I received this book for free from ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Collateral: An Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance by Natasha Knight
Series: Collateral Damage Duet #1
on September 23, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Adult, Mafia, Dark
Format: Digital, Paperback
Source: ARC by the author
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Also in this series: Damage: An Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Stefan Sabbioni showed up uninvited in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. He stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck. I thought he’d strangle me with it.
That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.
I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.
He’s come to make good on his promise.
He’s back to take that something precious.
Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.
Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.
And she is most definitely mine.
Dark Contemporary Romance, Adult, Mafia
First Person, dual-POV
Book #1 of the Collateral Damage duet, it has a major cliffhanger. It’s not too dark, really light.
You may think you own me, and maybe you do, maybe you own my body. But my mind, my thoughts, my secrets, they’re mine.
Addictiveness: 5/5 This is the type of book that grabs the reader from the beginning, keeping on the edge of the seat until the end. The type of read that get you mad, but you can’t let go. As addictive as chocolate!!!
Character: hero 4/5, heroine 4.5/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 4/5, real 3/5 They were multidimensional with a lot of layers to them.
Stephan was a good antihero. That man is no hero, he lived by a totally different code of honor than the norm, but inside their out of ordinary world he seemed ok.
Gabriela was a great heroine. I really liked her. She has been through a lot, but she didn’t let that life break her. She kept pushing and fighting for a better life. She did have a TSTL (too stupid to live), but she is only 18 years old and we all have TSTL moments.
Several interesting secondary characters like Alex and Gabe; Rafa and Clara. I haven’t decided if Stef’s cousins are friends or foes.
All characters were easy to connect and understand, even though a bit hard to love.
Cover: art 4.5/5, title 4.5/5, color-font 5/5, buy 5/5 I’m obsessed with book covers. I love to find snippets of the stories within the art. I love how this cover has being made for this story. We can see Stefan with his tattoo at the cover. We could feel the violence with all the blood splatter and the guy definitely has the bad boy vibe. I like the color and the font used. I also like the title for the story, but I had to take a half star out because this title would match it better if we had Gabriela on the cover. I do have to mention that inside the book, before the story starts that is an amazing drawing of a very important scene of the story! I would easily buy this book by its cover, without needing to read the blurb!
Plot: believable 3/5, conflict 4/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 3/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 5/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Great opening and cliffhanger at the end. Of course this is not a very believable plot, but is amazing entertainment. The conflict here was really well explored, with good subplots and unexpected twists. This was a fast paced read with superb setting. High level of enjoyment!
Writing Style: 4/5 I really liked this story and I can’t wait to read the next book of the duet. Ms. Knight wrote a fast-paced book that kept me at the edge of my seat. The plot was well written, with a clean style, cohesive with no loopholes. The characters are complex and still have a lot of room to be explored. I can’t wait for the next one!
Freshness: 3/5 This is a mob romance and like most of them it has an arranged marriage with the heroine being used as a pawn. It is not an original concept, but it is one that works every time. As fresh as a cup of tea.
Romance: believable 3/5, chemistry 4/5, description 3/5, development 5/5, steam 3/5 There was not a lot of romance in this first book. We can feel the couple was attracted to each other, there was sexual tension between them, but there was a lot happening to them. I really liked the development of their love story. It felt a lot more believable this way, than instalove.
This is a mafia romance, that may be considered dark because it has a bit of dubious consent/non con, but really light. Not very dark at all!
The pace of the story was perfect and it made it more believable the way it was written.
I do have to say, this has been also light on the romance front. Like I said, it did made sense for the plot, but my romantic heart wanted a few more steamy scenes.
I ended the book wanting more, and I’m glad the wait is not very long. Can’t wait for it!!!
28/35 STARS – 4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars)
Addictiveness: 5 Character: 4 Cover: 4.5 Freshness: 3 Plot: 4 Romance: 3.5 Writing Style: 4
Would I recommend? Sure. If you are looking for a mafia romance.
Would I re-read this book/series? I’m certain I will re-read the book when I got book #2 of the duet.
Would I read more from the author? Yes.