Kingdom Fall by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

 

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• 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.

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• 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

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👑💀 More from the Underworld Kings!

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Razor’s Edge by Mila Crawford

Tears Of Salvation by Michelle Heard

Marriage & Malice by Trisha Wolfe


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Happy reading, guys! 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

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— 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.

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— 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


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

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