Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli

booksofthemuggleborn_kingdomfall
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

 

•••

• BLURB •

I was a nanny in need of a job.
He was darkness personified.
I had little to call my own.
He was filthy rich, powerful, and dangerous.
The assignment was simple, and my goal was too.
Take care of his son. Keep my head down. When he least expects it, destroy him.
It should have been easy. I thought it would be until I looked into his stark blue eyes.
Kissing the enemy is a bad idea, but so is falling in love with him.
He doesn’t know my crumbling foundation is built on lies.
When he discovers the truth, I’ll find out if he’s as brutal as I believe.
I came here to steal his life.
I didn’t count on him stealing my heart.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

Oh my… I was taken for one, all-out journey of epic proportions with Kingdom Fall! All I could think of whilst reading this book was that it was visually appealing and truly felt like a literary cinematic experience! 😮😍

It had all the makings of what I adore (and hope for) in my dark romance reads. I love the immediate mystery surrounding Natalia and her motives for wanting the nanny position with Alessio. Right from their very first interaction, I was instantly sitting up and drawn to Natalia and wanting to know her personal story. You will discover that she’s quite a unique character— I, for one have never encountered a heroine with her background.

Alessio was a surprising anti-hero. His dangerous, broody, tortured self had a different vibe from your usual dark alpha-type heroes. His savageness is rarely on display so you tend to fall for his unfeeling, almost calm demeanor. But when he slips up, oh man, is it explosive! 🔥

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This can easily be read in one sitting, but in no way does the storytelling feel hurried, on the contrary, the pacing is steady and brought on a gradual, intense build-up. You might even say there are nail-biting moments throughout and constant unpredictability. It’s one of the main reasons as to why I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it.

The constant push and pull between Natalia and Alessio that honestly gave me mental and emotional whiplash was another reason. 😅 The hot and heavy exchange between these protagonists in a story that is heavily surrounded in secrecy almost seemed like constant teasing and a game of second-guessing, not just for the characters, but for us readers as well. With the never-ending angst, not only will you quickly get in invested in seeing Natalia’s and Alessio’s relationship develop from professional to personal, but you’ll feel emotionally wrecked before the book even concludes.

I haven’t read a lot of romance stories with a single dad/ nanny romance trope, especially in a dark romance setting, so I found this one to be a nice change of pace from the dark, mafia type romance books I usually read. Whilst there are strong dark themes included, a lot of the story does centre around Alessio’s personal life outside of the violence. The dynamics amongst his close friends and family were such contrasts to see throughout and, in a way, kept the atmosphere from constantly turning overly gritty for too long.

In saying that, please note there are subject matters that some readers may find triggering. It contains graphic violence, torture, kidnapping, and brutal sexual assault. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Intended for readers 18+ only.   

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Ashleigh has written a suspenseful and though-provoking storyline that is so intricate and complex that I was almost taken aback by how meaty it was for a relatively quick standalone novel. I thought it was effortless writing to follow despite the multiple storylines happening simultaneously. It’s told from dual POVs, so you really get an insight into both Natalia’s and Alessio’s true feelings and opinions of each other and of certain situations.

There are a diverse range of secondary characters that equally grab your attention, and will undoubtedly have you eager to know their full story. Whether these characters are friend or foe, I thought they were all well-developed and written in so well to heighten the intensity of the story as it unfolds.

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Cruel intentions, raunchy romance, endearing friendships, and at times heartbreaking realization. I loved it all. I loved seeing Natalia’s and Alessio’s character growth and in turn, seeing their relationship develop no matter how rocky their journey was. The family dynamics within were undoubtedly screwy and twisted, yet a focal point in making this one exciting and all-encompassing thrill ride.

If you like dark romance/ romantic suspense reads, I highly recommend this one! Although it’s a standalone book, it does mention a certain exclusive community that was first introduced in Zavarelli’s The Society Trilogy. If you want to more about this world and the history behind the families within (which Alessio is a part of), I recommend reading the trilogy too. It doesn’t have to be read prior to Kingdom of Fall.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Ashleigh Zavarelli for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛

🔔 Interested in reading Kingdom Fall? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 More from the Underworld Kings!

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner

Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe


•••

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

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Underworld Kings Teaser

Happy surprise fellow dark romance readers! 

Author collaboration series coming soon!

UnderworldKings_SeriesCovers
📷 Courtesy of Give Me Books PR

•••

— ABOUT THE SERIES —

Step into the dark and gritty universe of the Underworld Kings.

A multi-author series of standalone books filled with mafia families waging war, danger and violence, arranged and forced marriages, angst, love, and everything in-between.

Light or dark, twisted or sweet, the Underworld Kings has something for every reader.

Participating Authors:

Cora Reilly | Aleatha Romig | Maria Luis | Willow Winters | Jane Henry & Sophie Lark | Nikki Sloane | Michelle Heard | Ker Dukey | Mary Elizabeth | Carrie Ann Ryan | KD Robichaux & CC Monroe | Trisha Wolfe | Jordan Marie | Mila Crawford | Jenika Snow | Carmel Rhodes | Clarissa Wild | Bella Di Corte | Isabella Starling & Bella J. | A. Zavarelli | Dani Rene | LP Lovell | Alexandria Bishop | Stevie J. Cole | Anne Malcom | Ellie Isaacson | Catherine Wiltcher & Cora Kenborn

•••

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

💀 Keep up to date with the Underworld Kings!

📚 Add to your TBR: Goodreads
🔔 Pre-order your copy! Amazon
Check out more information on the books and authors coming this fall!
Website ➡ https://under-world-kings.com
Keep up-to-date with all things Underworld Kings in the Reader Group!
Facebook Reader Group ➡ https://bit.ly/3ArB5vx

•••

— BOOK RELEASE DATES —

SaveTheDate

— OCTOBER —

October 4th: Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lyDCPV

October 5th: Cold Hearted Bastard by Jenika Snow
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T9pf8y
Other Vendors: https://geni.us/9BCQ

October 6th: Tears of Salvation by Michelle Heard
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WFxU4c
Amazon Universal: https://bit.ly/3rW0AS2

October 8th: Kings of Blood & Money by Ker Dukey
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eojFXq

October 12th: Kiss of Death by Mary Elizabeth

October 14th: Inked Kingdom by Carrie Ann Ryan
Amazon: https://amzn.to/36G49Sv
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/36I08gk

October 15th: The Bratva’s Heir by Jane Henry & Sophie Lark
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ricmpG

October 21st: Bad Medicine by KD Robichaux & CC Monroe
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wSNgyM
Amazon Universal: https://bit.ly/37lNCU5

