Silent Sentry by Theresa Rizzo

Hmm, well there are 2 things that are absolutely certain to me after finishing this book. 1) I’ll be thinking on it for a few days, and 2) Detroit is not the kind of place you wanna be out gallivanting after dark. Especially in a Jaguar.

What’s it About? 

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The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.

So when a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve.

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.

First Impressions

The book is called Silent Sentry, and the novel opens with a man watching over Gianna at her father’s funeral. He is obviously there looking out for her safety. Needless to say, I thought this “sentry” would be a main part of the novel, seeing as it’s basically named after him. Interestingly enough, although he ends up playing a major role, he really isn’t in the book at all! He’s seen in the background in a few scenes, and at the end we find out the connection as to why he’s protecting Gianna, but other than that? Not much! Honestly, I was kind of hoping for a bit more. He seemed like such an interesting character during that first scene, that I really wanted him and Gianna to have an actual conversation at some point.

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Far From Perfect

Our lovely couple of Gianna and Joe is an interesting mix. He’s a life-saving doctor, and she’s created an invention which will revolutionize hospital care. However, aside from their rather impressive resumes, they’re far from perfect. They’re both pretty stubborn, and constantly butt heads throughout a large chunk of the novel.

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This was one of those books where so much focus was placed on the drama and mystery side of the story, but I think a tad more integration of them falling in love would’ve been helpful. We are constantly questioning the details surrounding the hacker of Gianna’s invention, the mystery of her father’s death, as well as the death of Joe’s first wife. But before you know it the two are planning their wedding. Um, where did that come from? I think at one point I even asked, “Wait, do they actually like each other?”

Twisting Turns

This novel is full of twists and turns, but not the kind you’d expect, which was refreshing. It’s not like you thought the story would go one way, and then it ends up going another. No, instead it has more to do with the twists we encounter in life, both good and bad.

Example: although our characters technically have a happily ever after, it is in no way dancing butterflies and unicorns. By being with Joe, Gianna is now linked to a family with connections to the Mafia, not to mention the Godfather of all Godfathers. She may now be under his protection, but she also discovers some pretty unsettling news towards the end of the novel. Basically, don’t do anything to piss off the family, or you’re in for a world of hurt. It was actually a pretty interesting and unique take to a romance novel!

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You kind of go through a whirlwind of emotions in the last few pages of the book, from “Oh, that’s who that is”, to “Aw, that’s actually kind of sweet”, and one final reveal for a “Oh sh*t that’s a little messed up right there” moment. I felt like there were so many different elements, mysteries and theories at play here at the end that I had to stop and think if everything was actually resolved. I think so? I’m still not sure every who, what, where, when and why question was answered. Just like life, I guess! It definitely makes you think, and realize that in life sometimes not everything is wrapped up nicely in a little red bow.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: No siree

Should you read it? I personally thought there were almost too many stories taking place in one novel. We’ve got hackers, murders, mafia, business dealings, and romance all rolled into one. All of the stories kind of connect, but I think it would’ve been much more poignant to just focus on one exciting plot line. There were plenty to choose from after all! But after a while it was almost like sensory overload.

Smut Level: Joe and Gianna do manage to fall in love and have some nooky amongst all of the various attempts on their lives. Not too much detail though.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Rizzo Publishing. 410 Pages.

 

 

My Dirty Detour by Grace Risata

Technically, the full title of this novel is My Dirty Detour: An Alpha Male Mafia Comedy Romance. Kind of a mouthful. I guess I’ve just never been a huge fan of titles with a colon.

What’s it About?

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A dominant leader flees the mafia, looking for a fresh start in a small town. He put all his effort into starting a business and resigned himself to a life without love. A neurotic germaphobe lives vicariously through the books she reads, preferring to play it safe in real life and hide behind her sarcastic remarks. One fateful day, the simple act of taking a wrong turn leads Violet right into Rocky’s life and completely turns it upside down. Accustomed to his orders being obeyed immediately and without question, Rocky doesn’t appreciate Violet challenging his authority at every opportunity.

Violet charmed her way into his heart with her quick wit and stubbornness, causing Rocky to fail at his many attempts to resist her. Rocky tries to keep his violent past hidden from Violet, but it suddenly catches up to him and he can no longer deny who he really is. Will Rocky turn his back on the life he built or stay and fight for what’s his? When Violet is faced with situations that rival anything she’s merely read about, will she be able to face her fears and work together with Rocky or will the truth tear them apart? Follow the journey of Rocky and Violet as they take a dirty detour…

First Impressions

I must say I really did get a kick out of the first half of his novel. While driving around after running an errand, Violet stumbles upon a brewery with a rather intimidating proprietor. In spite of his rather off-putting demeanor, Violet agrees to work nights at his brewery in exchange for self-defense lessons. Sure, it’s a bit outlandish, but it still has its light-hearted and comedic moments that will bring a smile to your face. Not to mention a blossoming romance with a quintessential bad boy that will have you fanning your face. I loved the fact that Violet speaks her mind and has some interesting quirks on top of everything. When Rocky finally gives in to his feelings for her, Violet has to adjust to a new relationship unlike any she’s ever had before: one with a pure alpha male. Do you see why I enjoyed the first half so much?!

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Second Half

Unfortunately, the second half of the book wasn’t my fav, as it deviated from so much of what I liked about the first half. The light-hearted comedy is still there at times, but now it’s mixed with the drama of Rocky’s mafia past. What bothered me most about this part of the novel was that everything that Rocky and his friends once found endearing about Violet now appears to annoy them, from her sarcastic wit to her multitude of questions. It seemed like Rocky told her to be quiet more often than he said anything nice towards her. I felt like by constantly telling Violet to shush, he was acting just like her ex-husband by repressing what made her so unique and lovable.

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They also sort of treated Violet like an idiot every time she expressed confusion over the delicate intricacies of mafia protocol and hierarchy. Seems a bit harsh! After all, Rocky and his friends had all kept the details of their mafia past hidden from Violet, and she was thrown into this world after knowing them for only a matter of weeks. How is she magically supposed to know how to act and, more importantly, what not to say in front of a mafia don?  I personally don’t know if I could have put up with all that, even if Rocky was an apparent sex-god in the sack.

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Putting Up with so Much

Violet is introduced to Rocky’s past mafia link when his crazy ex-girlfriend, Ursula, comes to town with her posse in tow. He hasn’t seen her in over two years, yet Ursula immediately throws down a challenge to fight Violet. I’m talkin’ hand-to-hand combat here. Which is kind of like…what?

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Seeing as Rocky never actually provided Violet with those self-defense lessons she was working nights for, he decides to take her place and fight Ursula’s brother instead. Um, ok? I remember at one point towards the end of the novel Violet said that Rocky is really the only one who could get her out of this precarious situation alive. I couldn’t help but question if that was the main reason she put up with so much of the drama from Rocky’s turbulent lifestyle instead of just saying “See ya later buddy!”. Again, they’ve only known each other for 3 weeks. Might have a happily ever after, but I wonder if it will last forever.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nope, stand-alone with no cliffhangers.

Should you read it? I was definitely more of a fan of the first half of the book, from the plot itself to the actions of the characters. That being said, it has its funny moments, mixed with a bit of drama, mafia connections, an ex-girlfriend you’ll wanna slap, and an alpha male you’ll wanna…well, use your imagination 😉

Smut Level: Thankfully, the nooky mainly takes place during the first half of the book, and it’s pretty saucy. He may be an alpha male, but Violet can also take the reins and play dominatrix when the situation calls for it.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 323 Pages.