With This Ring by Natasha Knight

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

When I rescued Scarlett De La Cruz from her tower it’s not like her prospects were looking so great. You’d think she’d show a little gratitude. Thank me for putting my ring on her finger and marking her as mafia property.

My property.

I’ll keep her safe. And the trade-off isn’t so bad. Most women would jump at the chance to sleep in my bed.

Not Scarlett, though.

My Cartel Princess has a big mouth and an even bigger attitude. But it’s her furious caramel eyes that keep me coming back for more. That and the way her body bends to mine like it already knows it belongs to me.

Scarlett is my enemy. She’s also the one woman I can’t keep my hands off.

But if I don’t keep my head on straight, everything I’ve worked for all these years will have been for nothing.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!

If you’re ever in the mood for a reaaaaally honest to goodness mafia captor/ captive romance, I can without a doubt tell you to check out any one of Natasha Knight’s books! And after having finished reading With This Ring…? I can easily say it’s become one of my faves! 😍😍😍

The minute I started this book, I didn’t put it down. I read the entire thing in one sitting and I have no regrets! Yeah… I probably should’ve taken my time considering this is only part one of the duet but whatevs! 🤷‍♀️ I’ll read again it when it gets closer to the release date of book two; I Take Thee!

I’m no stranger to Knight’s books, having read quite a few in the last year. She has written quite a handful of captor/ captive mafia romances, and she has perfected the balance of a light and dark atmosphere, the romance, and the suspense. I was completely invested and hooked on Cristiano Grigori and Scarlett De La Cruz’s story. I love the mixture of the mafia and the cartel in this one, with an enemies-to-lovers romance between our anti-hero and heroine.

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What starts out as a war between territorial, power-hungry families, turns into a struggle for vengeance. But what’s left of both sides are forced together as bigger unsuspecting threats are on the rise and has taken aim at both the Grigori and the De La Cruz families.

I’m a big fan of Knight’s writing style and she has a way of easily getting you to fall in love with her characters. Cristiano is a scarred hero who is secretly struggling with life, and hates showing any vulnerability. But it’s his sensitive side that makes him all the more human and authentic. He’s not necessarily the most damaged hero I’ve read of Knight’s but he still manages to have an air of intimidation, darkness, and strength to him. And when you discover his story, you can’t help but feel a little protective of the guy (despite the fact that he can kill in a blink of an eye).

Scarlett is broken in her own way and just as tortured as Cristiano. What I like about her is despite what she’s going through, she still has the character in her to be selfless. Her emotions and actions are understandable, and you can’t help but root for her to succeed.

Cristiano and Scarlett are driven, strong-willed characters. Their story is very much family bound. They may be rivals, but they have more in common when it comes to family than they are willing to admit.

There’s a lot of push and pull between these two. It’s hard to pick a side because honestly, you want things to go both Cristiano and Scarlett’s way. The character growth is slow yet gradual, and as their journey progresses they start opening up. Putting aside the sparks between them, it’s the quiet moments where they’re simply learning more about each other that are some of my favourite parts to read through.

As a mafia romance lover, this book ticks every box in my checklist of what I consider an amazing mafia romance book.

  • Storyline with a solid, well-developed plot
  • Vivid, expanding world-building
  • Complex, intriguing characters you can connect with
  • Chemistry between its protagonists
  • Suspense and unpredictability
  • Secondary characters that add another layer
  • Swoon-worthy romance!

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What keeps you engaged in this story is the constant unease of what could happen next between Cristiano and Scarlett. They’re from enemy families — one seeking retribution, whilst the other is just wanting to survive, yet both unaware that they share the want and need for freedom from responsibilities that’s been demanded of them. The build-up is 🔥 in this one, people!

Call me cruel, but seeing them struggle with their feelings, and be in constant denial was entertaining as hell to see! 😈😄 I wanna say theirs is a slow burn romance but to be honest I think it’s because I simply wanted more! Knight is skilled at teasing her readers with just enough raunchiness to the point where the anticipation for a full-blown scene will emotionally kill you. Lol. Sigh.

A well-paced storytelling, told from both Cristiano and Scarlett’s points of view. You’ll see backstories to these two families. It’s very modern Romeo & Juliet set in the underworld. There’s a few vital secondary characters who are just as evasive as our lead characters that you’ll wanna keep an eye on. There’s also a few sub-plots that interconnect with the main that’ll have you itching to uncover. As I mention earlier, it’s suspenseful. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and will have you grumbling when you discover how it concludes. Ugh. 🙈🙉🙊

If you love a forbidden-esque enemies-to-lovers trope with tons of heated banter between your protagonists, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this read. It does have some sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers but not overly graphic or detailed. I would still advise that with the dark themes included, readers 18+ only!

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Overall, another much loved book from Knight that I am happily recommending to my friends and fellow romance readers. It’s such an intense, emotional story of two broken souls who are left to pick up the pieces and fight on! This is the first book in the To Have and To Hold Duet, and I love it so much that I consider the brutal cliffhanger well-worth the pain!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Natasha Knight and Give Me Books Promotions for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!


•••

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

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