October 27th: Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xPLJuG

October 28th: When Doves Cry by Carmel Rhodes

— NOVEMBER —

November 1st: The Wedding Debt by Clarissa Wild
TBR: https://bit.ly/3f21kzX

November 2nd: Disavow by Bella Di Corte
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BgownA
Other Vendors: https://geni.us/jvp0WfL

November 3rd: Vengeful King by Isabella Starling & Bella J.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UklKwL

November 9th: Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli

November 10th: Ruthless Arrangement by Jordan Marie

November 11th: Twisted Obsession by Dani Rene
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UT3lXE

November 12th: Blood Vow by LP Lovell

November 16th:  Kingdom Come by Aleatha Romig
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xNMjsz
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/3BbOBE7

November 17th: Twisted Bargain by Alexandria Bishop
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zhyHX5
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/2Vufkvv

November 18th: Dark Kingdom by Stevie J. Cole

November 19th: Made in Ruin by Maria Luis 
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BjFSzL
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/3ixOF8L

November 23rd: Sexy as Sin by Willow Winters
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zqoY0F
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/3eOp76h

November 24th: Dangerous Innocence by Cora Reilly

November 25th: A Thousand Cuts by Anne Malcom
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V9ayTZ

November 29th: The Fixer by Ellie Isaacson
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xRVdWd
Other Vendors: https://bit.ly/3rTBqDF

November 30th: City of Thieves by Catherine Wiltcher & Cora Kenborn
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wVuDdo

*TBA: Forbid by Nikki Sloane


Resurrection Of The Heart by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Santiago finally has what he wants. His baby is growing inside me.

I’ve rewritten her destiny, binding her to me for good.

Things are changing for us. I see beyond the monster he shows the world. See the scars he hides beneath the ink.

Love is a weakness men like me can’t afford. I’ve decided to keep her, but I’ll never forfeit my revenge.

His final betrayal proves his vengeance means more to him than our love.

I will have my pound of flesh, no matter the cost.

I made a mistake trusting him. I forgot how much he likes my tears.

When I am through, I’ll have what I thought I always needed.

I’ll run from him. I’ll have to.

I’ll bring her back when she runs. I’ll always bring her back. She belongs with me.

But it’s too late when I realize he’s not the only monster in my world. And that mistake will cost us both dearly.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

What a finish to The Society Trilogy! *phew!* It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride full of drama, suspense, and a spectrum of emotions reading these books. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down until I finished. It’s a book I easily read in one sitting. I was enthralled. There were so many things still left unanswered in the storyline that I was eager to see how it’ll go down. Not only did I get to see it unfold, new and unsuspecting situations occurred on top of it all that had me completely blindsided. Gosh, this book definitely went out with a bang!

Resurrection of the Heart delves right back into where Reparation of Sin concluded. As I’ve mentioned in my reviews for the first two books, this is a continuous story. You will have to have read the first two books in this trilogy before reading this one. And you do NOT want to miss out this one. Trust me!

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Oh my. To think the first two books were action-packed enough, this one is equally as much. Ugh, and angsty! So frickin’ angsty! Without giving spoilers away, here’s what you can expect from this book:

  • Family drama (annnnnnd a whole lot of it!)
  • Plot twists 🤐
  • Steamy adult content *waggles eyebrows*
  • Swoon-worthy Santiago moments 🤗🥰
  • Vengeance fulfilled *dum dum duuuum*

Told from first person, multiple points of view (but mostly from both our protagonists), you will undoubtedly see how far both Ivy and Santiago have come since their first interactions. Now that I’ve read this third and final book in the trilogy, I can look back at the growth of their complicated relationship. It’s complex that constantly grows hot and cold but throughout it all you see the dynamics between them changing.

Santiago is your typical morally grey character who instantly had appeal from being a hard, mysterious, broody alpha. But the minute he meets the one woman that changes things in his life, he becomes this overprotective bear willing to change for her because she’s his exception.

Ivy on the other hand I found very naïve at times, dare I say, maybe dense but her loyalty to loved ones never wavered. In comparison to Santiago her youth definitely shows and I’m not going to lie, you may feel frustrated with her on more than one occasion. 😅

Call this a pleasure read, if you will, but it’s nowhere near fluff. I can’t tell you how many times I got teary-eyed reading some of the scenes that played out. It may be a work of fiction but it was weighty, had a lot of oomph, and I was utterly invested in seeing their story through.

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I adored reading every bit of Resurrection of the Heart. The entire trilogy is a must read in my opinion. Knight and Zavarelli know how to write those deviously bad (in a good way) dark romances that pushes the boundaries but doesn’t go completely overboard shocking that’ll have you closing the books midway and never turning back. The gripping pace was kept up from book one all the way to book three. Ivy and Santiago may have had a twisted relationship with problem after problem popping up, but their sizzling chemistry was constant. Seeing their relationship gradually develop throughout each book and eventually seeing how it culminated by this third one was cherry! Ivy was more open to her feelings for Santiago (despite how they first started), but I felt like we were scrounging for scraps when it came to Santiago’s feelings for Ivy in the first two books. He was in pure denial. But in this one, it was like a dam breaking, and it was… ugh *chef’s kiss* ❤

Be prepared for some sweet, “aww” moments… in between all the hectic craziness.

Just like in the first two parts of this storyline, I found this one just as well-balanced. In my opinion the plot didn’t stray away from its original premise. Sure there were things happening in the background with the secondary characters but it still came back around to the overall main storyline with Santiago and Ivy. It’s one of the reasons why I was thoroughly absorbed because it had layers. Not only are you reading about the protagonists, you’re also getting to see snippets of the secondary characters’ lives as well. You’ll never be bored with this one.

One thing I do have to point out though (and this is just my opinion) — From the very beginning, the story revolved around needing revenge, an eye for an eye sort of deal, and it sort of set the atmosphere that loomed over Ivy and Santiago. And whilst it was one of the reasons as to why I thought this story was gripping and suspenseful, I did find once it was all unveiled in this book, it ended up feeling a little bit anti-climactic (and again, this is just from my POV). I don’t know if it’s because I already had my suspicions who the ultimate antagonist would be, or if the punishment didn’t necessarily live up to what I was expecting (maybe I’ve read one too many dark romances and have an evil streak), either way I was a little bummed to see the one part I was expecting some bloodshed actually lacked in it.

But overall, it was truly an enjoyable enemies to lovers/ hate to love dark romance. It’s one of those dark romances that leaves you happy sighing with contentment. It’s what you would expect a dark romance story would be — a strong plotline, atmosphere that sets the entire mood, character growth, and an overall world-building that sucks you in with its detail and dimension. It’s a story that has elements you can connect with.

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Resurrection of the Heart not only concluded Ivy and Santiago’s story in a strong and satisfying way, but it also leaves you with lingering afterthoughts of the entire IVI world they are living in.

