Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin (A Dangerous Royals Romance #1)
Released: June 28, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
I really enjoyed Carolyn Crane’s romantic suspense series, The Associates. Super fun and sexy with a ton of action. She also writes under the pen name Annika Martin. I read Prisoner by her and also co-written by Skye Warren and I liked it although it they walked the line of consent in that one for me (heroine was drugged while he had sex with her).
I kind of feel consent is a little gray in the this book as well. Aleksio is part of the Albanian mob and when he was young, his parents were murdered in front of him. He was supposed to grow into his role of future king, but instead, had to pretend to be dead to save his life. Aleksio has two younger brothers, Viktor and Kiro, and with the help of what becomes his mentor, those two disappear so they can stay safe. Aleksio is trained to become something big – and that is what has happened. He has strength behind him, and he has found Viktor again, but Kiro has never returned. A prophecy was told to him that “The three brothers together will rule…Apart they are weak, together they are strong. They will take everything.” . Aleksio is desperate to revenge his parents death. He is even more desperate to find Kiro. He decides to make his move to kill the man who murdered his parents – who also may have knowledge on Kiro. In order to gain leverage, he kidnap’s this man’s daughter. This woman, Mira, just happened to be his childhood friend.
Mira has grown up a mafia princess, although she has been spoiled, she also works for a living and has control over her life. She knows her dad isn’t a morally outstanding guy, but she loves him dearly. So when Aleksio kidnaps her and threatens her father, Mira will do anything to keep her dad safe. She doesn’t believe Aleksio when he tells her the horrible deeds her father has committed.
Mira fondly remembers Aleksio from childhood, so when she realizes it is him who kidnapped her – and that he is not dead, at first she is happy – until she remembers she is abducted. Aleksio has that hard, cold edge – where he expects and demands everyone heed his every word. And then Mira comes along and challenges him – which of course steals his heart. Oh mafia romance! I do love it. While this book has a violent tone to it, there were many passages that made me snort-laugh.
Aleksio wants to really show Mira’s father he means business – so he decides he needs to cut off her pinky finger to mail to her father.
“Will you take a picture of it?”
“Take a picture of it. So I can remember it? I don’t have a picture of it.”
“Of you pinky?”
She holds up her hand and looks at the back, then the front. “I like how it…” I feel her chest convulse with unshed tears.
Bends, I think, finishing the sentence for her. It bends a little bit inward at the knuckle.
I mentioned earlier about consent – and that plays out during this scene.
Aleksio is presented as an anti-hero and I do love a dark anti-hero.
My main complaint about this book is I never felt the romance was fleshed out enough. I could feel Mira and Aleksio falling for each other, but the romance felt more in the background compared to Aleksio’s search for Kiro. I liked the book, but a little more romance would have made it even better.
I am excited for the next two books though. Viktor is next (the book is already out) and you don’t meet but see his heroine in this book. Plus he says things like:
I loved a girl once, and then I had to kill her. It was very hard.
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