This week I'm reviewing TEMPTED: A Mafia Romance by Anna Ray. This book is the first book in the Mafia Sinners series. And before we get into the review, let's check out this cover....boy, it sure is getting hot in here!
A successful (and legitimate businessman), Daniel decides its time to return to the family business. Like a prodigal mafia prince looking to get in the game, his father couldn't be prouder. Daniel's smart, shrewd, and in control. He's the perfect scion, except for one thing...he's too much of a playboy to be taken seriously by the other families. But that may not be an issue now that the delectable Laura enters his radar.
Laura is a recent business grad with a lot on her plate. As the care-taker to her ailing mother, she'd do anything to get a salaried position, if she could just get her foot in the door. When she takes the job as Daniel's PA, sparks fly and she realizes her plate is now piled high.
TEMPTED: A Mafia Romance by Anna Ray hits the big themes in this one. It has a terrific set up for a wild mafia romance and all the big plot points to keep you reading. The handsome mafioso who always gets what he wants, the sexy (and smart) personal assistant who seems to be the only one who can resist his charms, thus pushing him closer to her until he realizes he's in love and that he'd do anything for her....right?
Things that worked for me:
1)The characters. Daniel and Laura were a good match and had balance. Laura was thoughtful and complex. Daniel, while a little douchey, was actually appropriately portrayed for his character. There was a good chemistry between them.
2) The plot. I love a good "prodigal son/daughter/whoever returns home" type of story and that's what this was. Daniel has already made a name for himself, but has a desire to go back to his roots and I find that very intriguing for a character.
3) Well written narrative. The flow of the work is easy to consume. Always a pleasure to read something written in the way Ray has mastered.
4) The banter between the two main characters. It was natural and had me wanting to read more scenes with them.
Things that didn't quite work for me:
1) The main problem I had with this book was the pacing and length. What I read, I enjoyed. But I wanted to be more immersed in the story. I felt like there was so much opportunity for reader's to experience what the characters experienced, but it wasn't given the page time. I wanted to experience more of the banter between Daniel and Laura. I wanted to be more of a part of his internal struggle and his conflict between falling for her and knowing that in doing so, he was putting her in danger. Same for Laura. She knew he was dangerous (and her boss). I wanted to experience more internal conflict about making the "right" choice with her. In relation, I wanted a more detailed account of the side stories. The bad guys were bad, but I wanted more to them. It just seemed a bit off pace and I wanted the story to slow down and take the time to show me exactly what the characters were experiencing.
Because of this, I'm giving this book 3.5 kisses. I liked it, and I think Anna Ray is a solid author. I would definitely read more of her books. But for this particular story, I wanted more involvement as a reader. If I could see more of that romance unfold, this would easily be a 4.5-5 kiss review. Still, it's a quick and enjoyable book and I would recommend it to people looking for quick read mafia romances.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Ray lives in California with her husband, two cats and an impressive book collection. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Anna forged a successful career in sales management. She is a bit obsessive when it comes to writing. If she's not writing, you'll undoubtedly find her with her nose buried deep in a book, or binge watching bad TV shows.
FOR MORE ABOUT ANNA RAY CLICK HERE.