Thank you to Sophie Lark, Sourcebooks, Bloom Book, Raincoast, and NetGalley for the advance reader copy of the re-release of Stolen Heir, the second interconnected standalone in the Brutal Birthright series.
While I was reading Brutal Prince I was so excited to get in Nessa’s head. Once I found out that this installment was about her I was ecstatic. I was even more interested to get to read Sophie’s take on the classic mafia romance trope, kidnapping.
They Murdered My Father, So I Stole Their Daughter…
She’s my captive, my little ballerina who dances only for me.
Nessa is sweet and innocent. She doesn’t deserve any of this. But that’s how our world works – the wolves eat the lambs, no matter how gentle they may be.
I’ll use her to get my revenge. Unless I give in to my hunger first…
“Stolen Heir” is the dark and gothic second act of the “Brutal Birthright” series. It’s a stand-alone Enemies to Lovers Romance, complete with HEA and no cliffhangers. It contains blazing hot bedroom scenes for mature readers only!!!
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Nessa is the only daughter of the Griffin Irish mafia family, and she’s been kept out of the business until now. She is kidnapped by Mikolaj, or Miko the head of the Polish Bratva. His character is dark, and it stems from some messed-up familial losses. Like many mafia men, he is fiercely loyal and the Polish Bratva had more of a found family vibe than the Gallo and Griffin families did which I enjoyed. When we meet Nessa she is struggling to advocate for herself and has been fading into the background. Being locked inside Miko’s house actually helped Nessa fly free. Her confidence grew after getting out from under her overbearing family. I do love that family of hers very much though. Throughout this book, we got snippets of Aida and Callum as a married couple and that warmed my heart. Along with little teases of some of the Gallo boys to come and I am so excited for Nero next.
- Setting: This mafia romance is set in Chicago, where different families are vying for dominance in the windy city. This time we got a deeper look at the Polish and Russian bratva which make the Irish and Italian mafia families look super chill in comparison. I love how this world expands, more characters get drawn in, and more people join the extended Gallo/Griffin crowd.
- Pacing: I cannot help but engulf these stories, the first half in particular I just could not stop reading. I did find the story started to wrap up too quickly at the end, I would have especially loved a bit more time for our characters to fall in love. It’s natural though in these shorter novels that a few things are rushed to ensure you get a nice bow at the end.
- Romance: This romance is structured as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, with Stockholm Syndrome and all. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings in any form, and a mafia kidnapping romance was the perfect setting. Nessa and Miko were hot together, and I want to ensure potential readers that Nessa makes the first move and Miko never threatens to touch her without her permission. Sophie writes mafia with a bit of an edge but keeps consent as key in this one. I felt pity for Miko from the opening pages, I am so happy his ballerina could sweep him off his feet and show him that he deserved love in his life. For Nessa, I loved that her relationship brought out the best in her, helping her grow into a strong woman in a chaotic mafia family.
Stolen Heir receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story here.
Thank you again to Bloom and Raincoast for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!