If you’ve read the first two books, or even Natasha Knight’s To Have and To Hold duet, then the allusive IVI would’ve made you a little curious. This secret society is a fantasy world in itself that seems to have endless power and possibilities. Ivy and Santiago’s story may have already been told, but there is no doubt that this isn’t the last we’ll see of The Society. And I for one, am totally down for it! 🙌

I have always found both Knight’s and Zavarelli’s writing styles to be such effortless reads with their suspenseful build-ups and intriguing characters, so reading a collaborated story was a no brainer! Highly recommended!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you Natasha, Ashleigh, and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading The Society Trilogy? Grab your copy here:

•••


💀🌹 Read my reviews for The Society Trilogy!

Book One: Requiem Of The Soul by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Book Two: Reparation Of Sin by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli


•••

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

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Reparation Of Sin by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

My husband hates me. But he’s also the only man who can save me.

Taken by a stranger, Santiago is my only hope. Except that I don’t know if he’s dead or alive. And for as cruel as he can be, the thought he might be gone is unbearable.

But he has nine lives, my monster.

He’s not finished with me yet. And soon I’m back at The Manor. Locked in my room. At his mercy.

I know I am despised.

I know I have become the face of his vengeance.

But there’s something else too. Something between us. It’s a dark and gnarled thing. And it has its claws around my heart.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

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Oooh things have just gotten more complicated! I didn’t think situations could get any more fucked up between Ivy and Santiago…. but man, was I wrong!

Things to consider before starting this book:

  1. This is a continuous story. You will have to read Requiem of the Soul first.
  2. This is book two in this trilogy, so yes, like the previous one, this too will end in a cliffhanger.
  3. There are sensitive subject matters that may be triggering for some readers such as, violence, non-consensual sex, domestic abuse, and attempted suicide.
  4. This is dark romance with adult themes — readers 18+ only!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s continue, shall we?

There’s a lot of complex and damaging situations going on in Reparation of Sin. Just when you think one fire is being put out, there’s another being fanned by a mystery antagonist(s) — whom at this point could be ANYBODY! 🤔

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Vengeance, hate, and jealousy is what’s driving these characters to take action. Whilst some parts of the storyline I found fairly predictable, one thing I am absolutely clueless on is who the true villain is. This is a dark, gritty romance that is full of suspicion, ulterior motives, and all around shady characters. It’s already 2/3 of the way through the story and I’m still hesitant of Ivy and Santiago. Eeep.

I’m going to be brutally honest… there are a ton of “facepalm” moments throughout. There are a couple of characters who stuck out like sore thumbs in this book that had me wanting to rip my hair out of frustration. But you know what? I commend the authors and their book for evoking deep emotion out of me. Just as Requiem of the Soul, this one held my attention and I was wholly invested in seeing the next obstacle in Ivy’s and Santiago’s twisted marriage. It picks up right after the conclusion of the first book, and ultimately starts the next plot in the story. The devious characters are in full force, and what’s worst is that it seems no one can be trusted in this world. Lots of little things are happening and they’re all interconnected and relating to Ivy and Santiago.

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And throughout it all, you’re witnessing the push and pull in their relationship. The twisted back and forth hate to love to hate mentality with these two has amped up because it’s more than vengeance at stake now. You’ll see Santiago struggle not only with his undeniable feelings for Ivy but with new developments brought on by his family and The Society. His inner monologue ended up being one of my favourite things to see.

Ivy on the other hand is more willing to open herself up to her growing feelings for Santiago but it seems every time she takes a leap, she falls flat on her ass, which I think is a big reason as to why at times she came off pitiful. Not going to lie, I felt disappointed in her decisions throughout this book. I could nitpick certain things that occurred that Ivy could have easily avoided. But funnily enough when I think back on what I’d read, it’s almost as if I just finished watching a turbulent episode of a telenovela. 😅 Hot, cold. Enemies, lovers. Trust, don’t trust. *phew!* There’s so much drama! Even between the sheets.

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Things are escalating and they’re escalating like crazy! Both Ivy and Santiago do some very questioning things. I can only hope that they redeem themselves in the next one. I wish I could say this book won’t leave you hanging like the first one did but I’d be lying. The cliffhanger in this one is torturous. If you had any patience, you’d wait for the third book before starting this trilogy. 🤭

Knight and Zavarelli fans, Ivy and Santiago’s story is not to be missed! If you enjoy dark romance reads, I think this storyline will be right up your alley. It has suspense, chemistry between the hero/ heroine, intense dynamics between a range of characters, and a storyline that’ll have you hooked with its twists and turns.

There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding all the characters in this world not just with protagonists, and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. There are a couple of secondary characters from the first book… *cough* “C” and “J” *cough* whom I was hoping to see more of and I’m giddy to say I got my wish! 🙌🙌 Despite having only a scene or two in this book, they played vital roles… aaaaaaand their personal story was divulged (I would love a full length novel on them but if it never happens, I can happily say I’m content with the appearances they made in this book).

It’s told from dual points of view and although it has slowed down a little in comparison to the first book, I still consider it to be fast-paced, and the world-building is lush! I’m talking quality atmosphere, dimensional storytelling, and complex characters! 👌 It’s definitely elements you would expect from both authors. Looking forward to the next book!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Natasha Knight, A. Zavarelli and Give Me Books PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Reparation of Sin? Grab your copy here: Amazon Universal Link  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books

•••


💀🌹 Read my review for The Society Trilogy!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

📕 Book One: Requiem Of The Soul by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli


•••

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

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Requiem Of The Soul by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

⚠ Warning: This review contains minor teasers
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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

I was born with noble blood in my veins.

Heir to a powerful dynasty.

Wealth. Power. Aristocracy.

Temptations too dangerous to resist.

Until someone tried to steal it all.

Scarred and broken, I emerged from the flames.

Now I’ve returned to take what’s mine.

Revenge.

The first item on my agenda? Make Ivy Moreno my wife.

Second? Bend her until she breaks.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

😮😮😮 Holy book gods! I’m gonna need a minute. What did I just finish witnessing Ivy Moreno enter into with Santiago De La Rosa?! Sheesh. May the odds be ever in your favor.


“You’ve been chosen.”


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I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed in another Knight/ Zavarelli collaboration. They always manage to conjure up some deviously twisted dark romance! Requiem of the Soul is without a doubt a gritty mindfuck of what-ifs and know-hows.

First off— the world building is so crisp, so vivid that you can’t help but imagine if exclusive societies such as this one exists in reality (and for that matter… are they as dirty and shocking as this one has been made out to be?!)

