44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Finished this book a few hours ago (3:00am ish) It's 8:30am now. I literally opened my eyes, rolled over and popped open my laptop to write this review. I have to get these thoughts down. It may seem rambly. I apologize in advance.
Things I liked:
1) Giovanni Battaglia is still the baddest mafia boss ever written. I DO NOT say this lightly. I set a high bar for my mafia men and, until now, one has stood head and shoulders above the others in my heart. He is still there but while, in most things, he and Gio run neck and neck, Gio has slightly eclipsed him in how utterly cold and calculating he is AT ALL TIMES. Many mafia books fall short of what I envision a true Mafia Don to be. Gio leaned over, looked me in the eye and said, "I'll see you...and I'll raise you."
He is the truth; the penultimate alpha male. What he wants, happens. What he says, goes. The women in his life, heck EVERYONE in his life, gives advice...until he needs them to be silent. And then they are. He has final say. He and his women are not equal. His wife and sister are given the respect due to them as Cappo Donna and the sister of the Cappo di Tutti, but they do not run his business. Most importantly, they do not run HIM. This, more than anything, I think Sienna did PERFECTLY. Gio is Italian, a Boss and he continually has to prove himself and re-assert his position. She nailed the character perfectly and realistically. I CANNOT STAND (there is no font big enough to express this) a p*ussy whipped Mafia Boss. I'm looking at you, A. Gio and Lorenzo never coddle their women by making them think that they are anything other than what they are...the woman behind the man. It may ruffle our feathers to hear it, but their world is not our world. The RL strong, independent woman in me balks at the things the Battaglia men say. In real life, I would be right there with Bella and Marietta trying to check them. But the 'book world' Donna in me stands back, shuts up and says, 'Yes, Gio'. HE is the Boss. You are his woman. Be quiet when he needs silence, support him when he needs it and ride him like you stole him. For the most part, Mira gets/got it. I have no patience for female characters who marry into traditional Mafia families and try to dominate s***. It is NOT realistic!! You married a MAFIA DON. He kills people for fun! Was your Donna manual lost in the mail??
2) I really like how gritty this series is. Other interracial Mafia books are a bit fantastical about how easy it would be for a Mob Boss to bring a black woman into the folds, not as a side piece, but as a wife. This series doesn't do that. The racism is front and center. The name calling is there. The looks, the whispers..it's all there and it's REAL. I really appreciate that. It's harder to write books like this and I appreciate the author's attention to detail.
3) Editing was really well done. There were no real errors that I could see and as usual, the writing is stellar.
Things I could have done without:
1) I read Mafia books for the men. I tolerate the women for their role in things, many times just barely, so any book that mostly focuses on the women is going to lose me. I spent 60% of this book not caring, and waiting for bodies to start dropping. What I liked about the previous books is that there was more of a balance between the mafia violence and the family stuff. This book feels more like a gateway book. And you have to have those. But this book, for me, was all about enduring the wedding prep (didn't care..just put a damn dress on and let's get this over with); enduring the honeymoon (didn't care AND Mira brought work with her? Really?? Do you even know who you're married to??); Marietta and her damn mama (don't care..they don't want you; go away), Mira trying my patience with getting her business back. I'm conflicted on this one. AGAIN, I see the logic of it in real life, and I would probably want the same thing, but I don't have the patience for it in books. You are Donna di Cappo di Tutti!! And a mother..about to be two times over. Listen to Zia!! She is a wealth of knowledge. I guess Mira will have to find out for herself the way things work. Catalina makes me want to strangle her with a zip-cord. I can see her devotion to Dominic, but she is spoiled and annoying and gets on my nerves. Marietta. Sigh. One 'strong, independent woman' is awesome. Two makes me want to dig my eyes out with a dull spoon. Marietta, please read the manual and let's get this show on the road. I would love your sassiness if I knew you in person. In books, I don't have the patience. Fix your attitude and support your man because, sweetums, he is soooo going to need it.
2) The Gio that I mentioned in Part 1 of 'what I liked' is the Gio of Books 1 and 2 and some parts of Book 3 and honestly I did, at times, take issue with Gio because I felt that he didn't soften enough behind closed doors. He was still too much of a Mafia Boss with Mira. Now, I'm feeling he's starting to slide into that very, very dangerous 'p*ssy whipped' area. I know. I know. There is just no pleasing some people LOL. Let me explain. I love that, as a Mafia Boss, he absolutely loves his wife and family but there was too much focus on that in this book. I sorely missed the violence. By 60% I'd had enough of the cooing, coddling and sex(though the new stuff IS hot!) And I'm damn near ready to choke Eve with that damn pacifier (that's horrible to say isn't it? Ok, ok, we'll just throw it away and watch her have a nuclear meltdown. That would be entertaining). But seriously, it would kill me to see Gio turn into one of those mafia bosses who can barely crawl out from between his wife's legs long enough to order a hit. I just...ugh...I like that he's growing, but let's not have him go from one extreme to the other. When Gio ripped that work Mira brought on the honeymoon in half, I cheered...not so much when he apologized. SHE agreed to the terms of getting her company back. Family first. The other women warned her about taking the work with her! So yes, while as his wife she can change his mind on certain things, him backing down on this didn't feel right to me. It made sense for Mira to challenge him; she's still learning what being married to a mafia boss means. It didn't make sense for him to relent. He is the Don and left his work at home; that should have clued her in. Having pains and not mentioning it, ending up in the situation she was in and Gio absolving her of responsibility..nope, nah uh. Of course I didn't want him to say, 'You effed up' while she was in such a delicate state but he should have, at some point reiterated his stance. It's Gio's job to take care of her. It's her job to take care of her babies. Yes, she had the cramps with Eve. She also had a very complicated pregnancy and almost lost her. Get your priorities in order. I absolutely want Gio to be a loving, understanding husband and father, but let's not turn him into a punk.
Why I'll keep reading:
Lorenzo Battaglia lol. That's it in a nutshell. I CANNOT WAIT to see what happens when all is revealed. 'Lo is like a comedy of errors, but I can't hate him. Yes, he screwed up with Carmine; he is desperate. And he will have to answer to Carlo and Gio..and I.can't.wait!
I guess I'll see what happens with the parenting/birthright stuff and what that means for Gio and Mira. Eh.
The girls and their dad should meet...and the deceit that kept them from him should absolutely be revealed. Yay! Keep those Battaglia men on their toes. Let's see them try to dance around that one. Don't die yet, old man.
All in all, I absolutely love this series. I just liked the other books better than this one. It happens. Looking forward to Book 4.
PS. After reading some of the reviews here re what Gio did in keeping things from Mira, did you think he would do anything else? Gio is all about controlling the outcome of situations. Given how vulnerable he is and how much he wants his family to work, he is not about to give Mira any leverage to leave him or have anything disrupt his perfect family. Is it right? No. Is it selfish? Absolutely. But had he done anything else, he would be out of character, IMO.