— BLURB —
The first time Cassio met his fiancée, she called him ‘Sir’.
After losing his wife, Cassio is left to take care of two small children while trying to establish his rule over Philadelphia. Now he needs a mother for his children, and someone who can warm his bed at night.
But in a traditional world as his, choosing your wife is duty not pleasure.
Rules have to be followed. Traditions heeded.
That’s how he ends up with a woman—a girl barely of age. She might not be what he and his children need, but she’s wicked lovely and a sweet temptation he can’t resist.
Giulia always knew she’d marry a man her father chose for her. Only she never expected to be given to someone much older. Suddenly she’s supposed to be a mother to two small children when she hasn’t even held a baby in her life.
Giulia quickly realizes that Cassio isn’t interested in a relationship on equal footing. Her mother always warned her that men of power like Cassio don’t tolerate insolence; yet, tired of being treated as a nanny and clueless child-bride, Giulia decides to fight for her vision of a happy family.
— MY REVIEW —
I ate this one up like I hadn’t eaten in months! A fucking phenomenal read! It’s crazy thinking about what I had just witnessed in this book. Despite it being a mafia romance, the story itself in the forefront is simply about a man in desperate need of care.
Yes, there’s blood, and death, and secrets (it wouldn’t be the Mafia world without these elements) — but Sweet Temptation lives up to its name. This was a sweet, tender, and overall tamer story in comparison to Cora’s previous mafia books. It centers around Cassio’s personal life and the impact Giulia has in it.
I haven’t read a lot of romance books where there’s a significant age gap, and the majority of the ones I have read I was never completely sold on because they seemed somewhat a smidge cringy..?
← (I don’t want to say “ew” but just know…)
But Cassio and Giulia’s pairing was just effortless. They had their awkward (and yet, oh-so-hilarious) first encounter that I think solidified them as a couple for me. From that moment on I was truly invested in seeing how their relationship would unfold.
And ohhhhhhh boy.. the button pushing was a highlight. I always enjoy when the heroine doesn’t back down from a challenge and this one was an absolute enjoyment to watch (or should I say read) play out.
“I gave you an order. I’m your husband and my word is law.”
Polar opposites, yet somehow they balanced each other so well. Giulia is a likeable character. There is no way in hell you could dislike the chick. She’s got backbone, determination, and heart. Despite being raised in this world, she grew up to be a strong, independent individual with her own tastes and opinions. Other than her stubbornness, what I liked about her most is that she didn’t try and change herself to fit in, and she didn’t try to change Cassio either. She’s definitely now in my top 3 favourite heroines of Cora’s.
“They were too eager marrying me off to the cruelest Underboss of the Famiglia.”
is… dreamy. OMG. He. Is. Dreaaaaamy!
I’ve given up trying to put into order my fave Made Men because it’s just gonna get all screwed up anyways whenever Cora releases a new book. Before going into Sweet Temptation, I really didn’t have an opinion one way or another about Cassio. I’m all for alpha type males (like give em here!), but once in a while when you come across one who doesn’t need to flex their ego, and is simply a gentleman… you can’t help but wipe a little drool off your chin. That gentleman my friends, is Cassio!
If I could include every single quote and action of his that made me giddy in this review I would. There’s a lot of things I didn’t mention or discuss in this review for the sole purpose of not spoiling something you guys need to experience first hand. All I can say is make sure you have a day to spend reading this because I am 100% sure you will not put it down until you reach the last page.
And by that last page you will be feeling a sense of peace.
Sweet Temptation had the right amount of light and dark, humor and seriousness. I did NOT ugly cry reading this one.. buuuuut it doesn’t mean it didn’t punch me in the guts anyways. There were a lot of things in this book that had me taken aback. And a lot of people who were in desperate need of a good right hook!
But in all seriousness.. Did I miss the violence and more of the mafia side of things in this one? Not at all. It was a refreshing change to have the focus solely on the hero’s life outside of that brutality. You still get the gist of his role in it, the power he has, and his reputation amongst the people in their world (trust me), but the mafia aspect is toned-down.
In all honesty I was flipping back and forth from giving this one 4.5 to the full 5 stars. At the end of the day the reason why I ended up with my rating is because whilst this book had characters from Born in Blood, it is overall a standalone. And as a story all on its own, whether I had read or known about the series beforehand hadn’t mattered because I loved every minute of it! It was beautifully written, well-paced, giving us growth in the relationship with every new chapter. You can see the progress, the changes in the family dynamics, the gradual openness, love and care.
I’ve always thought Cora’s books had an array of story lines — each book, pairing, and situation a little different from the others, but after reading Sweet Temptation I saw a completely different side to her Mafia world. Cassio and Giulia’s almost seemed the most… normal? of relationships… lol (which is kinda funny considering what truths are revealed in the book) — but there was no game playing, no ulterior motives. Despite the hardships in their marriage, it was also a partnership! 😀 It oozes pure love and legit sets the bar for relationships in this fictional twisted, gritty world.
You don’t have to be fan or familiar with mafia romances to give this one a go. Being a fan of romance books is more than enough, and this one is a beauty. But please note, there’s a subject matter within that may trigger some readers.
P.S. I will never look at sunflowers again without thinking of Cassio and Giulia 😛
Thank you, Cora. Thank you. Hehe ♥
Thank you to Cora Reilly (and Emily Alice) for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Sweet Temptation by Cora Reilly
Release Date: March 10, 2020
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— About the Author —
Cora Reilly is the author of the Born in Blood Mafia Series, The Camorra Chronicles and many other books, most of them featuring dangerously sexy bad boys. Before she found her passion in romance books, she was a traditionally published author of young adult literature.
Cora lives in Germany with a cute but crazy Bearded Collie, as well as the cute but crazy man at her side. When she doesn’t spend her days dreaming up sexy books, she plans her next travel adventure or cooks too spicy dishes from all over the world.
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Grab the Born In Blood Mafia Chronicles whilst you can! Besides events Cora will be attending, once all the new ones have all been revealed, the original covers will no longer be available for purchase.
UPDATE: CURRENT BOOK ORDER FORM IS NOW CLOSED!
Events Cora Reilly will be attending in 2020:
Apollycon, Washington DC, March 26th-29th [CANCELLED]
RARE Edinburgh, June 26th -27th
Authors in the Bluegrass, Lexington, October 2-3rd
Love N’ Vegas October, 23-25th
Shameless, Florida, November 6th-8th
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Thank you for reading my review! If you’re interested in reading my reviews for Cora Reilly’s other books, by all means… 😀
And in case you missed it, the Born In Blood Mafia Chronicles are getting new covers! Check out the covers for the first two books: Born In Blood Series New Covers
Happy reading, friends! Catch you in my next one! Xo
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