Trigger Warnings: It contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. Violence, non-consensual sex, and abuse occur throughout. Please take into consideration before starting it. For readers 18+ only!

This book is set in such a dramatic and intriguing atmosphere right from the opening scene that I was having a hard time putting it down even for a bathroom break. 😅 I happily read it in one sitting but after the killer ending it leaves you with, I was cursing for not having paced myself. I have now joined the ranks of my fellow ARC readers in saying, “I need book two now!” Ugh. 😭

It’s gripping, with a complicated captor/captive type, arranged marriage between a man who has the power to call all the shots, and a young woman who is determined not to break in the life she’s been forced into. I am hooked and utterly invested in seeing this through to the end!

It’s one of those dark romance storylines that has you narrowing your eyes, trusting no character in sight, and trying to figure out the direction the plot is heading. Putting aside the elusive world of The Society that has been richly described, there are a handful of characters coming and going who all seem to have their own agendas. For secondary characters they all have such strong personalities that it’s interesting to see the contrast amongst them whenever they interact. If you’re a fan of morally grey characters, you’ll get your fill from this one! I am absolutely itching to discover certain secondary characters’ stories, and that’s just one of the reasons why I found the world Knight and Zavarelli created so multifaceted— with its untold history and full of secrecy that’s just waiting to be revealed. There’s so many things happening from all different directions, yet they all blend together seamlessly to give you a grand picture of the situation.


“Some call us thieves in the night.”


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A thrilling, fast-paced storytelling told from dual points of view. There’s a gradual build-up of suspense that’ll have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the pin to drop. Santiago De La Rosa is a larger than life personality who tends to lurk in the shadows that you almost think this is one of those stalker type, crime books. He’s a complex character. To be honest, there were times he gave me mental whiplash with his back and forth indecisiveness when it came to his game plan with Ivy.

Ivy Moreno is no better. I like that she has determination and I respect her ultimate reason for why she’s putting up with everything she’s enduring… but I wish she stuck to her guns a lot more. But putting those issues aside, I am truly fascinated by these two protagonists. Santiago oozes mystery… and craziness. Not to mention, when you discover the story behind his appearance, you’ll be all the more invested in seeing everything unfold.

I’m even more curious when it comes to Ivy. I’m really liking the fact that Knight/ Zavarelli has written in some diversity with their characters. Especially when the backdrop of this world is all about the pretences of perfection and certain expectations.

Besides the intrigue surrounding The Society, the sizzling chemistry between Ivy and Santiago is palpable. I adored their sweeter, more civil moments just as much as their fiery banter. They have a Beauty and the Beast meets Romeo and Juliet type of romance where a lot of factors are in play that I couldn’t get enough of.

You’ll be second-guessing decisions made, actions taken, and questioning whether or not these characters actually have any redeemable qualities in them.


“Don’t let him be a monster.”


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✔ Broken characters

✔ Vengeance

✔ Male-dominated world

✔ Manipulation

Are just some of the things you can anticipate in Requiem of the Soul! This is the first book in The Society Trilogy and does end on a cliffhanger. But if you enjoy filthy as fuck, gritty romances that contain some BDSM elements, then I highly recommend you add it to your reading list. You’ll find a strong, consistent storyline, crafty characters, and a lot of little surprises here and there. Such a raunchy, thought-provoking read!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

🔔 Interested in reading Requiem of the Soul? Grab your copy here: Amazon Universal Link  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books

•••


🌹 Read my review for the Ties That Bind Duet!

Natasha Knight and A. Zavarelli’s Dark Mafia Romance

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📕 Book One: Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

📕 Book Two: His by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli


•••

Hope you’re all enjoying your week! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Date Arrangement by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Australia

A romance anthology with over THIRTY original, never-before-seen stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. Each piece was written for this anthology to benefit firefighters and wildlife in Australia. AUSTRALIA is only available for a limited time, so one-click your copy before it’s gone.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Penny Reid, Meredith Wild, Carly Phillips, Sierra Simone, Emma Scott, Susan Stoker, Kennedy Ryan, Willow Aster, Skye Warren, Kylie Scott, Aleatha Romig, Willow Winters, AL Jackson, Julia Kent, Rebecca Yarros, Nana Malone, Giana Darling, Emma Hart, Chelle Bliss, Noelle Adams, A. Zavarelli, Jenika Snow, Dylan Allen, Kayti McGee, Robin Covington, Mary Catherine Gebhard, Melanie Moreland, Parker S. Huntington, Nana Malone, Jewel E. Ann, Annabel Joseph, Celia Aaron, Michelle Heard, Brighton Walsh, Tamsen Parker, Pam Godwin, Kayti McGee

All royalties from this project will be donated to relief funds in Australia, with 50% going to a firefighter charity and 50% going to a wildlife charity. We aren’t affiliated or endorsed by these charities. We are simply authors who want to support an important cause.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

This review is for The Date Arrangement by A. Zavarelli only!

First off, as an Aussie, I want to say how incredibly kind-hearted and thoughtful these amazing group of authors are for thinking of Australia during the bushfire crisis that occurred the past summer, and for generously donating the proceeds from this anthology to charities.

I may be a little late in reading this anthology (as it’s been sitting in my kindle since last year), I figured one year late and with Australia Day here, it’s no better time to crack it open.

This review is for one of my all time favourite romance authors: A. Zavarelli. Her story The Date Arrangement was the one I wanted to read the most out of the collection… hence this review now.

Let’s get down to the most important detail, shall we? Did I like it?

Yes. Yes I did! 😁

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I’ve read a few of Zavarelli’s novellas and short stories in the past and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. She has a knack for getting you to feel and connect with her characters in such a short time frame.

This story was no different. It’s technically insta-love romance but Zavarelli effortlessly writes it in a way where you get some world-building, character backstory, and a budding relationship between our hero/ heroine before they hook up.

The Date Arrangement is about Daxon, an Aussie bloke who runs his family’s successful winery. Willow is hired to be Daxon’s date for an event at his estate celebrating his winery. She’s an American actress backpacking across Australia, and whilst this isn’t in her usual job description, she figures why not? She could use the money. It’s just one date. Nothing to it, right? Only, when she turns up to the event to meet Daxton, things are not exactly what they seem.

They’re both apprehensive at first but as they start conversing, they realize there’s a sense of comfort between them. I appreciate the fact that before they took a chance at anything romantic, they got to know each other a little first. It gives this novella some substance. It’s a big reason as to why I enjoy Zavarelli’s short stories as I do her full-length novels. It’s never fluff and you find yourself easily connecting with said characters and investing in their developing relationship.

