Today, I’m reviewing Broken News, a m/m contemporary mafia romance by bestselling author Sara Dobie Bauer. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Book Title: Broken News
Author: Sara Dobie Bauer
Release Date: August 22, 2019
Genre/s: M/M Romance, M/M Thriller, M/M Mafia
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 62 000 words
He was supposed to hurt him. Ruin him. Instead, he fell in love.
Blurb: In the big, bad city, Eric West holds the reins. A mafia king, he is feared, ruthless, and obsessed with a man half his age.
Will, his favorite whore, is young, beautiful, and the only person to ever bring him to his knees.
Will is a man to kill for.
A man to change for.
But what if Will isn’t what he seems?
Note: Broken News is a standalone M/M romance featuring age gap, detailed adult content, violence, hurt/comfort, and mentions of rape/dubious consent.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Miss Catherine paused. “He’s been waiting,” she whispered and walked away. The only evidence of her presence was the sound of velvet dragging on carpet as she disappeared barefoot, back to her other guests.
The rest was up to Eric. Of course he’d flown first class from London but hoped he didn’t smell too much like airplane upholstery and cheap wine. He straightened his tie and adjusted his suit. He ran the palms of his hands over his slick, blond hair and took one long, deep breath before opening the door.
The room was as he imagined, cast in shadows of firelight, and a man stood facing the front window. He had the edge of a heavy curtain raised as he stared into the city’s night. At the sound of the door closing, the man turned—if he could be considered a man. He more resembled a wide-eyed teen, but beautiful, so very beautiful.
Eric sighed, smiled, and shook his head. “My God,” he said.
Dark eyes appraised him. “I could say the same.”
They both took steps forward, which brought Eric’s new whore further into the orange light. Pressed to guess an age—and knowing Le Chateau only hired whores at least twenty-one or older—Eric guessed twenty-two at most. He wore the body and face of a youth but bearing of a confident man. His hair was black—short on the sides, long on top—and shined with the midnight luster of a thoroughbred’s flank. His eyes were shining, dark pools in the firelight but probably brown in the sun. He had high cheekbones, an angular jaw, and skin the color of untouched morning snow. Despite the poised demeanor, he was small in stature and frame, dressed in a black suit Eric imagined had been sewn for him, stitch by invisible stitch. Despite all the young man’s beautiful accouterments, it was his mouth that deserved worship, possibly idols built: a mouth so full, lush, and decadent, Eric was already half hard.
He stepped into the stranger’s space, towering almost a foot above the young whore, and opened the man’s suit coat. Eric ran his palms over slim sides and thumbed at the tops of jutting hipbones. Then, Eric bent forward with his mouth half open and sucked one wet, gentle kiss against the side of his neck. He smelled like spicy cologne and scotch.
“What’s your name?” He ran the tip of his nose over the stranger’s earlobe.
“Will,” he said.
“My name is Eric.”
Eric pulled back enough to see a small smile on Will’s face. His teeth were white and perfectly, perfectly straight.
“You must have cost a lot of money,” Eric said.
Will stepped forward and rubbed his nose across Eric’s carved chin. He practically breathed his response into Eric’s mouth: “And worth every penny.”
With that mouth so close, Eric was done talking. He slid one of his hands behind Will’s head and took hold to the back of his neck. His thumb was lost in soft black hair as he pulled Will even closer until their lips met. Eric moved slowly and savored the pliant softness. Will opened his mouth and allowed Eric’s tongue inside. Not only did he smell like scotch but tasted like it, too—something expensive with a lingering edge of vanilla. Eric’s other hand went to Will’s lower back and pressed their bodies together, which earned him a deep, delightful moan from his new toy.
I’ll get right to the review. First, this is a very dark romance. I mean very dark. As stated in the blurb, Will wants revenge on Eric. Because the plot is so well done, I can’t say too much or I’ll give everything away, and my review will become one big spoiler after another. All I can say is the author did a great job with the twists and turns in this m/m mafia romance.
Character arcs? Well executed, but at a big cost to others. Still, both main characters came into their own. Did they deserve the ending the author wrote for them? That’s up for the reader to decide. Me? I’m sort of on the fence, because the two main characters are two bad asses LOL. Still, I loved this book.
As for the secondary characters, I really enjoyed Catherine and Melanie, both strong in their own right with great arcs. They are more than secondary characters. They have a big hand in the plot, and it was refreshing to see two female characters front and center.
The setting wasn’t quite there. I never had this sense of being somewhere. It takes place in the USA. But there isn’t a city. It’s only called “the city.” The main focus of the novel occurs in two places: Le Chateau (where Eric meets Will) and at Eric’s mansion that he inherited from his deceased father-in-law.
For the “Mafia” part, I didn’t feel it was quite “mafia” either. Readers hear about what Eric does, but he never is quite in mafia boss mode. Still, as I said, the writing is solid and so is the plotting, which enabled me to overlook this in the book.
The writing is top-notch. The author is very skilled in this area. I enjoyed her prose.
The romance is steamy and full of angst, push and pull, and lust. This was well done and brilliantly captured.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. As I said, it’s very dark. And there are NO heroes. Only main characters. But if you love dark romance, you’ll love Broken News. If you want true heroes, this isn’t the book for you.
I recommend this book. I always say “the darker, the better” and this is very dark. I hope the author does give these two a sequel. I’d like to see how their romance plays out and how they’ll feel about each other in a different time and setting.
Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the Bite Somebody series and Escape Trilogy, among other sexy things.
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of
5 eBook copies of Escaping Exile, book one of the Escape Trilogy
3 eBook copies of my novella, A Lord to Love