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When Heroes Fall: An Enemies-to-Lovers Mafia Romance (Anti-Heroes in Love Duet Book 1) Kindle Edition
I am the villain of my own story...
Jilted by my fiancé.
A disappointment to my family.
Haunted by my childhood traumas.
I felt so much all my life that I resolved to feeling nothing at all.
Until I met my match.
As the most infamous mafioso of the 21st century, Dante Salvatore was madly passionate, unequivocally bad, and entirely too dangerous to know. He was everything I abhorred, yet I found myself representing him in the biggest criminal trial of the decade.
I was so focused on winning and achieving the success I deserved that I didn't notice the gorgeous black-eyed man's effect on me until it was too late. My icy heart had been held too close to his flame and now I wouldn't let Dante go down without fighting with everything I had in me. Even if the cost of a new life with him meant the loss of my old life and everything I thought I held dear.
*Book One in the Anti-Heroes in Love Duet.*
- ASIN : B09634166G
- Publisher : Giana Darling Publishing (27 May 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 1688 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 508 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : B09FC8W11Q
- Best Sellers Rank: 8,023 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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This book series is set as a stand alone but it seems to be connected to other series of Gianas which honestly I have no desire to read after this.
Elena is the main character and apparently if the "villian" in on of Gianas series because shes angry THAT HER SISTER AND FIANCE cheating together.
Honestly so many parts of this book made me so angry that Elenas family wrote off the cheating and excused it because "they are more in love then you were with him"
It honestly disgusted me. And seeing some reviews that people didn't like Elena because of how she reacted makes me more upset honestly.
Elena has been through alot including an abusive relationship and having to raise her siblings - having her sister steal her fiance is not something I have any interest in reading.
This book was alright but honestly quite annoying as times. I did finish the series and the second book was alot better in my opinion.
Overall rating for this series is 4 stars, although the plot was not original it still was an interesting and good series to read
Having to read the other series:
This is about Elena (h) but there are two other series about her sisters. The Evolution of Sin trilogy, where I gather Elena features heavily considering her sister, Giselle, the 'heroine' of that one cheats with Elena's fiancé - NO THANKS. And, The Enslaved duet, featuring her other sister, Cosima, which has a captor/captive dynamic - and from what I've read that isn't going to be my cup of tea either.
So, without that background, and many references to the past in this one, it felt like I was missing alot.
I have only noticed it in more recent books (and given I have only read the Fallen Men series) but the writing is a little too poetic/purple prose for my tastes.
"Seducing Elena was mesmeric. I got tangled up in the same mechanisms I used to soothe her, transfixed by her subtle, storied response to even the slightest touch, the most innocent of phrases."
"Dawn was just flirting with the ink-stained night, the anemic light half-hidden by the dense cluster of buildings blocking the horizon and the artificial lights cutting shapes into the interior of the Town car as we passed through the almost empty streets of Midtown."
The Research + Repetitiveness:
Similar to Dead Man Walking, this felt very repetitive. Elena tells us the same things over and over again.
Also, the author has done her research here, which is great. There's even a note at the start where she mentions how much she has done in the hopes of making it as authentic as possible. BUT... I was so bored. I really don't care for all the tiny details and found myself skimming over the legal side of things, and even the mafia side of things. It screamed "look at me, I did research, see? Look at all the research I did" and came off a little pretentious.
For the most part I liked him, and to be fair the chemistry was there at least. However some of the comparisons he used...
"I knew with the right training and a patient master, she would be glorious."
"But I am the general, Elena, and the sooner you get used to taking orders from me, the better."
"Ah, but I am not just a man," I promised her, gentling her the way I would a nervous mare, my thumb stroking down her throat.
"If you do not obey, I will teach you."
So I've heard alot about how 'people don't like Elena' and 'she's a villain' - I'm guessing in that lovely Evolution of Sin trilogy. Umm, excuse me for thinking this but... if my SISTER cheated with my FIANCE, I'm gonna be pissed. And from everything I read here, Elena did the RIGHT THING. So is she really getting hate for her reaction? Because if so... I can not relate. Her reactions, thoughts and emotions seemed pretty on point to me.
Now that I have read more by GD, I don't think her hero/heroine couples are for me. Even in the Fallen Men series, which I really enjoyed, Zeus and Lou are the only couple that really stuck with me. So yeah, I won't be finishing this duet, and will probably only be picking up more of the Fallen Men from here on out. But, if you like the other series by GD, then I have no doubt this will be a hit.
I struggled to get into the book: normally I can pick up one of Giana’s books and dive straight in without hesitation but the start of this one had me stumbling. Maybe it’s because it had been a while since I was in this world but I felt it was more that I couldn’t connect with Elena. She came across previously as someone with meticulous scruples, that she would split up her family because she was wronged by her sister. But in this book, she is ready to put all her scruples aside for the other sister? I didn’t understand how she flipped so fast in the beginning, even if she was putting on a front, and then battled that decision until about two-thirds through. But also, I hated how everyone treated her as naive. She may have been naive to what was happening but it felt over the top to belittle her, even in small ways, instead of just laying it all out in front of her.
