Reaper by A. Zavarelli
Ronan makes this book for me. If there had been no romance at all, just stories about Ronan doing his job, interacting with his mafia brethren, and taking care of the dog he picked up from a dude he killed, I would’ve been happy. (And yes, he takes care of a little dog that he rescued from that very situation and it was ADORABLE.) But getting to see him find his HEA with the woman of his dreams? Priceless.
I’ll warn y’all, though. Ronan is not an easy guy to get to know. He makes Sasha, the heroine, REALLY work for it. It’s not his fault (which you’ll learn pretty quickly as you’re given little glimpses of his truly awful anti-childhood), but his relationship with Sasha isn’t always easy to read about. Ronan says and does things that would make just about any rational woman run for the hills, but still, this book is well-written enough that it never trips my bullshit meter. Even when Sasha and Ronan have what could be considered an instalove moment or two, I overlook it. Why? Because these are two of the most tortured, damaged, messed-up people I’ve ever found in romance land. And it seems perfectly plausible to me that a woman who’d been through what Sasha had been through would immediately fall for a guy who rescued her with no regard for his own personal safety. In other words, you couldn’t really say that there’s anything unrealistic about Sasha and Ronan’s relationship because exactly what WOULD be normal for these people?
This book can also be read as a standalone. Just because it’s part of a series, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything if you haven’t read book 1. (Although I highly recommend book 1, too)
Long-story-short, this is a story that has LOTS of yummy Irish mafia dudes with hearts of gold (tarnished gold, but gold nonetheless), and I absolutely dare you to read this series and NOT get totally sucked into it. It’s highly 1-clickable.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
Definitely check out the author’s backlist. And for more sexy, mafia men, you’ll want to check out this list. We also have a sexy assassins list, if you’re into that kind of thing. (And who isn’t?)
6/20/2018 12:38:07 am
Thanks for the recommendation. I got it and ended up reading it straight through today. It was everything you said in your review and more. I've read other mafia books, but this was the first time I'd read anything about the Irish. Even having read your review, I wasn't prepared for how much I'd love Ronan. It definitely wasn't easy to read certain parts. In spite of the horrific things he endured, he was so loving and protective of her. Not that she knew that for awhile, as it took some time before he was able to show the intense emotions he was feeling, but when he did...magic. I can't wait to read more of this series. Thanks again and enjoyed your review. :)
Jennifer, Romance Rehab
6/20/2018 08:58:51 am
Yay! I'm so glad you loved Ronan as much as I did, Sondrea. Happy reading with the rest of the series!!
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