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.
Series: Collateral Damage Duet #2
on October 15, 2019
Format: Digital, Paperback, audiobook
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Adult, Mafia, Dark
Source: ARC by the author
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We’re a match made in hell, Stefan and I.
He took me to exact his revenge. I went from being a pawn to my father to being a pawn to Stefan. The only difference is I have a ring the size of a boulder on my finger and a husband I don’t want.
And the hardest part is I thought he was different. I thought I was falling in love.
I guess my father was right. I’m not a very smart girl.
Stefan is powerful man. He doesn’t play nice, not if you’re his enemy. But I have learned one thing about my husband.
He takes care of what’s his.
And I am his.
His enemies have become my enemies, but he’ll never let anyone hurt me. He’s fiercely protective. It’s the predator inside that scares me.
Adult, Dark, Contemporary Romance, Mafia
First Person, dual-POV
This is book #2 of the Collateral Damage Duet and it cannot be read as a standalone.
Those of us who crawl our of the darkness, we’re never fully able to stand in the light for long.
Addictiveness: 5/5 This book started exactly where it ended the first part. Like the first it was fast-paced, action-paced with several twists and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat from the beginning. As addictive as chocolate!!!
Character: hero 4.5/5, heroine 4.5/5, secondary characters 4/5, growth 5/5, real 3/5 Complex characters with good personal growth and great background.
Stefan was a great antihero. That man is no hero, he lives by a totally different code of honor than the norm, but he had layers. Specially in this book we saw a more caring and loving Stefan, he let his emotions closer to the surface. At the same time, we saw a harsher mob boss. A man that is loyal to his code of honor and that is not afraid of getting his hands dirty. Stefan was not a boss because of his bloodline only, he was THE BOSS because he was unafraid, a bit cocky, sure of himself and very ruthless when needed. He grew into his emotions in this book. He allowed himself to feel more than responsibility. He not only truly loved Rafa as a brother, but loved Gabriela as a true partner. He did take too long to believe in what was right in front of him, but everyone must believe in someone else.
Gabriela was a great heroine. I really liked her. She was unsure of whom to trust, every move she made she found another enemy. She had a hard time trusting Stefan, but if we really take out our romantic hearts here, this was definitely the believable move to make. She had been kidnaped, taken to a different country, forced to marriage and kept always with “babysitters”. She did have too many TSTL moments here, but like I said before, she is only 18 and she was being manipulated from all men used to this type of game.
Rafa was a great secondary character and I guess I would love to read his own book. He was a very complex and profound character for a secondary.
Villains.. antagonists… .This story is full of twists and turns and in this dark world, everybody maybe a potential villain. Everyone may have some days dressed as the devil and others dressed as the angel.
All characters were easy to connect and understand. !!!
Cover: art 5/5, title 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. This book cover is perfect for this book.This girl is gorgeous and sexy a perfect image for Gabriela. We can feel her sense of uneasy and that she lives in a violent world. The blood splatter adds to this violence and the colors used here are perfect. This book also has a a second art work inside, that is a very important scene of the book. I would easily buy this book by its cover without needing to read the blurb!
Freshness: 4.5/5 Even though this was a mob romance with a forced marriage, in this second book , with all the twists and turns the story seemed more fresh. The concept felt unique. It worked! As fresh as vanilla ice cream during a summer day!
Plot: believable 4/5, conflict 5/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 5/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 5/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Exciting opening for an amazing ending. A believable plot for mafia with great subplots superb twists. Great dialogues in a action-packed, fast-paced plot. Great setting and very enjoyable until the end. Highest level of enjoyment!
Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 5/5, description 5/5, development 5/5, steam 4/5 The slow burn romance from the first book exploded in this one. Stefan can’t keep his hands away from Gabriela and she is ready to explore her sexuality. Several hot scenes permeated with true love. Passionate love!
Writing Style: 4.5/5 Great characters with well written dialogues. Complex plot with hot, intense romance. Great descriptive scenes with amazing setting. This book was better than the first how it always should be! Smart writing!!!
Because we do have to be picky…Stefan grew up in this world, was prepared to be this powerful man, he learned from an early age that nobody should be completely trusted and that you should always keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But kept repeating the same mistake and too many bad things that happened to Gabriela could have been avoided.
Gabriela was young, but she grew up in this dark, twisted world. Her immaturity sometimes were just stupidity, not really having anything to do with age. Who trust the devil or the devil’s entourage?
This second book was much better than the first in all aspects. Everywhere it needed to improve it did. It had a better plot, more well-rounded characters, with bigger intensity in the romance and the smut was really great.
I would love for Rafa to have a book of his own, he feels like such a complex characters that shouldn’t be overlooked. He is ripe for a book!
I totally loved the ending, it couldn’t have been better. I love a good epilogue, this one had two!!!
This woman, this pawn that I took from my enemy is mine. And ironically, we saved each other.
33/35 STARS – 4.5 STARS (between 31.5 stars and 33 stars)
Addictiveness: 5 Character: 4.5 Cover: 5 Freshness: 4.5 Plot: 4.5 Romance: 5 Writing Style: 4.5
Action 5/5 Angst 3/5 Darkness 2/5 Humor 0/5 Romance 5/5 Suspense/Mystery 4/5
Would I recommend? Definitely! For anyone that likes mafia romance with a bit of smut.
Would I re-read this book/series? Yes! I would.
Would I read more from the author? I’m looking forward to.