I received this book for free from Foreword PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wild Card by Kelsie Rae
Series: Advantage Play #1
on September 23, 2019
Cover Design: Sly Fox Cover Designs
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Format: Digital, Paperback
Source: Foreword PR
Buy on Amazon
Rule #1: Keep your head down and your eyes up. It makes you invisible. But not stupid.
Ace, a young cardshark, has worked her entire life to achieve one goal. Bring Burlone Allegretti to his knees. As the the head of a mafia family who dabbles in human trafficking, he’s far from innocent, and Ace can’t wait to exact her revenge.
As her plan is set in motion, the alluring head of a rival family, Kingston Romano, approaches her with a proposition. One that she’s desperate enough to accept.
Soon, she finds herself in the crosshairs of a war she isn’t prepared to fight. With a target on her back, and intimate feelings she refuses to acknowledge, she’ll have to decide if she’s all in, or if she’ll be taken for all she’s worth.
Also in this series: Dark King
Also by this author: Dark King
Contemporary Romance, Adult, Mafia
First Person, multiple-POV
Book #1 of the Advantage Play series. It has a cliffhanger at the end.
…the term advantage player, which refers to a person who uses legal methods to gain an advantage while gambling, such as counting cards, but it can also be attributed to poker.
Addictiveness: 4/5 This story was fast paced and kept me interested until the end. It was a sexy read with a bit of suspense. As addictive as pizza!!!
Character: hero 4/5, heroine 4/5, secondary characters 4/5, growth 4/5, real 3/5 Characters were well constructed and not one dimensional. They were very likable and easy to connect.
Kingston 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 was really good. In fact, with Ace he was a big softie. He was hot and sweet.
Ace was a great heroine. I really liked her. She didn’t have an easy life and she didn’t have much to look forward than her revenge. She was pretty young and naive for somethings, but very mature for others.
Several interesting secondary characters that I know will get their book in the future.
Villains… they were easy to hate and easy to discover who they were.
I do have to say, these characters were very softhearted mobsters, it didn’t feel very real at times.
All characters were easy to love, 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. I love how this cover has being made for this particular story. We can see Ace at the cover, hugging King, but since this is her book, her nickname at the cover, we don’t see his face. We can see the cards that fits Ace perfectly. I love the color, font and specially placement at the book. I would easily buy this book by its cover, without needing to read the blurb!
Freshness: 4/5 This was a mob romance with an original concept. The plot was not the usual for a mafia romance. As fresh as ice cream.
Plot: believable 3/5, conflict 4/5, dialogue 4/5, ending 3/5, enjoyment 4/5, opening 4/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 4/5, twists 4/5 Good opening and cliffhanger at the end. I like the conflict, the subplot and the twist at the end. The pace was great and kept me at the edge of my seat. High level of enjoyment!
Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 5/5, description 3/5, development 3/5, steam 2/5 It was instalove. Even though there are not many sexy scenes yet, their chemistry was strong and they fell in love fast. King was very protective of her from the beginning and it was very believable his feelings for Ace. The couple smut scenes were good, but not very descriptive. Affectionate love!
Writing Style: 4/5 This book had a great plot, with good characters and cute romance. Perfect pace with an original concept that had me wanting more at the end. Looking forward to read more! Good writing!
Believability: The mobsters were too soft and it didn’t feel real. Not only the main character, but his second hand guy was sweet at times. I know, by in my mind, sweet should never enter in the same line with mobsters. 🙂
Also, some of the dialogues felt too young, or again, soft for the suspense and dark tension that should be there.
The pace of this story was so good, that it kept the suspense going and the tension flowing.
I also loved how the author used multiple point-of-view that made it easier for us to understand what was going on.
I have to mention if I had to give a tag, I would say sweet mobster romance.
I ended the book wanting more, and I’m glad the wait is not very long, because I’m ready for the second book.
29/35 STARS – 4 STARS (between 28 stars and 31 stars)
Addictiveness: 4 Character: 4 Cover: 5 Freshness: 4 Plot: 4 Romance: 4 Writing Style: 4
Would I recommend? Sure. If you are looking for a sweet mafia romance.
Would I re-read this book/series? I will definitely follow the series, but I guess I would only need to reread the book if the wait between books from the series is too long.
Would I read more from the author? Yes.
Dark King (Advantage Play – Book 2)
Release Date: October 7, 2019
Preorder Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqD0V2
Rule #5: Don’t allow distractions. They’ll only break you.
In the blink of an eye, Kingston Romano’s entire world has fallen apart. His sister is in the hands of a rival mafia family, and his only hope of getting her back is by making a wager that includes the mysterious Acely Mezzerich.
Unfortunately for King, his feelings for Ace only escalate the longer he’s around her, muddling his conscience as well as his arrangement with the enemy. And if has any hope of saving his sister and keeping Ace, he needs to execute it perfectly.
As the pieces start to fall, he’ll have to learn who he can trust and who needs to be eliminated before it’s too late.