Devil You Know by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎
Character development: 👨🏻👱🏻♀🧔🏻👩🏻
The heroine: Celeste Ricci (a.k.a. Celia) – her mafia father was about to marry her off to someone she hated when she was kidnapped by Nic.
The Hero(es): Nicolo Diavolo (a.k.a. Nic) – His parents and older brother were murdered in front of him and his younger brother Luca when they were kids. His revenge against the Ricci family is to sell Celia in an auction to the highest bidder.
The Story: I didn’t expect Nic to go through with the auction in book one but was surprised when he did. However, after Celia was auctioned of, things didn’t quite go as Nic planned and Celia is in the hands of someone she feared.
I liked the storylines and the book was definitely sizzling hot, but I couldn’t tell if I liked Nic at all. He is into BDSM a bit and is all possessive alpha male, but I found it hard to really like him because he wasn’t just dominant, he was indifferent to what Celia wanted and seemed to see her as something he owns and he would bend her to his will.
I mean it is one thing to be possessive and say “you’re mine” which is sexy when it is in the way that you are mine and I am yours. But at first he was truly of the mind that she belonged to him like he owns her. Though part of his definition of that was that he would care for her, as in making sure she eats, and helping her wash in the shower, and brushing her hair afterwards.
Nic was gentle with Celia after they were intimate, but he did things like tying her to the bed overnight because she wouldn’t say what he wanted. Of course as in many romance novels he goes from being the cruel master to the loving partner by the end of the book, which shouldn’t be a spoiler to anyone. So that was great.
It sure held my attention throughout. Also there was the family drama since Celia’s father killed Nic’s family and him wanting revenge. I don’t know why Celia would feel any loyalty at all for her parents since they were basically strangers to her and willing to marry her off to cement an alliance. Plus her father is just an all around bad guy.
The supporting characters were great also. Luca, the brother, was an interesting guy and quite the dark horse. Soo, who was Nic’s bodyguard/second-in-command/fixer was stoic and reasonable when Nic would fly into a rage. So I liked him as well. All in all, I really liked it, It was a dark romance so I can forgive Nic for his overbearing chauvinist way of thinking and I loved the way he cared for Celia.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
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