They’re both instantly attracted to one another but there’s also a subtle but obvious click between the two when they’re talking. The chemistry only gets zingier from there. Both Dax and Willow give you an insight to their upbringing and their lives now. Their conversation felt very organic and realistic.. and if I may say so, had pretty good first date vibes!

It solely focuses on our lead characters, but there’s a few secondary characters that give this story some dimension. The addition of Dax’s grandfather displays his family upbringing, and his two best mates add the Aussie vibe into the mix.


“I’m Dave. This is Bazza. We’re Daxo’s mates.”


😂😂😂

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Zavarelli did a relatively good job at getting her Aussie slang down pat. I even snort-laughed at the nicknames of her characters. It couldn’t get more Australian with a name like Bazza! LOL.

It’s a cute character-driven romance. A little predictable in the end but who cares? Although, I would’ve loved another paragraph or two just so the ending didn’t feel as rushed as the rest of the story. But overall, it’s a great in-between read and I was left in a happy sigh!

Zavarelli’s contemporary romances are just as gripping as her dark romances, and if you’re a fan, this one is not to be missed!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐¾

🔔 Interested in reading the Australia anthology? Grab the paperback here: Amazon


•••

A safe and peaceful Australia Day to my fellow Aussies.

Happy reading to all, and as always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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Pretty When She Cries by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

Your first kiss is supposed to be sweet. Ours was baptized in fire.

I was the new girl trying to find her place.

Landon was the brooding neighbor I tutored over the summer.

I didn’t know he was a legend at Black Mountain Academy.

I didn’t know they worshipped him like a religion.

But I fell for him before I knew those things.

To me, he was just the tortured soul who drew me in like a magnet.

And then he did something so unspeakable, so unforgivable, it shattered me.

I ran away then because I was weak, but I’ve shed my tears.

He stole my heart and my dignity, and I’m here to take it back.

The only problem is… he’s not giving it up without a fight.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

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Okay. So… I may just be a little bit obsessed with this book 😅 I’ve been waiting for a new book from Zavarelli in what feels like years (even though it’s not), and Pretty When She Cries completely and utterly filled that craving! This is why I adore Zavarelli’s books, because they are totally intense, all out soul-consuming works of fiction that has you thinking about for days on end after having read them!

I honestly thought I outgrew high school romances in my reads, but it turns out they just have to be as dark and twisted as this one for me to enjoy them again! 😜 Lol. I don’t think I’ve read a deep, juicy, rub-your-hands-together-and-plot-revenge style romance in all the years I’ve read romance books.

It has become one of my favourite reads of 2020 and it’s going straight to my list of all time favourite books! It has all the elements I love in a story —

  • Gripping storyline from start to finish.
  • Complex characters who’ll have your mind reeling.
  • Unpredictability and suspense.
  • World-building that’s constantly expanding.
  • Evident character and relationship growth.
  • A mixture of genres that work well together. In this case, there’s romance, a little bit of mystery, a little bit of crime and thriller, and a smidge of action.

Zavarelli has a way of writing such vivid, detailed stories with unique plots and characters that are three-dimensional.

Landon, right off the bat had an air of mystery about him because he rarely shared feelings and thoughts with anyone. With Kail, although a little shy and less extroverted than some of her peers, had a confidence about her. She knew who she was.

So when all hell breaks loose, you can’t help but see how things will unravel from there and see the ramifications of that certain event. I was invested the minute they first met. Like our hero/ heroine, I was just as intrigued by them as they were with each other. There’s an instant chemistry that had me perking up with interest. They are from completely different backgrounds and upbringings, yet whenever they were around each other, they clicked!

Be warned though, have tissues nearby. I must’ve gotten teary-eyed countless times throughout reading this. The emotions this story evoked in me is why I would (and have) recommended this book to my friends already, and any reader who likes reading romance fiction.

My heart broke for them both for almost the entirety of the book. They go through a roller coaster of life events that is jaw-dropping and almost hard to wrap your head around. The drama is strong with this one!

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The unpredictability in this story is what’s really going to get you turning the pages. Just when you think you know what’s about to happen next or know a person’s motive — Baam! You don’t!

For a standalone romance, it packs a punch! Yes, there’s a lot of things happening but they were written out so well that everything included was for good reason. It’s an effortless read with constant buildup. P.S. I like that there was some diversity included. I’m not the type of reader who constantly needs or expects it but when it’s included and it’s done well, it’s definitely a plus.

Landon will have you wanting to just give him a big bear hug and never wanting to let go! And Kail will have you pounding your fist to your chest in solidarity, yelling “I got ya back, girl!”

And in the midst of all the chaos, banter, revenge, and what-the-fuck moments, you’ll still be rooting for things to work out between them. Their relationship may be a constant push and pull but I guarantee their one-on-one scenes are… phew… intensely hot! 🔥🔥🔥

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Pretty When She Cries kept me on the edge of my seat and reading until the sun rised. It touches base with relatable subjects (especially during your adolescence) such as diversity, social standing, body image, not to mention peer pressure and bullying. Whilst this is a work of fiction, it really delves into the harsh reality of the issues teenagers may go through during their years in school and the lasting effects and scarring it could leave on them.

Reading it, reminded me so much of what high school was like and just how much teens go through that parents may not even be aware of.

What I love about the characters in this book is that there was a great contrast of personalities. You have the obvious villainous, cruel characters that really rile you up, but then there’s also the characters that bring so much positivity and light. Kail has a great support system, and although she didn’t necessarily feel like they could help her in the way that she wants or needs, and didn’t want to burden them with her issues, they’re there and they’re constant, nevertheless.

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Although this is Landon and Kailani’s story overall, in my opinion the secondary characters made just as much of an impact and played vital roles. I adore the bonds and friendships, especially the unlikely ones.      

And can I just say, this entire story reads like it’s made for the screen! 😍    

A very well thought-out storyline with suspense and intrigue. Zavarelli has brilliantly created an atmosphere of curiosity around Landon the second Kailani talks about him. Their story is told from dual points of view and the fact that it’s in first person, us readers are really riding out their experiences and feelings right along with them — the good, the bad, and the oh-so ugly!

It’s an upcoming release that is well worth the wait. I highly recommend you add this one to your TBR asap because this one’s end game, people! 🏈

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to A. Zavarelli and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Pretty When She Cries? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU


•••

Hope you enjoyed my review! As always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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Ghost by A. Zavarelli

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•••

— BLURB —

Talia.
I have always been a bird. Caged by one prison or another when the only thing I ever wanted was to fly away.
Sold. Beaten. Starved. Drugged.
Nothing scares me anymore.
Until him.
He makes the numbness go away.
He is hazardous to me. It has nothing to do with his mafia lifestyle, and everything to do with what he offers.
A gilded prison.
A retreat from everything that I once knew. The reality I have no desire to return to.
He thinks he’s caged me, but soon…
I’m going to fly.

