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    REVIEW: Say I Do by Brea Alepou & Skyler Snow

    Vitale Brothers: Say I Do – Brea Alepou & Skyler Snow

    What do you get when you mix a mobster with the son of the yakuza?

    A marriage bathed in blood.

    I never expected to be getting married, but when a business opportunity lands in my lap, I know I have to take it. After all, my family means the world to me. I’ll do anything to keep them safe, even if it’s entering a marriage that’s nothing more than convenience so I can pop out an heir.

    However, that’s not what happens. The Hayashi’s pull a fast one and I’m left with a snarling godd*mn hellhound on my hands. Harlow is nothing like the demure, sweet woman I signed up for. No, he’s got teeth and he knows how to use them.

    There’s no going back.

    I’ll either fall in love or bury another lover.

    When I started the Vitale Brothers series, I loved the cover of Take Me Apart but didn’t put much meaning to it. It wasn’t until the second book, Paid In Full, that I sat up and took a closer look at the cover because, holy hell, the scene connected to it slayed me!

    And DAMN! Benito’s book is a killer, too! That cover is perfect, right down to the turtle tattoo!

    Say I Do is the marriage between a monster and the devil. You can bet it’s one hell of a wedding night!

    And did I say they’re marrying each other, TWICE!

    Seriously, do we expect anything less from the merger of the head of a notorious mafia family and the son of the yakuza boss? It is as feral as it fiery, the bloodlust as intense as the passion! The hatefucks are so nuclear they set the standard for my other reads!

    The opening scene set the tone with Harlow Hayashi strapped to a gurney and gagged, ala Hannibal Lecter, because our boy is too deadly. He was wheeled into his wedding to Vitale Family head, Benito, after his twin sister became unsuitable for being pregnant with another man’s child.

    Surprised by this turn of events, a.k.a. shitty move by the Hayashis, but unwilling to break the fragile peace, Benito went through with the wedding ceremony. Not knowing what to do with a groom and claiming to be straight, Benito was quick to realize his life not only turned upside down, it got whole lot bloodier too.

    Please check the trigger warnings before diving in. There are instances of pedophilia, trauma, death, grief, and a lot of morally grey, if not down right criminal actions.

    There is also graphic domestic violence here, and by that, we have Benito and Harlow going at it like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt discovering they’re both spies. It’s not pretty, but just like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mr. Vitale couldn’t resist the magnetic pull and soon channeled their aggression into a more steamy exchange of body fluids. It happens every time buttons are pushed because these two just loved pushing.

    Mostricio, non nascondetevi da me. Non eri quello che cercavo, ma sei tutto ciò di cui ho bisogno
    “Monster, don’t hide from me. You weren’t what I was looking for, but you’re all I need”

    The tumultuous romance blossomed while Benito is tasked to uncover who is snitching on the Vitales to a reporter. Harlow, recognizing his stake in the marriage and the Vitales, uses his skills and contacts to help gather intel on the snitch.

    This brought him to an old lover, the head of the Chinese triad, who declares ownership of Harlow. Even as a child, the young man was nothing but a bargaining chip to his father who handed him over to the triad. Benito’s not having any of the triad leader’s crap and took matters in his own hands.

    This series rarely pulled its punches, and Benito’s story did some heavy hitting, as well. This book is the perfect balance of sex, violence, and FEELS so swoony, the boutique scene melted me into goo! Add to that a gripping plot, and writing that keeps the tension tightly wounded until it exploded into a glorious red wedding climax.

    To top it off, another brother was introduced! The mysterious Gianpaolo, Gin’s twin, sacrificed his life for the family to become an FBI agent. He’s going to be paired with his boss! Can’t wait to see how they make this work!

    Say I Do blew my expectations out of the water! It is what a proper enemies-to-lovers romance should be, where real hate burns like fire of a thousand suns and the love it forges is true and unbreakable. This 3rd book of the series cements the Vitale Brothers as one of the most memorable mafia romances I’ve read this year!

    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: To Be
    Artist: The Irrepressibles
    Album: Nude


    Vitale Brothers is best read in order because these brothers are pretty special. Meet Enzo who likes ’em bloody and neat in Take Me Apart. Meet Gin who likes a toppy twink in Paid In Full.

