Thank you to Sophie Lark and Bloom Books via NetGalley for the advance reader copy of Brutal Prince, the traditional re-release of the first book in the Brutal Birthright series.
This author and this series have been on my TBR for as long as I can remember. I do not really read mafia romance as much as I should, but after reading Brutal Prince I need to clear out a week of my life to binge the rest of the series. This is the perfect mafia book, with two warring families and a deliciously hot arranged marriage.
They’re a match made in Hell. The Griffins and the Gallos have been battling for control of Chicago’s underworld for generations. Their rivalry has always been flammable, but it reignites with a fury when Aida, the youngest and wildest Gallo sibling, crashes a party at the Griffin mansion and accidentally sets fire to the library. To stave off all-out war, her father quickly arranges a marriage between her and Callum Griffin, eldest son and heir to the Irish mafia. Cold, ambitious, and brutal, Callum is determined to tame his headstrong new bride. But Aida is more than capable of giving as good as she gets―starting with poisoning Callum on their wedding night. The problem is, murdering him would be a lot easier if he didn’t look so good while she was trying to do it. She’s got a lockbox around her heart. He’s got something to prove. In their struggle for dominance, who will go up in flames first?
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: I love the spitfire that is Aida Gallo! She is mischievous, passionate, and loyal. I love the way she pushed all the men in her life from all her brothers to her new husband. He is Callum and he is an interesting character. He has many of the traits classically associated with a mafia hero: arrogant, dominant, and violent – but he’s also bookish. The beauty of a mafia romance about two warring families is that we had so many great side characters. Aida’s brothers are doubt horrible human beings but I cannot wait to get in their heads in subsequent books.
- Setting: I love the Chicago setting and the dynamics of different mafia groups all vying for dominance. Italians, Irish, Polish, and Russian gangs all in one book! I love the dynamics of these huge families making deals especially some marriage pacts like in this story.
- Pacing: I read the first half in a blink of an eye. Sophie did such a good job in setting up not just Aida and Callum in the early chapters but all of her main leads for the story. I was intrigued right away by the naive Nessa and was delighted to see that the next book is hers.
- Romance: Damn Aida and Callum are hot, literal sparks fly from the first time they were in a scene together. Their first sex scene may be one of the hottest shower sex scenes I have ever read. I found myself getting emotionally invested very quickly and couldn’t help but root for them as they became more emotionally invested in one another.
Brutal Prince receives five out of five stars.
Thank you again to Sophie and Bloom for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!