Alexei.
I live by a code. The Vory code.
In this mafiya world, there are traditions.
Expectations.
She does not care for these things. She does not care about anything.
She thinks she has me fooled with her haunted eyes.
What she can’t know is that I see her better than most.
She wants to fly.
But I’m going to clip her wings.
And make her my wife.

**This is a DARK mafia romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating.**

•••

— MY REVIEW —

Oooh. What to say about Ghost… 🤔

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Third book in the Boston Underworld series and it felt so different from the first two. This one focuses on the Irish mob’s Russian ally Alexei. And before this book I had never read any mafia romances that centered around the Russian mob.

If they’re anything as disturbingly haunting, heart-palpitating action packed full of torture and heartbreak like Ghost was, then damn… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle it.

Ghost was difficult to get through in the sense that these characters are completely, and utterly broken, that there’s nothing but darkness surrounding them. Reading through their constant struggle was all-encompassing. It grips you and sucks you in. I was enamored, and felt like I was going through it right along with them. The first time around reading this book, I felt like I was in a depressive state all throughout. I could only read a few chapters at a time before I needed a breather. It was THAT heartbreaking and all out grim! This time around, it was a little easier to swallow (as I already knew what was coming), but it still conjured up a tightness in my chest with how much Talia and Alexei can easily consume my attention.

The storytelling is without a doubt spellbinding. I thought Crow and Reaper were cleverly written, but I realize, even though Ghost was a different vibe from those two, was in it’s own way just as compulsive. Despite my breathers, I could not NOT finish it. I needed to know that Talia and Alexei would survive, that they would save each other. That the screwed-up, fucked-up things I was reading would slowly but surely dissipate like a puff of smoke and beyond it would be their happily ever after.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. This was one hell of a roller coaster ride, with so many loopy-d-loops, that I seriously thought for a minute there that my poor heart wouldn’t be able to take it anymore. The amount of cruelty that Talia endures in this entire story (both in her past and present) is both unbelievable and shocking. I swear at times even I was done with it all for her. She has a quiet, steely strength. She’s all twisty and a little screwy in the head, but my gosh, she was one addictive heroine (no pun intended).


“I don’t have anything to offer him. Except for my broken thoughts and demented soul, stitched together by my frequent bouts of insanity.”


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Alexei was just as complex a character as Talia. He has his own demons that he keeps to himself, and it was one of the many reasons I was intrigued by him. He has an agenda, a reason why he wants and needs Talia right from the second he saw her. It’s partly why this book was attention-grabbing. You NEED to know what happens between them and all the secrets surrounding them. And with danger and shifty characters lurking everywhere, this mafia romance was full of suspense.


“Yesterday, she smiled. And today, she wants to die all over again. Because of me.”


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I always love Zavarelli’s added secondary characters because despite the fact that they’re not necessarily in the forefront of the story, they do play vital roles, they leave an impression, and give the world-building more layers with their presence. Unchanged: I always love Zavarelli’s added secondary characters because despite the fact that they’re not necessarily in the forefront of the story, they do play vital roles, they leave an impression, and give the world-building more layers with their presence.

There are a handful of secondary characters in Ghost that have their own mystery about them that’ll have you second-guessing whether or not they can be trusted. The addition of Alexei’s *cough* dysfunctional *cough* family, and close allies from his brotherhood really places you in his world and the world of the Vory (aka the Russian Mafia).

Right off the bat, I was drawn to Nikolai and Franco. I mean, who would complain at seeing more eye-candy, am I right??! 😉😍 I only wished that they both got their own books… *sigh*

There are a lot of relationships and ties in this book that adds another element to Alexei and his life. You get to delve into the dynamics and see the development unravel. I thought Zavarelli could effortlessly create amazing grey characters and anti-heroes, but her antagonists and villainous characters are just as impressive. They’re so cruel with such evil intent that it’ll honestly have you growling at the book. 😅

I’m usually cool with just a good, swoony love story, but if it also involves some deviousness, secrecy and some unpredictability (especially if it gets in the way of our hero/ heroine getting together), then I say it’s a success and more! I love substance in my fiction. I love if the story keeps me engaged from start to finish. I even love it if it leaves me with the biggest book hangover — because that’ll mean that it effected me both emotionally and mentally.

Besides the expanding world-building by focusing on the Russian mafia in this book and putting the Irish in the background, there’s constant growth with both our hero/heroine. It’s gradual, and at times they may go back a step or two in their progress, but you can bet it’s there nonetheless. By the end, you’ll realize how much these guys have grown, as individuals and as a couple, and how much stronger and more content they are with their lives.

This is a bittersweet romance. One where you have to go experience all the darkness and pain first before seeing all the sweet, caring moments. I cried countless times but it also left me feeling lighter by the end of it.


“I will always see you, Solnyshko,” he tells me. Always.”


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I didn’t always agree with either Talia or Alexei at times, but they certainly kept me hooked. And for someone who doesn’t know much about Russian culture or the language, I thought the little Russian endearments, and sayings was an extra element I adored seeing in their interactions.

I’ll confess, I probably won’t be rereading this one as much as Crow, but when I do decide to reread, it’ll still have the same effect on me as it did the first (and second) time. I’ll still be anxious, or swooning, or crying over the same scenes!

With dark romances, there’s bound to be some sensitive content, possible trigger warnings included. Ghost, has it all. Explicit content. Severe sexual and substance abuse, violence, along with profanity. Definitely only for readers of age, and for those who are not triggered by any of the subjects mentioned above! 🙏

But I 100% guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you do take a chance on the series. Ghost is book three in the Boston Underworld series, and although each book centers around different couples, the characters and their backstories are still intermittent, so I recommend you read from the beginning.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

•••


Read my reviews for Boston Underworld series!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One: 📘 Crow by A. Zavarelli

Book Two: 📘 Reaper by A. Zavarelli


Read more of my reviews on A. Zavarelli books!

Confess by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book One) — Dark, romantic suspense.

Convict by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book Two) — Dark, romantic suspense. Mild MC romance.

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli

Standalone, contemporary romance. Age gap. School setting.

Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book One) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance.

His by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book Two) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance.

Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli

Modern, standalone romance. Dark fairy tale retelling.


•••

Catch you in my next one! Stay safe and keep positive! Xo

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Reaper by A. Zavarelli

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•••

— BLURB —

Sasha.
He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there’s also something off about him.
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind…
He won’t have a problem killing me too.

Ronan.
I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross.
I watch her. She doesn’t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

⚠ WARNING WARNING WARNING ⚠ 

Spoilers Ahead. Read at own risk!

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HELLLLLO….

