A Vow Of Lust & Fury by L.P. Lovell

⚠ This review contains minor teasers!

booksofthemuggleborn_avowoflustandfury
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

My uncle is the boss of the Chicago Outfit, but there’s one man even he fears, Giovanni Guerra. And he just sold me to him —as his wife. For an alliance. For power.

The boss of the New York family is beautiful, and deadly, and he stokes a fire in me that might just destroy us both. Giovanni was sold a submissive little mafia princess, but he’s about to find out that I am no one’s pawn.

The only vow I make is one of lust and fury.

A Vow of Lust and Fury is part of the Underworld Kings Universe. 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.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

TVD_Elena_ThumbsUp

Eeep. This is a perfect example as to why I am obsessed with dark mafia romance reads containing broody, excessively intimidating alpha heroes! AVOLAF had all the elements I love from this genre.

The premise was what initially had me wanting to read this story. From the first chapter, the protagonists had me intrigued. As it progressed, the storyline kept me engaged. There’s constant build-up and suspense, a torturous slow-burn between Gio and Emilia, and on top of that, their enemies are practically at their doorstep. Ugh. It’s one savagely edgy dark romance! 😍😍


“A better man would look away. A better man would let her go, but she’d made a fatal error; she’d drawn my attention.”


The Kiss of Death duet was the story that introduced me to Lovell, and the dark, all-out gritty mafia world she had created. This book not only lives up to the high standard that that duet had set, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the characters from said duet crossover into Gio’s and Emilia’s story. It’s honest-to-goodness like going back and visiting one of my favourite bookish worlds and seeing the gang together again. 🙌

If you haven’t read the Kiss Of Death duet, I think AVOLAF is a great introduction to their world, and the tight-knit circle of friends within. Not only will you be invested in Gio’s and Emilia’s developing relationship, but the supporting cast included will have you wanting to know their story too! The strong familial bonds amongst Gio and his friends are just as equal a highlight as the addictive push-and-pull romance.

Despite the slow burn, the storytelling is relatively fast-paced and action-packed. Lovell has created an atmosphere of uneasiness and danger surrounding Emilia and you can’t help but feel the dread right along with her. The desperation Emilia exudes has you sympathising her and the situation she’s inevitably been forced into by the lack of options she’s been presented with.

Please note: This book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers, such as graphic violence, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. Explicit mature content intended for readers 18+ only.

I always yearn for a strong, gutsy heroine in my reads as I find the majority never live up to the “fierce, independent heroine” tag they’re supposedly described to be. But Lovell doesn’t disappoint in providing one in Emilia. In a male dominated world, she may not be as physically powerful in comparison, but she’s not one to back down and take brutality either. It’s what makes her a likable character that earns both awe and respect. Her vulnerability is what makes her relatable and genuine, and quite a contrast to the confident, and overprotective men in her life.

Gio is your typical anti-hero who does some questionable things but within reason. It’s hard to turn your back on him — he’s merciless, calculating, danger personified, yet within their society’s Underbelly there’s also an ulterior motive to his power and reputation. I love grey characters and he’s one of a few within this world that I was instantly hooked on. He’s arrogant with a little bit of a cheeky side to him that’ll have you suppressing a giggle or two, not wanting to admit that his charm has gotten to you. 🙈🤭

A mafia romance with an arranged marriage/ forced proximity trope. It’s dramatic, angsty, and keeps you on your toes the entire time. It’s very character-driven and emotion-based. Told from dual POVs, Emilia and Gio are both fighting the sizzling chemistry between them, and as their relationship builds, the intensity only deepens. For lack of a better word, it’s hot! 🔥🔥🔥

As the plot thickens, you see a gradual shift in their relationship. It might seem small in the grand scheme of things but the scenes where they get snippets of each other’s characters when their defences are down only added more dimension and complements the dark and gritty side of their story.


“He was the key to my shackles, and it occurred to me that while I’d been trying to escape him to find freedom, perhaps he was that freedom.”


True to its genre, it has equal parts mafia to romance elements. The antagonists here are legit villains. Lovell has created a diverse range of characters, all of which evoke strong emotions out of you. The writing is high quality, with such vivid world-building that I couldn’t get enough of.

Read the books from the Underworld Kings, they say.

They’re all standalone dark, mafia romance books, they say.

Um well… 🤔😅

At the rate I was devouring this book, I was completely blindsided by this, and I know plenty who considers it to be a deal breaker, especially if there’s no warning in advance, so I have to mention that this book is NOT a standalone. It ends on a massive cliffhanger that had me 😩😭😭 and needing the sequel baaaadly!

But despite the savage ending that leaves you desperately hanging, I still absolutely, without a doubt recommend this book. Lovell has quickly risen to auto-buy author status and AVOLAF has fast become one of my favourite dark romances. I will read this one over and over again. It’s a must read!   

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you L.P. Lovell, the Underworld Kings team, and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading A Vow of Lust & Fury? Grab your copy here: Universal Link

•••


👑💀 More reviews for the Underworld Kings!

UnderworldKings_SeriesBanner
📷 Underworld Kings Website

Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe

Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli


•••

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

Blog_Sign_Off

Kiss Of Death Duet by L.P. Lovell

booksofthemuggleborn_kissofdeath
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

• BLURB •

Una

I’m an assassin of the Bratva, raised and trained to be strong, to be a cold killer. But even I have a weakness, and Nero Verdi will regret using it against me. He’s my enemy, so why do I get such a thrill when his fingers wrap around my throat? Why am I addicted to the brutality of his touch?

