Release Blitz & Review: ★Hell’s Kitchen★ by @_callie_hart & @LiliStGermain1

 
Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1)
Author: Hart Saint Germain
Release Date: March 3, 2015

*From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City*Hell’s Kitchen
Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy. It’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.

And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.

Zeth Mayfair has traded his life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?

Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.

Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.

Hell’s Kitchen is a serial comprising three volumes: Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca and Bleecker Street. Volume One releases on March 3rd with a limited-time sale price of 99 cents

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Excerpt
 “When he lunges for me, I’m ready. I deflect the hand he was going to grab me with, slapping it downward, and then I grab onto his wrist, pulling him off balance. He seesaws forward but then rips his wrist out of my hand. I don’t expect him to turn his slight fumble to his own advantage, but he does. Dropping to the floor, he rolls and kicks out, landing a solid strike to my leg. I have less than a second to brace myself before I’m hitting the concrete.
Then he’s on top of me. “Oh, this is fun, sweetheart. But I don’t really have time to be playing games with you right now.”
He’s reaching for my arms, about to pin me to the ground, but I jab, landing a solid hit with my extended fingertips right in the base of his throat, in his windpipe. He chokes, his body falling sideways, and then I’m on top of him. Through watering eyes and a clearly sore throat, the guy grins up at me, shaking his head.
“Well, if you wanna fuck me, I guess I could make some time.” Thrusting upward, he tries to unseat me, but I know this is what’s coming and I’m ready again. I compensate, leaning forward, pressing my gun into the guy’s neck.
“Who are you?”
His body goes still, his hands lifting so they’re palm up in front of him. “You know who I am, sweetheart. I’m the enemy.”
“My boss has quite a few enemy camps. Which one do you belong to?”
“The biggest one,” the guy says, smiling. “The Italian one.”
“So you work for Barbieri?”

“I am a Barbieri.” Lightning fast, he snaps his hand out and clamps it around my throat. The move catches me off guard, has me panicking for the first time. My gun is gone, then, knocked to the ground, skittering away across the blacktop. The guy’s hand tightens around the column of my neck, threatening to squeeze even harder. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “Feeling a little lightheaded?”

Review
4.5 stars

We’re kidnapping a teenager. We should be wearing balaclavas and overalls, not fucking Armani suits.”

What happens when the genius minds of Lili Saint Germain and Callie Hart combine? This entertaining as fuck book. These ladies are on my auto buy list with their individual work, but as a team? They’re an absolute powerhouse. I have loved both Blood & Roses and the Gypsy Brothers series. But when these two worlds collide? It’s sure to be one epic fucking ride.

Before I get to my review, allow me to address a few key points if you’re planning on reading this book…
1. If you have not read the Gypsy Brothers series, this book does have several plot spoilers from it that may be lost on you.

2. If you have not read the Blood & Roses series, this book does have several plot spoilers that may also be lost on you.

3. If you haven’t read BOTH of those series, there are quite a few crossovers and plot intricacies that may also be lost on you.
Essentially, what I’m trying to tell you here is that you would enjoy this series a hell of a lot more if you read those 2 series first. While you wouldn’t necessarily be lost, you just wouldn’t have quite as much appreciation for the characters or their connecting stories if you haven’t read them yet.

Hell’s Kitchen has quite a few POVs packed into a little over 100 pages. Where usually I’d find that to be way too much and convoluted, the fact that the authors not only made it work here but it actually added to the story is certainly no small feat. EVERY single POV added something into the story and allowed to tie into the next one. It was so intricately woven together that I never once found myself confused or annoyed but simply enjoying the ride. So who are the key players in Hell’s Kitchen? Let’s do a roll call…

The Barbiery brothers The sons to the current Italian mafioso of New York, Roberto. Roberto is a cold hearted and ruthless kingpin that spares no one in his gain for power and vengeance, not even his sons. When his Irish enemy does him wrong, what best way to get revenge than to kidnap his daughter, Kaitlin, and to charge his two sons with it.

Kaitlin McLaughlin has a very short POV that gives the reader just enough insight into her vapidness and better understanding of her character. This is definitely no 17 year old girl you’ll find yourself sympathizing with. She’s one spoiled and vicious little bitch.

Gracie; Kaitlin’s bodyguard and all around bad bitch. Now you know I love me a snarky and kick-ass heroine, and Gracie was that and so much more. She was taken into the McLaughlin fold at an early age and feels a bond with Kaitlin’s father even though babysitting his spoiled little princess is not what she wants to be wasting her time on. The last thing she expects is to be caught in a chase with the sons of their Italian enemy.

Scarlett Winchester (Oh and I see what you did with her last name there, you clever girls. I love that!) Is a down on her luck actress that is currently attempting to put together the tatters of her previous life. Lost in a constant haze of drugs and alcohol if only to drown out the demons of the past and a mistake from 9 months ago that cost her everything.

In short, the woman is one hot mess. But while she may be broken, she still has a mouth on her and she can use snark as her weapon of choice, which definitely made for some awesome banter.

Zeth motherfucking Mayfair. Does the man even need an introduction. Zeth is trying to move on with his life together with Sloane. While he will never exactly live on the straight and narrow, he certainly has no desires to answer to anyone else now that he is no longer under the thumb of Charlie, his past ’employer’. Too bad that Roberto wants to take over Charlie’s old territory, and he’s very aware of Zeth’s reputation and has no issues trying to get him back into the fold…and when a proposition doesn’t do, a threat will suffice.

Jason Ross. Dealing with the fallout of what happened with his father and the MC, Jason and Juliette are on the run from the Columbian Cartel. Their current hiding place? Non other that New York. And you just KNOW that when all these worlds combine, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. There’s also the mention of Elliot, though he never has a POV here…at least not yet.

So there you have it, the seven key players of Hell’s Kitchen, though I would say that the Barbiery brothers, Scarlett and Gracie are the main focus. I absolutely loved how the authors managed to tie together all of these POVs into one intricately woven story. If you’re looking for the grit of GB, you won’t find that here, but it doesn’t really advertise to be that. What it is, is an entertaining, humorous, action-packed and thrilling ride that combines the worlds of B&R and GB along with some new players to give you another addicting series. I read this in one sitting, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second. I’m already practically salivating for the next installment and can’t wait to see what happens next with all these characters.

About the Author

Callie Hart

 Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and molding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.

Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.

Lili Saint Germain

 Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

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