Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: Violent Delights - Jessica Hawkins

Violent Delights (White Monarch #1)
by Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2019

“She is mine.” Three words from two different men.
A life, future, and love I don’t get to choose.

In the de la Rosa family, old grudges run deeper than loyalty, and betrayal is a three-letter word: war. But this feud isn’t between enemies. It’s between brothers. And I’m the prize.

I was born a princess among criminals. An untouchable among thieves. Heiress to a life others have killed for, and one I'd do anything to escape. I vowed not to leave without Diego, my first love and best friend, but if his ruthless brother has his way, I won’t leave at all. Cristiano de la Rosa is a man as big and bold as his legend. Once upon a time, he was our cartel’s best soldier . . . until he became my family’s worst enemy.

A man like Cristiano will bend fate to his will to get what he wants. Even if it means dragging me to hell—and tearing me from his brother's arms.

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5 Stars
I struggle to write this review after the fifth night of dreaming I am Natalia and I am in the difficult position of being stuck in the middle of a war. The conflicting emotions, the betrayal, the love, the lust, the fear, weigh heavily on me when I open my eyes each morning. I was not only caught up in the story, I am now living it in my sleep. Violent Delights is, and this is a number one fan's perspective, Jessica Hawkins' most ambitious and well written novel yet. She takes us into the mind of the beautiful and naive Natalia, daughter of a Mexican cartel boss, and takes us on a twisted journey. She gives Natalia a life of sadness and hope, a life once filled with promise now bound by obligation. She gives us two men, brothers by birth, divided by choice, and gives us countless reasons to both desire and hate them. Cristiano is a brutally handsome, ruthless man, the dark de la Rosa son, while Diego is the light. The feud between brothers is old, their feelings run deep, and as truths are revealed Natalia and the readers are left wondering who is really the right brother to trust one's life with.

"I had run away from all this, but the devil still tempted that stupid little girl."

I cannot get over how quickly I became wrapped up in this story. While the premise and the trope is common in the romance genre and organized crime sub-genre, it is the storytelling that is unique. Jessica Hawkins kicks off this action-packed romance with a scene that is emotional and memorable. We are immediately protective over the heroine and yet we are also aware that all may not be as it seems. With time comes answers, but those answers reveal secrets and truths that can and do change the course of Natalia's life. The bonds between family, friends, and lovers are tested as the business side of things, the side Natalia has tried to ignore and avoid, overflow into her life. I was so impressed with Jessica Hawkins' transition into organized crime with this novel, especially with her previous releases being contemporary romance. Violent Delights felt realistic, the family business and the competitive nature of crime was very accurate in my opinion. 

"Then I'd like to change my order. Please tell the heavens it is my dying wish to hear you scream."

Violent Delights is the first novel in Jessica Hawkins' new White Monarch series. While it does end on a cliffhanger, it was the perfect sort of cliff to jump off of. The novel introduces the characters and their complexities and immediately readers are in the center of a fast paced battle for power and for the girl. Like all Jessica Hawkins novels, this book is incredibly well written and is an amazing start to a new series from the Queen of Slow Burn Romance.
Author Bio

Jessica Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author known for her "emotionally gripping" and "off-the-charts hot" romance. Dubbed "queen of angst" by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she's garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart...and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in New York and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.
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