Violent Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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— BLURB —

The deal was sealed the moment she stepped onto that stage.

It was like seeing a ghost. Sunshine blonde hair, pale skin, and azure eyes that held a thousand secrets.

I didn’t know what caused her to end up on that auction block.

And I didn’t care either.

All I knew was that I had to have her…no matter the cost.

One-million dollars later and she became just that.

Mine to break.

Mine to use.

Mine to keep.

But we all have secrets and when I discover hers no one will be able to save her from me.

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— MY REVIEW —

Oooh. Second book in The Moretti Crime Family is a hiiiiiit!! 👊 If you love your dark romance reads with a little juicy mafia captive/captor romance trope, then you gotta add this one to your TBR!

This book had intrigue and suspense dripping out of it right from the get-go when Markus sees, bids, and successfully wins Fallon at a flesh auction. 

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But is one million dollars worth reliving your pain-filled haunted past? Yes. Annnnnd no. 

Markus may be seeing a ghost right in front of him in the form of Fallon but what he didn’t factor into his plans is her stubborn attitude, deceitful stories and constant emotional roller coaster.

What are my thoughts on Fallon? Ehh… She’s not my favourite heroine. I can’t say I would know how I’d act or feel if I was ever put into the same position as her, but I do know that I wouldn’t risk pushing a person who can kill in .05 seconds flat past their limit time and time again. 🙄😒

I hoped to have liked Fallon a lot more. She has some great qualities to her character but her relentless mindset was hard to overlook, and I just wasn’t a fan of it. Even with Markus’ willingness to try where Fallon’s concerned, she constantly makes rash decisions against better judgment, consequences be damned! Ugh. Not cool, chicky. Not cool. 🙅‍♀️

Thank the book gods my love for Markus was more than enough to outweigh the issues I had with Fallon. It’s a big reason as to why I enjoyed reading it overall. Clearly, I’ve gone into the deep end when it comes to dark/ mafia romances because despite the fact that Markus is danger personified, who lacks any sort of emotion that would make him the warm, fuzzy type, I still found him to be credible, alluring and protective— for a ruthless, coldblooded killer… that is. 

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Thank goodness for his experience and expertise when it comes to this dark, cruel world or else who knows what would’ve become of Fallon.

I found this book slower paced in its storytelling and in my opinion could’ve been a few chapters shorter and still would’ve kept the twists and turns and intrigue. It didn’t necessarily drag but I felt like when it came to Fallon and Markus’ constant disagreements and miscommunication it did get a little repetitive. 

Although told from first person, dual POVs, Markus’ inner dialogue was an absolute highlight to see throughout the book. For someone whose norm is to be discreet, hard, and emotionless, seeing an internal battle over his feelings towards Fallon, having him slowly open up and be a little more heart-warming towards her… well… it’s a swoony sight to see. 

Didn’t hurt that despite the whole captive/ captor situation they’ve got going, there’s definite sparks between them. Whether they’re bantering, or in a full-blown comfort sesh, their chemistry is undeniable. *waggles eyebrows*

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There’s little expansion to the world-building from what was already existing from the first book, other than when Markus mentions his job in the mafia, how dangerous that world is and how it’s not to be messed with it’s not exactly in the forefront. It’s a character driven story, with the mafia world merely in the background to cast an overall gloomy atmosphere.

Despite Fallon lacking a little for me as a heroine, I did find the story itself filled with an edge of dread that keeps you hooked. They’re both keeping things to themselves, with Markus surprisingly being the more open one — which I think is why he had a gradual character development in comparison to Fallon. Markus (as they say) is like an onion… with the layers. You can’t help but be curious and to see him unravel. And if I’m going to be honest, I couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the things he did (and considered to do) to ensure things were kept in order. Lol. 🙈🤭

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A story with a few surprises here and there. I would’ve loved to have some more intensity and edge of your seat moments before everything was revealed but I could not dislike the ending either.

The majority of the story focuses solely on our protagonists. Any side characters that make appearances play minor roles or are cut short for certain reasons. Nevertheless, it was enough to provide some dimension and give us readers different dynamics depending on who they interacted with (besides one another).   

All in all, mafia romance lovers will enjoy this book. I sure did! 😊 It’s a great addition to the series and follow up to Savage Beginnings. I’m already anxious to read the next book! Eeep.

The Moretti Crime Family is a series of standalones, but the guys’ backstories are somewhat interconnected that I would recommend you to read Savage Beginnings first. Previous characters make appearances in this one and you’ll have a better understanding of where they stand with one another.

As far as dark romances go, Violent Beginnings is on the milder side, but I can assure you it’s still gritty. There’s serious subject matter included in this storyline that may trigger some readers such as graphic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking. So please keep that in mind, when considering this book.  

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to J.L. Beck, Cassandra Hallman, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

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SavageBeginnings_Cover

Read my review for Savage Beginnings!

📓 Savage Beginnings by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

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Read my review for Savage Christmas (The Moretti Crime Family — Christmas Novella)

📓 Goodreads Review 


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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