Review: Royal Bully (Mafia Royals #0.5) by Rachel Van Dyken

Print Length: 91 pages
Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises LLC (March 30, 2020) 

From The prequel to the much anticipated Mafia Royals series....

Something dark this way comes.
He's gorgeous, mean, and mine.
He catches me dreaming about him, and then just like my dream, he decides to make me his.
I should have said no when he asked me to swear fealty to him.
The knife clued me in first.
The blood second.
And third, it was the blessing of the most famous mafia bosses in the known world as they sat around the dinner table and told me that I had no choice but to join.
Because they knew my secrets.
And running meant I was nothing more than target practice.
I said yes because of my bully.
And he told me he'd keep me safe.
But who keeps me safe from him?


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Honestly, I don't feel like 91 pages was really sufficient enough to really tell this story. 

I am a long-time fan of the Elite series (of which this is a spin-off), but I feel like I don't really know what's going on with this one. Asher and Claire are interesting together, I don't feel like I saw a deep connection between them. When we first meet them, he shows up in her dorm and they have sex together (although apparently, they have known each other for two months). From there it's straight into the proverbial fire as Claire is brought home to meet the family (including the cousins, uncles and wives). 

I liked the contrast between them. He's a cold-blooded killer, and she still has a shred of humanity left in her. I would have liked to have seen more about how she handles not so much being brought into his world, but being flung into it headfirst. She breaks down the first time she sees Asher with blood on his hands (although any sane person would), and then she's forced a few chapters later to prove her loyalty to the family. It's a lot for anyone to take it, and I'm insanely curious to see how Claire will manage it. 

I did enjoy how this novel sets up for the first full-length novel in this new series, Ruthless Princess, even if I don't (yet) understand why some of the family rules are the way they are.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                        Royal Bully is available from

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