The action started to ramp up ~40% and that’s when I was fully invested. Elena’s character was evolving, Dante was ever the charmer, past histories are revealed, other characters we’ve missed come for a visit. From there until the end of the book seemed to go too quick. Not to mention the smaller storylines that were coming out begging to be answered, only to be left until book 2.
I am glad that Giana made Dante vastly different to his brother. He could not have approached her as Alexander did Cosima. Dante needed to get under her skin and show her love and kindness for it to be returned. That man could read her like a book and loved watching all of her walls crumple.
This is a HFN ending, for which I’m grateful. I look forward to seeing Elena rising into her Queen status.
Top reviews from other countries
Elena is a lawyer and after a tough up bring she has made a life for herself. She has put a wall around her heart and is not letting anyone in. Her team take on Dante's case and the mafia boss at first she is not happy about the rules he puts in place and how everything is changing. Dante knows from the moment he met her that she was different and really worth his time. After he gets put on house arrest everything changes for Elena but no matter how much she tries to push him away and not get distracted they have a really strong magnetic pull and there chemistry together is sizzling.
This book was a fantastic read and I was on the edge of my seat a few times. I love how this author has written these characters and the slow burn build up to Dante breaking into Lena's heart and I loved that even though he was a bad a** that he still had a soft tender side to him especially for the people he loved. This story flows throughout and once I started reading I couldn't stop. This book ends on a cliffhanger and I cant wait to read part 2 and see if she gets her man. This mafia book is well worth a read and I highly recommend reading it now.
Genre: Mafia / Forced Proximity / Enemies to Lovers
“Heroism was about your willingness to right wrongs, to sacrifice your own comfort and safety to affect change when you crossed something that needed changing. It was assuming responsibility for people who didn’t have the power to stand up for themselves. It was about being brave enough to live life by your own rules and accepting who you were, flaws and all.”
Giana Darling has a way with words that is quite unlike any other author, she has the power to create worlds that draw you in, that consume you and make you feel every emotion, so any new book from her is a treat and When Heroes Fall did not disappoint.
Elena has had a tough upbringing, always living in the shadows of her siblings and this has led her to guard herself against anyone and everyone, giving her persona of ‘Ice Queen’, but whilst she is strong, she is also desperately lonely, misunderstood and broken. Then we have Dante, The Devil of NYC, he is the Capo of the New York Mafia, he’s strong, capable, ruthless, smart but also very perceptive and extremely protective of Elena from the start.
Dante Is currently facing charges for murder, and is now under house arrest, but having Elena as part of his legal team is making his life a lot more interesting, she intrigues him, so he uses his power and makes her move in with him as a part of handling the case. Whilst Dante is everything Elena despises, living under the same roof with him makes it harder for her to keep her walls up, and Dante is determined to break them down and get closer to her everyday.
Both characters had incredible depth but it was Elena’s character progression that captivated me and was simply beautiful to read, she enters the book with heavy emotional baggage and has to overcome not only health issues, but also psychological issues to help her understand who she truly is and what she wants.
Whilst When Heroes Fall is the first part of the duet, it doesn’t end of a ‘gasp’ cliffhanger, it ends perfectly, in a way that not only makes the reader want to move onto the next book, but also ensures it makes the duet an effortless transition.
I would like to applaud Giana on not only an incredible plot and beautifully written characters, but on the sheer dedication that she was clearly put into this book. The details of the US legal system, the hierarchy of law firms, details of the city of New York, the depth of background you’re given regarding the Mafia, the cultural depth of the characters, the 'Italian-ness', the language. The book was full on knowledge that gave When Heroes Fall a richness that made the book captivating on so many more levels.
Congratulations Giana, 5 ⭐️
Seriously, the ice-cold unfeeling and unflinching lawyer and the dangerous bigger-than-life tall dark and handsome Mafia boss couldn't be more different and yet they couldn't be more perfect for each other!!!
Elena is part of Dante's legal team and although she has a hatred for the Mafia, her sister asked her to fight for Dante which meant she would do everything in her power to help him.
Fireworks are rife when these two are together, there's animosity from her yet she feels a pull towards him and after being so alone and cold for so long, not only is she afraid but she can't deny the pull she feels...
As for Dante, he knows what he wants and he's going after it!
He may be the bossman but he is one of the most loyal and best men you'll ever meet - damn I love that man!!
I would recommend reading Enthralled and Enamoured before this duet, Cosima and Alexander's story, it gives you such a greater insight and definitely makes it a better read!!
An excellent read and I can't wait to read the next installment!!!
Dante.. oh just another mafia alpha male to add to my book boyfriend list. Strong Capo who has done a lot of bad things but will always protect the ones he loves
Elena.. i love her shes dealt with so much but yet shes still standing! Shes so strong beneath the cold exterior there is a warm heart.