Blood & Lies by Bella J
Series: A Twisted Duet #1
Published by Self-published on February 21st 2017
Buy on Amazon
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. All it took was one bullet and I went from Capo to Boss within the blink of an eye. What once was my twin brother’s birthright, has now become my curse.
Now it’s up to me to avenge my brother’s death, to give every member of this family the revenge they deserve. I will retaliate, and I will exact due payment.
The cost? Her life.
Tatum Linscott is the reason I had to bury my brother. She ruined everything, and now my only goal is to break her, mend her, then break her again.
This war started with her...and it will end with her.
~ Blood & Lies is a DARK Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to hard to read subjects
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Wow, Blood & Lies is a challenging story. The opening paragraph began with a dramatic funeral scene that introduces us to Castello as he says his farewells to his father and brother. The momentum of the story slowed down a little after the start, and I settled into getting to know the other characters. I was enjoying the story and was looking forward to seeing how Castello would handle being the Boss.
There were little niggles I experienced as I came close to the finishing the first third of the book. My initial hurdle was Castello second guessing himself as his desire for Tatum clouded his determination to follow through with the end game they had planned. He didn’t come across to me as a potential dominant character in or out of the bedroom. Yes, there were times when he did behave like a Boss or a Dom, but not enough for me to be able to picture him in either role.
When I reached 25 – 30% I realised the storyline was not working for me but continued because I believed there was potential for the story to turn around. By around 60%, I wanted to stop, but because I had come that far, I was hesitant to do so. (I hate not finishing books). Torn as to whether to continue or not was based on a combination of the humiliation directed at Tatum and not embracing Castello in the role he played. I understood he didn’t want to be the Boss, and driven by revenge, but it wasn’t enough for me to overlook what I wasn’t reading. On top of that, to have his mother openly yield so much power, I struggled to comprehend how she had acquired such leverage. Possibly this will be addressed in the next part of this duet. Finally, the majority of the secondary characters shed no light when it came to helping Tatum.
The style of the writing embraced a lot of inner dialogue, melodramatic questioning, including expecting her to know what was happening with her family’s business. The chapters are dual POV, and while that is something I enjoy but it did lead to a bit of repetition. The dark nature of the story unsettled me but I have read darker, and it has not impacted on my overall appreciation for a book. In fact, it’s an author’s ability to have me want to continue with the story that elevates my respect for a book overall. With this book, though, it was more a case of the time that I had invested in the story that drove me to continue.
As I was reading the darker moments of the story, comparisons to Captive in The Dark and Quintessentially Q surfaced. Both dark stories where I fell for the anti-hero, but I didn’t sense Castello had the same charisma that Q or Caleb possessed. While the plot twists intrigued me, it was not what made me continue with the story.
With the last couple of mafia books I read, although the lifestyle wasn’t embraced,, the mafia romance structure that I anticipated to find was still there. In this story, though, there was no talk of ‘business’, only the revenge. My thoughts are that Blood & Lies is closer to Suspense or BDSM than it was a Mafia Romance. I put my struggles with this story down to not finding the story I expected to read, as I seem to be out of step with the majority of readers who have rated Blood & Lies highly. The author does warn readers at the beginning, this story won’t be for everyone, so take heed of this advice!
Rating: 2.5 Stars
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