Nero

They call her The Kiss of Death, and I have the one thing she wants above all else. She’s nothing more than a weapon, a ploy for power, and yet I find myself wanting to dance with death, to possess her. I crave the kiss of her blade just as much as her lips. And that might just get me killed.

A game of power. An obsession that would see the world burn at their feet. A bloodied king. A broken queen.

Kill me or kiss me?

•••

• MY REVIEW •


“Bacio della morte”

Kiss of death. It’s what the Italians call me.


AtomicBlonde_B&WGun

Fuck yes! 🙌🙌

L.P. Lovell as blown me away with the Kiss of Death duet! By far one of my favourite mafia romance stories to date! This is also my first book of Lovell’s and honestly, with how high a quality storytelling this one was… I will be sure to checkout out her backlist of books!

Kiss of Death was originally released as two separate books, but Lovell’s releasing this duet as one and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it (especially after reading the blurb). Did you guys read the blurb?! The heroine is a fucking Bratva Assassin!! Like c’mon, hot sauce!! 🔥

I’m always reading at least one mafia book a month and this one had all the makings of an addictive read that you would without a doubt come back to time and time again.

  • A strong plotline you can easily get invested in
  • Well-developed characters
  • Vital backstory
  • Detailed world-building
  • Build-up and suspense
  • Plot twists and constant unpredictability
  • Chemistry between the hero/ heroine
  • Secondary characters that elevate an already exceptional story

So! If any of what I listed above appeals to your dark, romantic heart, then I think you’ll be happy with Una and Nero’s story. But I should mention whilst I was provided an ARC, as I mentioned earlier that the Kiss of Death duet has already been released as two separate books. Book one is Kill Me, and book two is Kiss Me. For the first time ever, Lovell has combined the two books into one (pictured above is the brand, spanking cover for it)! Buuuuuut… If you can’t wait for this release, go grab those books now! 😉


I’m the Capo of New York.

A beautiful woman with a homicidal streak has always been my weakness.


TVD_EnzoSmile

Ok. Let’s get down and dirty and start off with Nero Verdi…

I tell ya, I’ve read countless stories of Made Men and they’ve all been described as powerful, intimidating, not-to-be-fucked-with mobsters… but I have to say Nero is one of a few that I actually think fitted the bill. He exudes confidence and strength and not once did I not believe that when he sets his mind to something that he wouldn’t succeed. Because he bloody well does! 🩸🩸

Nero may not necessarily have a moral compass, but what’s better than a twisted, bastard of a mobster who plays by his own rules to ensure he gets what and wants and rules all?

The only thing that confused me about Nero was his position in the Italian Mafia. On a couple of occasions he goes back and forth from being Capo and Underboss with him being Underboss for most of the story. Hmm. I’ve read quite a few mafia romances over the years, so correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Capo higher ranking than an Underboss? Because if that’s the case, why is Nero demoting himself to Underboss??? I just had to mention because it was niggling at me the entire time I was reading this book. 🤔

But I suppose either way, Nero rules and he has his soldiers to order around. Hehe.

Now. Did I mention how much I think the secondary characters in here not only made quite an impression on me, but they did a superb job in really elevating this world? 👏👏👏 There’s quite a span of secondary characters included and not once did it feel overwhelming or unnecessary seeing them. I’m not going to lie, some characters stood out more than others, and it wasn’t hard to get invested in them just as much as I did Nero and Una. Whether they are heroes, villains, or gray characters — you’ll get your fill here!


What will it be, Morte? Kill me or kiss me?


Charlize_Crossfire

I can’t rave about this duet more! One of the best mafia romances I’ve read. It’s absolutely filled with this dark, gripping world that’s so vivid and detailed, which effortlessly teleports you into each scene; each moment. The storytelling is slower-paced but in a good way where there’s a gradual build-up to each scene giving you a picture of the situation. Told from both Nero and Una’s points of view, it couldn’t have been more intense seeing things from both their perspectives (especially when concerns the other). Their lives are supposed to be worlds apart yet they have the same type of darkness surrounding that that ultimately keeps them connected to one another.

Their story gives an entirely new dimension to the enemies-to-lovers/ forbidden romance tropes. There’s this satisfying balance between Una and Nero where they’re both each others’ strength and weakness. Dark, mafia romances is kind of my bread and butter in the romance book department and what makes me love this one so much is the fact the Una stands out from the rest of the heroines you usually would encounter in these gritty stories. She literally kicks ass! She knows how to defend herself, she’s street smart, and she oozes (rightly so) confidence in her capabilities. What I adore the most is she’s not a damsel in distress. In a male dominated world, she’s favored and feared. It’s honestly refreshing to see a heroine who is empowering, and who is powered by her emotions despite being conditioned to lose all emotions and all things considered weaknesses such as love and family from her life.

Ugh. I strongly recommend, if you haven’t already, to grab this book and start reading! In my opinion, it has one of the best dark fictional worlds I’ve read, and one I will absolutely go back and visit!

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Thank you L.P Lovell and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Kiss of Death? Grab your copy here: Amazon US |  Amazon UK |  Amazon CA |  Amazon AU


•••

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

Blog_Sign_Off