Review: Kingpin’s Property by Julia Sykes

KINGPIN’S PROPERTY
Series:
Captive #4
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 21, 2020

Carmen Ronaldo is my enemy, an influential player in a rival cartel. She’s also been the object of my twisted obsession for years. Her wickedly sharp mind and fierce demeanor have fascinated me for over a decade, but it’s her carefully concealed, sweetly innocent nature that I’ve come to covet. The thorny contempt she displays for me is nothing more than armor, a means of protecting her gentler soul from the monsters that inhabit our cruel criminal underworld.

Monsters like me.

When I decimate her organization, I’m not merciful enough to spare her. For too long, my ruthless instinct to possess Carmen has been denied. I want her sweetness all for myself, and I will mercilessly employ the most deviant methods to earn her surrender.

She’s my trophy, my prize of war. I intend to cage her and tame her; a symbol of my absolute victory and dominion over my newly conquered territory.

Carmen is no longer my enemy. She’s my pet, my plaything.

She’s just mine.

Note: Kingpin’s Property can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I won’t stop, not even when you beg me to. You will weep for mercy, and you’ll find that I have none. I will shatter you.” 

This series has quickly become one of my favorite guilty pleasures. There’s just something so satisfying about Julia Sykes intensely possessive antiheroes. And I mean INTENSELY POSSESSIVE. Kingpin’s Property is the story of Carmen and Stefano’s story.

Now I will say that pretty much every antihero in the Captive series is almost borderline sociopath with their lack of empathy and violent streaks, there’s just something so charmingly enigmatic about Stefano. While the previous men in the series have been dark, broody, and utterly terrifying, Stefano is different. Well, he’s still dark, broody, and utterly terrifying. But he’s also charming, in a borderline sociopathic way. Does that even make sense here? Roll with me on this. What I mean is, the man knows how to layer on the charm, while still being the violent and menacing cartel boss that he is.

This story picks up immediately where Pretty Hostage ended, with the siege of the Ronaldo cartel. Carmen thought that in exchange for her help to get Sofia away from the clutches of her cruel brother, she’d make a deal with the devil. She promised Adrián to help his men access their territory, allow them to kill her brother so that she may take over as the head of the cartel. Unfortunately, Adrián’s got a deal of his own with Stefano. And Stefano? He wants Carmen. To take her. To have her. To own her. But Carmen will not go easy.

What I really loved about this book was how fierce Carmen was. Faced with impossible odds and having survived horrors that still haunt her, the woman is a fighter until the bitter end. She gives as good as she gets and she’s not afraid to goad and torture Stefano, even if she thinks it’s to her death. Stefano is a bit of an enigma. He lacks empathy allowing him to be the deadly cartel boss that he is, but his feelings for Carmen confound him.

This was a delicious game of cat and mouse. Reaching the push and pull between these two was incredibly entertaining. There’s also two new secondary characters that are introduced and I’m so excited to get their book next. But as for this one? Satisfying to the last page.

Review: Stealing Beauty by Julia Sykes

STEALING BEAUTY
Series:
Captive #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: January 15, 2019

Valentina loathes me as much as I despise her. That doesn’t stop me from kidnapping her, stealing her away for myself.

She was brought into my home when we were teenagers, her virgin body sold to my father to pay a debt. She was meant to be his plaything, but I claimed her innocence for myself.

Now, ten years have separated us, and hatred has festered in my heart. The girl I once loved is a stunning woman, and she thinks she belongs to someone else.

As the most notorious, sadistic drug lord on the west coast, I thrive on power and control. Her defiance tempts and torments me, and I’ll never tire of devising devious punishments to keep her in line. She can’t escape my cruel touch and harsh discipline.

No one will take her from me. I’ll kill anyone who tries.

Valentina was always meant to be mine. Nothing will stop me from possessing her, body and soul.

Note: Stealing Beauty can be read as a standalone dark romance novel.

AMAZON

I could be sadistic, but that didn’t mean I loved her any less. If anything, my love for her was so obsessive that it drove me to the brink of madness.

Oh, this was so deliciously dark and captivating. I’ll admit that I really read this series backasswards, like I normally do. I started with Pretty Hostage (book 3) and then dove into this one. And everything that I felt was missing for me in book three, this book had in spades.

