Review: Mafia Casanova by M. Robinson & Rachel Van Dyken - .Red Wine & Books

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Review: Mafia Casanova by M. Robinson & Rachel Van Dyken

 

Print Length: TBA
Publisher:  (November 17, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?

Can you get anymore cliche? I’d heard that damn phrase my entire life.
Most of the time, it was when a woman was mid-orgasm—or, when I was about to take someone’s life.
You see, we all have our demons.
Apparently, my name was mine. Though it didn’t help me get my answers any faster.

I nodded when I was supposed to.
I smirked when I needed to.
I complimented when the timing was right.
Then… I’d send them to hell after giving them nothing but heaven.
I should’ve felt guilt.
I didn’t.
Because I was good at what I did.

Making people believe what I wanted them to was an art I perfected. In a world where nothing mattered but staying at the top, I made sure no one slipped through my fingers.
Except for her.
She was gorgeous.
One might say she was the female version of me.
I lost her once.
I wouldn’t lose twice.

Now was the time…

To let the games begin.

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Let me start off by giving credit where it's due. You would NOT know that this book was written by two different authors. And while I have yet to read anything else by M. Robinson, I have read enough of Rachel's novels (especially her mafia ones), that I thought for sure I would be able to spot who wrote what (or if they only wrote a specific character), however the characters seamlessly blend together so that this is one cohesive story. 

However, I.... had a lot of problems with this one. One of the biggest ones being the switch not only in points of view, but in time periods. I understand what the authors were trying to do, but for me, it just made it feel very disjointed and more than once I had to go back and look to see if what was going on was happening in "real time" or in the past. 

I also couldn't empathize (or even sympathize) with any of the characters (except Naz). 

To me, Romeo wasn't sexy. He was a complete asshole. In fact, he goes so far as to haul Eden over his knee and SPANK her shortly after SHE BURIED HER HUSABAND because she didn't want to thank him for essentially moving into her home (and sharing her bed). Of course she is told it's for her protection, but really? What woman wants to deal with this when she's just buried her husband? He wants her to submit to him, but he also in the same breath says she needs to be strong enough to endure what is to come. He comes into her house covered in blood, and then gets mad at her when she comments that it was "a lot of blood". Mind you, her young son is not only home, but runs past them (apparently oblivious to the bloody mess that was Romeo). 

And Eden? Was no better. I first lost interest in her when she allows Romeo to take her virginity the night before her wedding. She was selfish and shallow (the whole time Romeo is giving his speech during her rehearsal dinner she's thinking about how he's doing it to insult her). She is constantly thinking about Romeo, pining after him even after she marries his brother (and regardless of the horrible things he says to her). When her husband threatens to kill her, when he puts his hands on her for the first time, all she can think about is how she can't leave him because her son is a "good boy" who needed his mother and father together? When her father offers to come to her aid, she begs him not to hurt her husband? Seriously? In the era of the #metoo movement these two authors couldn't have an abused wife leave and stay gone?  

Together? Toxic is the first thing that comes to mind. For crying out loud they both knew that Tristan (Eden's husband, Romeo's older brother and a bigger asshole than the both of them combined), was jealous of their relationship, yet they never made any attempt to hide their feelings for each other. Even if they didn't cross the line again after she was married, he still flaunted that he loved her and she loved him. One example that sticks out in my mind is he shows up at her birthday party (after his brother warned him off two years prior) and gives her the locket she had been wanting. When she opens it, she's first breathless at the photo of her son on one side, but then pissed when she sees a photo of her AND HER HUSBAND on the other side. Eden honey, if you didn't love Tristan, you shouldn't have married him. 

I'm sorry, I read to be entertained not to watch someone be abused both physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout ninety percent of the story. And that is what a lot of this felt like. It didn't feel like it served a purpose above and beyond showing the reader how horrible Eden's choice in men was. 

Now all of that being said, I know I am going to likely be in the minority here. Things I didn't like or didn't find sexy about a particular character or scene other people are likely to love. That's just the nature of reading. This book does end on something of a cliff-hanger (not where it pertains to these two, as they get their happily-ever-after, but as a lead in to the authors' next co-written story entitled Falling for the Villain). I'll admit to being curious about that one as we don't really get to see much of Juliet in this book so I'm interested to see how the females of the Sinacore family compare to the men. 

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.


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                                                                   Mafia Casanova is available from Amazon.com

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