Today, I’m reviewing author Mandy Greenwood’s latest release, Kings, Part One of the Crime Lords series, a m/m mafia romance. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt, and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Series: Crime Lords, Part One
Author: Mandy Greenwood
Genre: M/M Mafia Romance
Kings: Misaki and Kristof are stunned when approached by their Boss to broker an alliance on behalf of the Omori-Vasilev Syndicate with a nearby group. But it was the terms of that alliance—marriage—which shocks them more. Neither wants a relationship, haven’t sought one in years and now they must convince the young heir of the Martel Group to choose one of them.
Dukes: Loyal to a fault, Demetri chose to remain in Ji-Hun’s pay despite the man casting him aside eight years ago. Despite his boss destroying any attempt by Demetri to seek love elsewhere. But will a brush with death change Ji-Hun’s mind?
Princes: Aidan doesn’t want to shoulder the responsibilities of his family’s business. Doesn’t want to have any part in his Grandfather’s attempts to form alliances with other groups through marriage. Desperate to end it, Aidan informs his family that he is gay, but he didn’t count on his Grandfather switching targets. Now Aidan’s world is being turned on its head because of two men.
He strode across the floor of the bar, thumbs hooked in the belt loops of his pants and an easy smile on his face, one that never failed to send a man to his knees. Misaki didn’t think Aidan would be that easy and the man didn’t disappoint, scowling at him like a feral cat as he spotted him. But feral cats didn’t scare him, if anything the defiance growing in Aidan’s eyes only made Misaki more determined to have a taste of him before foisting him off on Kristof. And as Misaki flicked his gaze to Su-Jin—the only one of Aidan’s friends he truly needed to fear—and caught the man’s sharp nod, he knew there’d be no interference from Ji-Hun’s younger brother. Perfect.
“You three should come join me,” he purred, gesturing at the booth he’d left.
“No-o, I don’t think so. We’re quite happy here at the bar,” Aidan replied, looking to his friends to back him up. “Isn’t that right?”
Misaki snorted. “It wasn’t an invitation, Aidan. It was an order.” Dropping his voice an octave or two until the dangerous edge hidden beneath his charm was revealed. “It wouldn’t be right for me to pretend that Ji-Hun’s brother isn’t here… rude of me not to pay for his drinks… And I have no intention of bringing Ji-Hun’s ire down on me for such a slight.”
He gestured at the bartender behind the bar that he was paying for the trio’s drinks and headed back to the booth. Waiting beside it Misaki ushered Su-Jin and Felix in first, giving them the outside seats next to the two bodyguards he’d brought with him. Smirked at the deepening scowl Aidan wore when he realised that Misaki had no intention of letting him sit on the outside of the booth. Where would the fun in that be? Sliding alongside Aidan, he took great delight in the brat’s reactions to his presence.
Conflicted emotions. Ones that Misaki wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of: Defiance and curiosity. He was so going to enjoy breaking Aidan in.
“You will be mine,” he growled huskily into Aidan’s ear.
“I don’t, fucking, think so,” Aidan hissed. “I don’t swing that way.”
Misaki tipped his head back and laughed, harder still when he saw the frustration and surprise sweep over Aidan’s face when he realised his friends had left him. “And you think that matters to me? It just makes seducing you more fun… and I can’t wait Aidan to hear you begging me to fuck you.” He grinned, ran a finger along Aidan’s jaw, sorely tempted to kiss him but decided that might push things to far…for now.
A reader could have gotten confused with the huge cast ensemble, but the author did a great job with giving each main character their own distinguishing feature. I must admit, when I first read the blurb I was intrigued, so of course I snapped up the chance to read and review the novel.
The plot is great. As stated in the blurb, a marriage is on the table to align two crime syndicate families. And neither of the would-be prospects wants to marry Aidan, whom they keep calling “the brat” through the story. I didn’t find Aidan a brat. More along the lines he needed some growing up to do, and there’s a good chance he will in Part II.
Misaki is quite the playboy and Kristof’s heart is chilling on ice after a terrible betrayal, and the betrayer is slinking around in his territory. I must admit, I loved this part of the story. I wanted to see if Kristof and his betrayer would meet face to face… Does it happen? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
My favourite characters were Demetri and Ji-Hun. They had so much history between them. Ji-Hun was such a dark man, and Demetri so willing to stay by his side. It makes me wonder if they were a sub and dom in their past relationship. I can’t call Demetri a true sub, though, because he does prove he’s capable of disobedience and his own independence.
This is an ARC, so there were quite a bit of sentence fragments going on. I’m not sure if this is the author’s writing style or not. The book is also heavy on internal narration and a lot of explaining, which I feel slowed the pace of the story.
With those two quibbles aside, I enjoyed this novel. If you’re a reader who wants to see pairings stick together, you won’t find that here. As stated in the blurb, it delves into multiple pairings and relationships. For me, I enjoyed the bed-hopping. I’m sure Part II will delve deeper into the relationships.
There is violence, bed-switching, mystery, and betrayal. I recommend you give it a read.
Will I read and review Part II? Yes. For sure. I’m hooked and I want to find out what happens next.
A Kiwi born girl who spends a lot of time laughing at the antics of her three teenagers; disappearing into the worlds created by other authors or undertaking the often-pointless task of weeding her garden. Of course, first she needs to dislodge the cat from her lap.
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