~*ARC REVIEW ~ Sergio: A Dark Mafia Romance, by Natasha Knight

#dark #mafiaromance 

Book Blurb

Coming April 23rd

I’m the first-born son of the mafia king. The favorite. Destined to rule, I’m a dangerous man, a ruthless one. But in my world, you have to be.
Then Natalie stumbles into my life. Wrong place. Wrong time.
Twice, fate put her in my path.
Twice, fate placed the innocent lamb at the mercy of the monster.
I gave her a chance to walk away. Told her it would be better for her if she did.
But she didn’t listen.
And now it’s too late.
Because I’m not good. I never wanted to be. And I won’t let her go anymore. See, I’m not the hero. When I touch her, it’s with dirty hands.
I know my reckoning is coming though. I know I’ll burn for the things I’ve done, the sins I’ve committed. And I don’t deny hell is where I belong, but I want my time first. I want my time with her.
She’s mine.
Forever.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Heartbreakingly Beautiful!

Having read Natasha Knight’s Salvatore, which also tells the story of the Benedetti Brothers, I knew full well what to expect with this read, yet wondered if I was up to it. After some days of procrastination, I put on my big girl pants, girded my loins and dived in. Well let me tell you, the author has TOTALLY SLAIN me with Sergio and Natalie’s story, but I am so glad that I have read it. This dark and intense alpha deserved his story and his legacy.

In classic Natasha Knight style I was drawn into the read from the start. Once again the author effortlessly transported me to the turbulent and violent life of the mafia world in which Sergio, as his father’s heir, is very much a part. It is bloody and vicious and enemies lurk waiting for a chance to strike and exploit any weakness.

Natalie and Sergio are drawn together like the proverbial moth to the flame and their chemistry is palpable, reflected in every look, every touch and every word uttered between them. The author has a unique way of writing her alpha males and the dark, tortured character of Sergio is the perfect foil for Natalie’s inner strength and innocence. Destiny brought them together not once, but twice and their story is a beautiful one, but there are shadows which persist and grow alongside their love. The story is both heartbreaking and beyond beautiful and even as I sensed the ever present darkness draw in, I could not stop reading until the conclusion.

I am however flailing in its wake, overcome with emotion. I know I will have to pick myself up, but what to read next? Sergio is an intense read that will pull at the heartstrings and will remain with you.

Recommended for lovers of dark romance and tortured heroes, especially if you love mafia romances.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, an ARC of this book was give to me  for the purpose of  fair and honest review.

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Connect with the Author

https://www.facebook.com/natasha.knight.946
http://natasha-knight.com/books/

 

 

When it Happens to You: A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald – *Review*

When it Happens to You

Short stories entwined make for an empathetic and emotional narrative!

Blurb: When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren’t facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.

Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life–revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.

In “The Harvest Moon,” a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In “Ursa Minor,” a former children’s television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for “exhaustion.” An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in “The Little One.” In “My Olivia,” a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.

As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, “When It Happens to You” is an auspicious literary debut.

Review

As a fan of Molly Ringwald’s acting work in movies such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, when I popped into my local store and spotted When it Happens to You I was intrigued as to what her writing work would be like. I was not disappointed. When it Happens to You is an enjoyable, profound character-based narrative, exploring morals and betrayal of love and emotion.

When it Happens to You provides examples of people’s real life troubles in everyday life. It explores emotions and reactions, as well as a chance to view the situation by different perspectives which allows the reader to empathise with many of the characters. Molly Ringwald has certainly mentally placed herself in the shoes of each character, discovering their personality, flaws and reactions.

Many readers may have experienced one or more of the ordeals that the characters are experiencing themselves or will know of someone who has. It is because of this that makes it so easy to relate and connect with the characters and their story. The reader can begin to understand how an unfaithful partner, an act of betrayal, can affect their partner’s life, their child’s life and their own life, as well as the lives of their friends, families, neighbours and new acquaintances they may meet.

When it Happens to You is made up of short stories based on each of the characters and the events that are taking place in their lives and how they respond and feel about them. Each short story centres strongly around that particular character, however as the reader goes from one story to another it becomes obvious that the book as a whole can be read fluid-like through each chapter and has a strong current running through all of them which allows the reader to see the bigger picture as well as the individual one. The stories are all connected, some more subtle than others, and they all share a main theme based on betrayal and different kinds of relationships that people have with others.

My favourite short story has to be ‘When it Happens to You’ as it explores every possible mental thought that a hurt, deceived individual would think. It asks all the questions, no matter how insane they sound and goes on to reveal how priorities are mixed up and how one loses all sense of logic when in this dark, lonely place. For example, regardless of all global troubles, natural disasters and tragedies, etc, the mind will focus on the one hurt that affects them personally. There is a great deal of powerful description, language and feeling in this one particular story. I felt that this was the core of the book and could have used the whole chapter as a quote, however this would certainly spoil the book for any future reader.