Ugh. Ronan, love. How did I not love you more the first time I read your book back in 2018?? 🙈 This review is long overdue. But having only just reread Reaper now, I figured it was time to post one up.

I initially read Reaper back in 2018 (along with the rest of Boston Underworld) and had rated it 4 stars. But after having reread it again for the second time (I know. WTF, right?!) I realized, I love and appreciate Ronan a lot more the second time around. 🤤

I don’t think I appreciated and fully understood his complexity. There are two types of complex characters that I’ve read in books — The first, are those who are too complex, too mind-boggling that I couldn’t connect with that character or agree with their actions, (and most likely, didn’t end up liking their book). The second, are the complex characters that have been cleverly written that their unique mindset keeps you constantly engaged, and slowly but surely has you falling in love with their individuality. Do I need to say which type Ronan is?

He is the epiphany of brains and brawn! Hubba-hubba! 🤤😍 I can’t believe the Ronan that I fell in love with (along with so many other readers) has been through hell and back! Reaper is Level 8 gritty in the dark romance scale. His book, whilst set in the present, goes back into his past now and then to reveal his upbringing before meeting Crow. Not going to sugarcoat it, it was difficult to read through (at least the first time I had read it). Ronan had a very disturbing, cruel and merciless childhood that even I winced at times reading about it.

As much I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, I have had friends who I’d recommended the series to, who found these books a little too dark for their tastes. So, I would say if you can’t deal with sensitive subject matters, have triggers towards violence of any kind, substance abuse, and sexual abuse, then it’s probably best to skip this series entirely. But if you don’t have any issues, then I say, read away! 😉

I’m a big fan of brotherhood, bromance and good ol’ fashion best buds in my reads. If done right, it can be as equally (and in some cases better) than the romance blooming between the leads. Ronan and Crow’s deep brotherly relationship is just so endearing — especially considering that it’s within a Mafia world where trust and loyalty is hard to come by. But their brotherhood goes beyond deep, and seeing the social and emotional difficulties Ronan has, yet Crow always having his back is one of the things I have always loved about this book.


“Ye’re a brother to me,” he says. “And I want my kids to know and love ye like I do. The way Mack does too. I want my kids to know their uncle Ronan. And I have no doubts in my mind that you will protect them the way ye do me.”


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Another is seeing the way Ronan navigates through all these unfamiliar feelings towards Sasha. He goes from being robotic, calculated and distant, to almost being unpredictable in his ways. And he almost has a childlike quality about him at times, especially when he’s caught in a situation where he doesn’t know what to say or how to act. His character growth is fascinating and gripping to read through. It’s amazing how much he evolves, how much he opens up once he realizes Sasha is someone he can’t live without.

Logically, I should be pointing out Ronan’s obvious faults, and things I don’t agree with. But I can’t seem to care about it in the big scheme of things because after having reading this, I sympathize and somewhat understand his demeanor… and dare I say it… have let it all slide..? 🤔

With Crow and Mack (first book), their relationship blossomed from having similar attitudes and personality traits. They’re both independent, resilient, strong-willed people.

In this case, Sasha and Ronan were somewhat opposites. Sasha’s full of emotion, wears her heart on her sleeve and despite her struggles in life, she’s never bitter or nasty towards others. Her vulnerability has a likability about it, but make no mistake she’s no weakling. Ronan, on the other hand is intimidating, the definition of cool, calm and collected, and has a don’t-mess-with-me aura about him. So you can only imagine the sparks between these two! 🔥 Zavarelli paired two broken souls together and it was a beauty to see unfold.


“How do you do that?” I ask.

“Do what?”

“How do you look at me like that and just make me forget everything, Ronan?”


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They both have troubles and dirty pasts, but what I absolutely adore about these two lovebirds is that they don’t see any of that about each other. They see past all the bullshit and how society perceives them and see each other for who they truly are. It’s such a romantic, swoony love story. If you love romances that persevere, that have been through the ringer, but come out stronger than ever with the hero/heroine willing to do anything for the other, then yeah… I say Reaper is not one to be missed. So much anticipation, so much build-up, so much anxiety to see how it’ll turn out for them. *Phew!*

This can easily be a very melancholic read, but the little snippets of funny from the secondary characters really give Reaper a break from all the dank and depressing. Mack, Rory and of course, Crow are the characters to thank for that. A special shout-out to Daisy too for providing cuteness overload scenes with Ronan that had me grinning from ear to ear. (Lookout for Daisy! Total highlights!) 🤭

👏 Okay!

Hot, Irish mobster. ✔

Muscles for days. ✔

Tall, dark, handsome… and wears glasses. ✔

Could rip heads, break legs, and look good with blood splattered across his face. ✔

Could say the sweetest things without realizing it. ✔

Would just about move heaven and earth for what’s his. ✔

*singsong voice* I’m telling ya… Ronan Fitzpatrick is your maaaaan! 💙


“Ronan?”

“Aye?”

“Please don’t let me go,” I tell him. “Or at least stay until I fall asleep.”


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Zavarelli introduced a well put together and thought-out world with Crow, seeing it expand more so in Reaper, and having seen relationships develop further is just one of many reasons why the Boston Underworld series can easily transport you to their world. Add the characters with their unique characteristics and growth from start to finish that is so evident, and you got yourself some high-quality writing!

What I’ve come to love about Zavarelli’s story lines is she’s not afraid of adding some brutality into them. There’s some serious savagery and pain in this book, and I can tell you, it won’t be the last you’ll see in the series — if anything this is just the tip of the iceberg! Her books will make you feel and by the end will have you contemplating all about it.

Ronan is a twisted, somewhat unbalanced sort of character with so much to offer that you won’t see the full impact of it coming until it smacks you in the face. He is without a doubt one of the most captivating fictional characters I’ve come across, and I’m glad Zavarelli decided to share him with the world.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

•••



📚 Read my reviews for the series!

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

Book One: Crow by A. Zavarelli

Book Three: Ghost by A. Zavarelli



Read more of my reviews on A. Zavarelli books!

Confess by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book One) — Dark, romantic suspense.

Convict by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book Two) — Dark, romantic suspense. Mild MC romance. 

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli

Standalone, contemporary romance. Age gap. School setting. 

Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book One) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance. 

His by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book Two) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance. 

Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli

Modern, standalone romance. Dark fairy tale retelling.



•••

Catch you in my next one! Stay safe and keep positive! Xo

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Crow by A. Zavarelli

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•••

— BLURB —

An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart.

I had a plan.

Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right?

Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I just wanted a soldier. Someone I could flirt with to get me in the door.

That’s when Lachlan Crow noticed me. Problem was, he wasn’t a soldier. No, he was next in line for the throne of the Irish underworld. And he was determined to hate me from the outset. My sob story about needing a job? Yeah, he wasn’t buying that either.

