Giana translated it.
  • Romance: I loved this relationship between the modern-day New York mafioso and his lottatore, his fighter. These two had such wicked chemistry. After getting a peek into Elena’s life with Daniel, in Giselle’s story, it became increasingly clear that she never had the same spark with Daniel Sinclair that she has with Dante Salvatore. He makes her adventurous and pushed her limits in a really refreshing way. I would love to see her one day apologize to Sin and Elle for seeing their relationship as something depraved, now that she has opened her eyes more to sexual pleasure. My heart absolutely aches for Dante and Elena as I adored their personal journeys of discovering just how in love with each other they are. This story is the best one Giana has ever written about a Lombardi and that just makes me so much more excited for the conclusion to Elena and Dante’s story coming in June!

When Heroes Fall receives five out of five stars.

You can pick up the story below…


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Thank you again to Giana and Candi Kane for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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