The strength and emotive power that takes over the audience when watching Molly Ringwald in character in her movies are all too apparent in her writing also. Emotions run high, there are scenes that can bring on tears, whilst around the corner Molly provides the characters (and the reader) with hope and opportunity.

Aside from the novel itself, the reader is also provided with two fantastic features in the book once the story has been read. Firstly, there is a section About the Author ‘Meet Molly Ringwald’ which provides the reader with background knowledge of Molly Ringwald’s career. This is followed by About the Book ‘A Conversation with Molly Ringwald’ where the reader is able to discover ideas and main themes of the individual short stories, as well as the book as a whole and what holds it all together. Although I found this to be fascinating to read as it breaks up the emotions and parts of the story even more, the story speaks strongly for itself and requires no clarification. It is an absolutely captivating read!!

Molly Ringwald’s ‘When it Happens to You is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK in hardback, paperback and Kindle editions.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

 

*BLOG TOUR* Enduring Everything, by M. Sembera – Includes Excerpt and Giveaway


Today we are THRILLED to be one of the tour hosts for M. Sembera’s latest release ENDURING EVERYTHING, a romantic and emotional read! Scroll down to check out the blurb, read an excerpt and find out details of a fantastic giveaway. ENJOY! Tina ❤

Time doesn’t always heal old wounds. Often time makes them worse. Especially when you push those wounds to the back of your mind and focus on the life you want to lead.Then the day comes when you finally have everything.

It is then, you realize that nothing ever goes away.

In order to put years of heartache and abuse behind her, Ren learned to bury the past deep down inside herself and focus on one thing; raising her daughter Sophia. As the years passed, she found peace in the daily routine of her job and becomes content with being a mom. 

On the night of her daughter’s wedding, Ren takes a risk and strays from the predictable world she has set up for herself when her longtime friend Jackson rekindles a loving promise he made to her long ago.

Ren cannot keep her past buried, and the two struggle when old problems start to creep back into their lives. She cannot get her world back in order and her instinct is to shut everyone out.  

In the midst of it all Ren is coerced into helping Charlotte, an adopted teenager of her close friends the Roberts’. Reluctantly agreeing, Ren finds Charlotte is in dire need of self control and direction. Upon discovering they share a similar upbringing Ren feels she can advise Charlotte and keep her from repeating her own mistakes. Taking steps to ensure Charlotte’s recovery, her new found purpose causes a rift in the family she has come to know and love as her own.  

Battling issues, both new and old, will Ren & Jacks be able to endure everything life has thrown at them or will Ren give up everything and isolate herself from the inevitable pain that will follow when all her secrets are revealed? 

Excerpt

Careful not to tip the lounge we were sitting on over, Jackson stood up. Standing in front of me, in only his dress slacks, he flashed a wide smile before getting down on one knee. Suddenly my heart was beating erratically in my chest. Shifting to face him, we were at eye level as he took my hand and placed it over the wren and Celtic heart tattoo on the left side of his chest.

“When I first met you, I thought you were cute. The first time I talked to you, I knew you were a smart ass. On our first date, when I kissed you and said not to be nervous, I was talking to myself. Even though I almost ruined our date, I knew you liked me when you said you would see me again. We claimed each other at seventeen but I’m not sure when I started to love you. I know it broke my heart when I had to leave you at your parent’s house after knowing what your father did to you, when you said you wanted us to just be friends, when you came back and I found out you were pregnant and I honestly thought it was going to kill me when you got married. More than once you tried to get me to let you go but I never could. No matter how hard it was on both of us, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. I am a better man with you. You didn’t steal my heart, I gave it to you. Marry me and I swear the only thing I will ever want from you is your heart in return.”

Feeling his heart under my hand as he spoke and the way it would beat faster when he mentioned moments from our relationship, I replied, “Yes.”

A wide smile preceded a softer one as he slowly kissed me before offering, “I’ll take you inside now.”

Shaking my head, I pulled him back onto the chaise lounge with me.

 

About the Author

Born in Baton Rouge Louisiana, I now live in Brazoria Texas with My Husband, Three Kids, Three Dogs and Two Cats. I wrote my first short story when I was in high school and instantly fell in love with writing. However, life sometimes gets in the way of aspirations and it wasn’t until years later, when my life calmed down, I was able to start writing again. For me, each new book I write or character I create  feels like the first time and I find myself falling in love with writing all over again.

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↓Read Chapter 1↓

Sophia’s Wedding Day

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