She fears the dark.
He rules it.
Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time.
Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.
Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never…
One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.
Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes.
All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.
His maddest obsession.
Ok, I’m going to be completely honest here and say that of the three books currently released in this incredible mafia romance series, I left The Maddest Obsession until last to read because of the heroine. In the first book, The Sweetest Oblivion, we are introduced briefly to both Christian and Gianna. During that introduction, Christian appears mysterious, intriguing, and oh-so-attractive in a dark, dangerous way; while Gianna – honestly – comes across as, well, a hot mess.
I’m not typically a fan of those ‘hot mess’ type of characters because I really struggle to make sense of their thoughts and reasonings behind their actions. This is especially the case when, as in The Sweetest Oblivion, these type of characters are viewed through another person’s perspective so any sense of thought process has been colored not only by my view as the reader but another character’s view as well.
Anyway, the point of that long-winded spiel was that I put this one off because I wasn’t sure how I would take to the heroine; but I’m so glad that I did pick it up because it was phenomenal in a way completely different from both The Sweetest Oblivion, and book three, The Darkest Temptation.
In The Maddest Obsession, we get to see an expanded, detailed history of Christian and Gianna’s relationship (well before The Sweetest Oblivion) and how exactly they got to the point that they did. Gianna’s ‘hot mess’ behaviour is explained more and easier to understand as part of her personality, and it’s a fun opposition to Christian’s need for rules, routine and order. Seeing Christian with his (*potentially) OCD tendencies learn to live with Gianna’s constant ‘chaos’ and need for attention was really interesting; they both had to make concessions for the other and really work together to make the relationship work in a way that best fits their needs and personalities.
Outside of the central relationship, I enjoyed getting glimpses of Ronan (Christian’s brother/hero of The Darkest Temptation), and seeing pieces of Christian’s involvement in the criminal underworld (especially considering he’s meant to be FBI).
Overall, The Maddest Obsession was highly entertaining and a great addition to the Made series. Lori is such a fantastic writer and has created an incredibly detailed and intriguing mafia romance series. I really looking forward to not only reading more from Lori in the future but also re-reading this series again and again. It’s definitely become one of my top favourite series of all time and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark romance or mafia romance books.
*I say ‘potentially’ because while it comes across that he has signs of having OCD, there is also a mention by a psychiatrist in the book that it may not actually be OCD but instead a habit/need for routine. I don’t know too much about the topic personally and it is never full established as one diagnosis or the other in the book.
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