Rating 4.5 Stars
I love mafia series. I love the dark, gritty storylines. I love the protective alpha heroes (usually with a “tortured” background) who learn the joys of love and life with their leading lady. And I love Cora Reilly. As someone who has been reading Cora’s mafia series (yes, series as in PLURAL! She also wrote the Born in Blood series) for a while now, I was so excited for the release of Twisted Hearts (book 5 in The Camorra Chronicles), featuring Savio “The Bull” Falcone and Gemma “Kitty” Bazzoli.
What I love about each book is how well Cora is able to revise all of the previous necessary information so that each book could essentially be read as a standalone; however, for maximum enjoyment, I highly recommend reading in order! Twisted Hearts begins years prior when young Gemma (aged 10) first sees Savio (aged 14) and immediately falls “in love”. From this moment on, she does what so many other girls her age do when faced with their first crush and gets herself into some embarrassing (but hilarious) situations to get his attention. Though far from being a gentleman, Savio only views her as the annoying little sister of his friend until she grows up and becomes of age.
In the mafia world, there are “traditionalists” like Gemma’s family who expect her to be engaged by aged 16 and ready to marry by 18. However since Savio doesn’t view her in a romantic/sexual capacity for years, Gemma is faced with the problem of becoming promised to someone else and when this happens… well, Savio has some decisions to make!
This story was a solid effort and had everything that I love in a mafia series. Cora has the ability to create beautiful, complex characters to fit her beautiful, complex storylines. Gemma was relatable and had so much character growth over the years; despite her upbringing, she remained true to herself while still a independent and confident woman. Savio might have had less character growth in the beginning but by the end, he learned to re-evaluate his priorities and become the man Gemma deserved. I won’t lie though, I wanted to reach into the book and shake him for his idiocy for at least 70% of the story.
Another special highlight for me was seeing more from the other characters I’ve come to know and love in the previous books. Relationships between the couples are going strong, the children are growing up happy and healthy, and the tenuous truce between The Camorra and New York Famiglia continues to hold.
If you like dark, gritty romances or mafia series, you can’t go past The Camorra Chronicles and Born in Blood! This is yet another book I’ve added to my “Written by Amazing Indie Author and Now I Need the Physical Copy” list.
AVAILABLE ON 7 JANUARY 2020! PRE-ORDER NOW!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Cora Reilly and Emily Alice PA for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!