Adrián was EVERYTHING. He was intense, brimming with barely restrained violence, and positively oozing sex. I loved everything about this man. His possessiveness and protectiveness that goes right along with his rough edges and anger. Adrián and Valentina have a history of love and betrayal, but he knows just one small piece of everything that Valentina has been through and survived at the hands of her “husband”.

Valnetina has lived through hell over the last few years. Given as payment for a debt to a violent and brutal man, the only peace she knew was in the company of handsome boy. But then that boy was gone and she was left with a monster. Now Adrián is back, he’s kidnapped her from her captor, but he’s determined to make her pay for sins that she hasn’t committed.

I really loved the way that this story played out. I loved watching Adrián fall harder and harder for Valentina. I loved that Valentina is still a warrior and survivor even after everything she’s been through. I loved the two of them together. And I loved the dark edges of this story. Everything weaved together perfectly to make this an absolute page turner. It was dark and dangerous, sexy and turbulent. It was everything I enjoy in a dark romance and I can’t wait for the fourth book in this sinfully addictive series!

Review: Pretty Hostage by Julia Sykes

PRETTY HOSTAGE
Series:
Captive #3
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Julia Sykes
Release Date: November 12, 2019

A Standalone Dark Romance
“She’s yours now.”

With those three words, my boss gives me a gift: permission to kidnap and keep the woman I’ve wanted for years.

Ever since we were teenagers, I’ve denied my desire for Sofia. Despite her father’s involvement in running our cocaine empire, Caesar Hernández has carefully sheltered her from the brutal realities of our world. She’s always been far too innocent and pure for me to drag her out of her charmed life and into my depravities.

But Caesar chose to betray my ruthless boss, Adrián Rodríguez. He’ll have to prove his loyalty once again if he doesn’t want any harm to come to his beloved daughter. I have her now, and he’s well aware of my sadistic proclivities.

I tried to save her from this, but I can’t fight my savage nature when Sofia is in my home and under my command. She’ll learn to obey me unquestioningly if she wants to earn any of her freedoms back. Sofia’s going to be my good girl, fulfilling all the dark fantasies I’ve suppressed for years.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my pretty hostage. If anyone tries to steal her from me, I’ll start a war to protect my most precious possession.

Sofia is mine, and I’ll never let her go.

AMAZON

By the time I was finished with her, she would beg to be mine.

I’ve been eyeing this series for a while. I’ve loved some of the older Julia Sykes books I’ve read, so I let my one-clicker loose on this series and in my usual back-asswards ways, started with book 3 firs. I’m sure my ‘must read everything in order’ book friends are having heart palpitations right now. But you know what?
Sadly, this one didn’t quite hit the spot as nicely as I was hoping. The blurb did all sorts of things for me. But when I started reading? Mostly a whole lot of meh feelings were floating up all around.

This felt like the non-darkiest dark romance I’ve read. Yes, I know darkiest isn’t a word, but just go with me here. The set up is delicious. Mateo is a ruthless enforcer for his even more ruthless crime boss. He’s been silently lusting after his boss’s business associate’s (Caesar) innocent daughter for years. And when that business associate makes the grave error of crossing Adrián and sets the wheels in motion for his woman to be taken by a rival, it’s an eye for an eye. Mateo has orders to kidnap and hold Caesar’s daughter, Sofia.

Sofia is beyond innocent and naive. In full disclosure, this tends to be my kryptonite in books. I typically can’t with the sweet and innocent daughters of ruthless crime lords that are completely blind to their father’s doings. She also has no idea that her beloved father has secretly promised her hand to a cartel boss in order to firm an alliance. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, Mateo has no intention of letting this happen.

Honestly, the dynamic of their relationship played a big hand in my meh feelings towards this romance. Mateo is much older and treats Sofia more like a disobedient toddler at times than a woman he lusts after. Yes, I get that he wants to protect her, but it’s just weird. Or at least it was to me. Here you have this ruthless badass that surpasses his baser urges and treats a woman he wants with kid gloves. I suppose it could have been romantic, but it did nothing for me.

I would fuck Sofia soon, but not before breakfast on her first day as my hostage.

Dude.
Seriously?

I still binge read this in one sitting, so it wasn’t all bad. It just didn’t hit the spot for me as much as I’d hoped it would after reading that blurb. Luckily it did the trick in hooking me on the series (I already read and loved the second book and salivating for the 4th).

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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