Review: Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly

TWISTED HEARTS
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #5
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Savio Falcone has a few non-negotiable rules when it comes to girls.
They need to be hot as f*ck.
Spread their legs without much prompting.
And leave as soon as the fun is over. Preferably minus any bitching or tears.
With his easy-going bad boy attitude, a last name that rules over Las Vegas and a body to die for, girls have always been at Savio’s disposal.
Unfortunately, the hottest girl in Vegas comes with a price Savio isn’t willing to pay. For Savio to get Gemma he’d need to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger. Settling down is out of the question, no matter how hot a piece of ass waits at the altar.
Gemma Bazzoli has had a crush on Savio from the first moment she came face to face with his arrogant smile, but for him she was always his best friend’s annoying little sister—until her hard-earned curves catch even his attention.
But Savio likes it easy, and Gemma is anything but. When she’s promised to another man, Gemma resigns herself to the fact that the man she’s wanted all her life, doesn’t want her badly enough.
Savio has to decide how much work he’s willing to invest, because bending the rules in his usual style might not be enough to get the girl that haunts his wet dreams.
– Can be read as a standalone-

AMAZON

Gemma was the hottest girl in the city and didn’t even realize it. She was the girl I wanted most and couldn’t have.

Ever finish a book and you struggled to feel any which way about it? This was that book for me. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. It was something of that middle of the road story that I don’t enjoyed reading, but also would never be something I’d come back to either. Does that even make sense? I hope it does, because there’s no better way for me to describe how I felt about Twisted Hearts.

I love mafia romance. I love unconventional love stories with imperfect characters that make their fair share of mistakes. And it just doesn’t get more imperfect than womanizing Savio. Savio and Gemma have known each other since they were kids. Savio was Gemma’s older brother’s friend and a boy that she crushed had on. Her crush was so obvious and at times desperate when she was a teen, that it was almost uncomfortable to read at times, admittedly. Luckily, she doesn’t carry that into adulthood either. Gemma lives in a highly traditional world of old-world mafia family where the women are kept innocent and naive and marriages are a contract and not of love. That doesn’t stop her from hoping beyond hope that Savio will ask for her, since his family is one of the most powerful business alliances her father can make. But Savio is much too concerned with sowing his wild oats with every single available woman out there to even think of marriage. That is, until Gemma is promised to another.

Now I loved the fact that the author stayed true to her character with Savio and didn’t have him turning a complete 180 the second he decides he wants Gemma. He’s not a perfect character and I loved that about him. What didn’t gel for me was the lack of everything else outside of the back and forth he and Gemma go through. The world, the suspense, the story all kind of fell sideways and got lost in the frustrating back and forth of I want you but I can’t have you and I’ll have you but won’t give you all of me. It started off so strong and then all just sort of fizzled for me. I was skimming parts and growing more bored with each page. And while Gemma did grow a backbone in her adulthood, I did also found myself wishing that she made Savio work for it in a different way than she did. Although, I do respect the hell out of her for the way she did handle their relationship.

Ultimately, the romance just didn’t grab me. I didn’t fully buy into it and I just didn’t love Gemma and Savio. They were entertaining, sure, but just not memorable characters for me. Did I enjoy the book? Sure. Most definitely. Was I glued to the pages reading it? Not really. A fun read, but ultimately not an entirely memorable one. But hey, different strokes for different folks right? Give it a read and judge for yourself.

Review: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

TWISTED PRIDE
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: April 16, 2019

Remo Falcone is beyond redemption.

As Capo of the Camorra he rules with a brutal hand over his territory – a territory the Chicago Outfit breached.

Now Remo is out for retribution.
A wedding is sacred, stealing a bride sacrilegious.

Serafina is the niece of the Boss of the Outfit, and her hand has been promised in marriage for years, but kidnapped in her wedding dress on her way to church by Remo, Serafina quickly realizes that she can’t hope for saving. Yet, even in the hands of the cruelest man she knows, she is determined to cling to her pride, and Remo soon understands that the woman at his mercy might not be as easy to break as he thought.

A ruthless man on a quest to destroy the Outfit by breaking someone they are supposed to protect.

A woman intent on bringing a monster to his knees.
Two families that will never be the same.

AMAZON

Pride was the only weapon I had, and I would hold on to it until the very end.

Mafia romance is my jam. The darker, the better. And when I first saw the blurb to this story, I knew this had to be my first Cora Reilly book.

After finishing, I’ll admit I have very conflicting emotions about how I feel about it. On the one hand, I struggled to connect to the heroine and the way she was painted to be so naive and complacent in the beginning. On the other hand, the more I read, the more connected I felt to the story.

What begins as a twisted game of revenge soon begins to turn into something more. Remo and Serafina both come from the same world but they live on opposite sides of it. Where Serafina has been sheltered, Remo has seem the depths of human depravity and violence. So much so, that it’s twisted and tainted him into the Capo that he is today. The dynamic between them was a delicious one, however. I loved the push and pull of their unwanted attraction. Serbian should be a means to an end to a man like Remo. He doesn’t care about anything but his family. But there’s something about her that reaches into the hidden depths of him. It’s not instant. It’s a slow burn of realization as he discovers that Serafina isn’t the sheltered and soft beauty that she seems. That she’s got a core of strength and a pride beneath that delicate exterior. That he yearns to break her in all ways possible.

Now here is also where I struggled with the book; the characterization. It soon became apparent that I did myself a great disservice by reading this book without reading the others. There’s clearly a continuing story arc that follows the brothers, and even though the author attempts to give the reader bits and pieces, it still felt like I was missing huge chunks of their backstory. The incredible amount of redundant descriptions of Remo were a huge irritant for me. I lost count of the amount of times that I read about his cruel smile, cold voice and brutal acts. I’m not even kidding. The word cruel is used over 60 times in the book to describe either his smile, his eyes, or his general being. And yes, I counted.

Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed Remo’s dark depravity. But I also got tired of constantly being reminded of it. It felt like being slapped in the face with his personality. I get it! He’s cruel and brutal. Let his actions and behavior be the reminder. Not his description.

Aside from that, I really did enjoy the story. It was action-packed, gritty, and after the 30% mark, a complete page turner for me. And while I struggled with some parts, I still liked it enough to know I want to read the rest of this series. I definitely need Adamo’s story soon! That was a secondary character that I couldn’t get enough of.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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