Too bad for him, I won’t let anyone get in the way of my mission.

Who cares if we have some kind of crazy chemistry? He’s the worst kind of wrong- and I would never in a million years be with a guy like him.

Because they took her from me, and I’m going to make them pay.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

🔔 Ding. 🔔 Ding. 🔔 Ding. 🥊 Winner!

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*singsong voice* I loveeeeeee it! 😍😍

This book is, and always will be perfection in my books! I first discovered Crow, the Boston Underworld series, and A. Zavarelli back in 2018… and I have no regrets! One of the best things I could’ve stumbled upon. This book has everything I ever wanted and didn’t know needed in my dark romance reads! Hell, romance reads, in general!

It had…

  • World-Building ✔
  • Suspense ✔
  • Character development ✔
  • Relationship growth ✔
  • Blazing, hot chemistry ✔
  • Drama ✔

It keeps you glued to the pages with it’s gripping story development between the characters. It’s utterly addictive with it’s build-up of suspense that there’s no way you could turn your back on any of, not wanting to miss one itty, bitty moment! What I love about Crow besides the swoony Irish, is that the story is consistent with it’s level of tension between the characters and their blooming relationship, all the while mafia-related heat is building all around them. There’s a lot of light and shade with this book, with a good dose of good vs evil.

A. Zavarelli was a new-to-me author back when I first read Crow, and I can tell you now, if you haven’t read any of her books — THIS IS THE BOOK TO START YOU OFF!! 💙

And speaking from experience as someone who hadn’t read many dark romances before reading Crow, this will plunge you head first into that genre, I’m not gonna lie. If you have guts of steel, and don’t get triggered by sensitive subjects easily… then yes, read, read, read! I can’t nudge you guys enough to start this series TODAY!

Mackenzie aka Mack is determined, stubborn, yet soft and vulnerable in a way that you can’t help but feel for the girl. Her go-get-em attitude may not be to everyone’s liking but I say, if you aren’t already loving her from the beginning, then you have to give her a chance to let her grow on you. She’s the way she is for a reason. She’s quite a complex and somewhat damaged character. One of the things I instantly loved about her was she was no damsel (not if she could help it, anyways). I’ve read one too many heroines who are described as tough, independent bitches, but never fully follow through. Mack, on the other hand? Yep. She’s the real deal! A fighter through and through, and I think that’s why she’s the perfect person to have gone toe-to-toe with the one and only Lachlan Crow.


“Ye’re a deadly wee thing, aren’t ye butterfly?”


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Now. Ask yourself: Do I like Irish men? If you were like me, then you’re answer would’ve been along the lines of…. “Uhh. Never really thought about it.” Or “Hmm… meh.”

Well. Read Crow and you to tell me afterwards that you didn’t go a little crazy jabbering on about hot Irish mobsters and how sexy their accents sound. I dare ya! 😉😂😂

Lachlan Crow had the perfect balance of intimidation, strength, and possessiveness. With a dash of protectiveness, a splash of lighthearted sense of humor, and a pinch of gentlemanly manners, wrapped in an all-out sexy exterior. Morally grey characters never looked so good! Raaawrrr!

Crow will have you second-guessing your loyalty. Is the Irish Mafia really thaaaat bad?!


“I can’t let you go, Mack. The reasons don’t matter, so it’s better ye just accept it now.”


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With Mack’s backstory and her initial reasoning for targeting Crow and the MacKenna Syndicate will have you on the edge of your seat to see if she pulls off her plan unscathed, or if Crow will discover the truth and end her like any other enemy.

With a forbidden and unlikely romance like theirs, there’s hurdles they have to overcome. You’ll see a lot of emotions float around between Mack and Lachlan. Feelings that they’re unfamiliar with, and both trying to deny. There’s a lot of trust issues, game-playing, and secrets being kept. Who’s playing, who? And who will come out alive?

This review is long overdue. But I can tell you now, my feelings for this book have not swayed whatsoever! Since 2018, I’ve found myself rereading this book at least once or twice yearly. It’s a romance story that will stay with me forever. There are certain scenes that get me every single damn time that I can pinpoint when I’m about to tear up, or get butterflies in my stomach from the suspense. Every time I read this book, it’s like I’m reading it for the first. It’s that kind of book, people!

It’s pure dark magic that it has this effect on me (and I’m sure on a lot of other readers too who’ve not only read Crow but this entire series)! It’s an effortless read. Beautifully told from dual points of views, with glimpses of their past revealed in between the present that elevates their individual stories to another level of world-building and growth. Zavarelli has created a world that holds so much endless possibilities, with her secondary characters also playing vital roles to making this story and the relationships within multi-dimensional.

I’m one of those pickle of a reader that if the book hasn’t captured my attention in the first two chapters then I will most likely abandon it for another.

I didn’t get past the first chapter of Crow before I was swallowing down that red pill! Screw the blue one! (A little Matrix reference, in case you didn’t know). 😉

Zavarelli has a way of catching your attention right off the bat by immediately getting you to question what the protagonists’ deal is. Her characters are unique, (and after having read more of her books since 2018) can easily be identified as Zavarelli’s because of their strong personalities, quirky mannerisms and unforgettable quotes. You will never get her characters confused with any other. They ooze out of the pages and leave an everlasting impression. Guaranteed.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hold your breath. And you’ll swoon. Your heart will break a little for these characters, but you’ll be rooting for everything to work out in the end!


“There was no avoiding you, Mack. It was always meant to happen this way.”


Oh. And if you’re a fan of boxing, like little ol’ me — then all the boxing fights/ scenes will be the cherry on top of what I consider an already delicious read!

This is only the beginning of what I can assure you is an even darker, grittier, more trigger-inducing series of books that’ll have you staying up reading!

How much would I recommend Crow to friends and fellow romance fans? Dude. An infinite amount! I haven’t stopped recommending it… and I’m recommending it again now, in this review! *singsong voice* Reaaaaad it!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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Read more of my reviews on A. Zavarelli books!

Confess by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book One) — Dark, romantic suspense.

Convict by A. Zavarelli

Sin City Salvation (Book Two) — Dark, romantic suspense. Mild MC romance. 

Hate Crush by A. Zavarelli

Standalone, contemporary romance. Age gap. School setting. 

Mine by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book One) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance. 

His by Natasha Knight & A. Zavarelli

Ties That Bind Duet (Book Two) — Mafia romance. Dark, suspense romance. 

Stealing Cinderella by A. Zavarelli

Modern, standalone romance. Dark fairy tale retelling.


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Catch you in my next one! Stay safe and keep positive! Xo

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