    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to buy your copy of Say I Do. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

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    REVIEW: Paid In Full by Brea Alepou & Skyler Snow

    Vitale Brothers: Paid in Full – Brea Alepou & Skyler Snow

    I’m used to my life being insanity. A family of a-holes, being locked up, and a few loose screws? Yeah anyone would go crazy. (Not that I am. I’m different, that’s all). My brothers say I’m the loose canon of the family. The truth is that I’m the life of the party!

    The party comes to a screeching halt when I meet Ash. Shy, younger, virgin. He’s everything I’m not attracted to. Give me an experienced partner anyday.

    But there’s something about him that makes me want to keep him. Maybe I want to stoke that fire I see in his eyes. Or maybe I’m just lonelier than I thought.

    Either way, he’s mine. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will take Ash away from me.

    (Blurb may change)
    Gritty M/M romance.

    Look at that cover and know that it is perfect. Wait till you get to the part why!

    Paid in Full is the second book of Vitale Brothers, a mafia romance series that stays true to its gritty promises. This stars Giancarlo Vitale, a.k.a. Gin, the next older brother to Enzo, the youngest and MC of Take Me Apart.

    While Enzo’s appeal lies in his eerie calmness and neat freak ways, Gin is the ex-con, the wild child, the life of the party, and the insatiable playboy who can charm the pants and panties off anyone. For some reason, the narrator, Declan Winters, gave him an accent (Bostonian? New York? Not sure) while his brothers speak in what to me is the standard American accent (sorry, not an accent expert). It might be confusing at first, but I loved how it suits Gin’s personality to a T.

    Initially, I considered the second book kind of a necessary hurdle to get to Benito’s book, which I am super excited about. But Gin and Ash surprised me, and I was completely hooked from the get go!

    The opening chapters immediately grabbed interest with Gin at a black market auction masquerading as a charity event. Up for auction is the wide-eyed, virgin son of a man who owes the Vitales money. Just to teach him a lesson, Gin bought Ash and let Ash’s abusive father pay the price to cover what he owed.

    Ash didn’t know what to do with his new owner because, frankly, the guy is crazy! The least he expected was an offer to let him buy his freedom through sex. But first, Gin has to teach him how. Our boy is a fast learner!

    Ash has been through the wringer, enduring beatings, forced to watch other people being abused as psychological torture, and always been told he was good for nothing so he might as well be sold as a slave. Most of the sexual abuses weren’t graphic and are off-page, but the violence and torture are on-page (check the trigger warnings).

    Here comes Gin, an unlikely comfort and a giver of tough love who challenges Ash to be angry, to stand up for himself, to be himself. He is exactly what Ash needs. The best part is when Ash harnesses his big dick energy, and yes, you can take that literally, and unleashes his inner beast.

    I totally didn’t see this dynamic coming, but OMG, they’re fantastic! Gin and Ash were fun and amusing together. Gin is full of stupid jokes and dumb ideas. He made me laugh! He’s big, dominant and possessive, and lets Ash go to town on his ass. Ash is an endearing cinnamon roll, innocent as a puppy, as Gin likes to call him, and always eager to please. Then a switch flicks, and our boy is in control!

    One of Gin’s ideas:

    “Gin, I’m ready to go.”

    “I can practically see a tail wagging.” Gin’s dark brown eyes lit up. “Ash, pull your pants down and wag your dick for me.”

    “What? No.”

    It’s not all fun and games. There are demons to conquer. Blackmailing fathers, evil human traffickers, PTSD, panic attacks, and massive trust issues create conflict and drive wedges, leading to one of the most heart-breaking scenes in the series. That’s why the cover slays!

    Paid in Full is a story of dysfunctional families, complicated relationships, unspeakable crimes and invaluable lessons on how to grow a spine. The uncommon dynamics, the humor and heart-warming moments balance out the darker, bloodier scenes. Overall, intense, wild, and totally worth it!

    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: Worth the Fight
    Artist: Broods
    Album: Conscious


    Vitale Brothers books can be read as standalones but why miss out on the Vitale charms? Let Enzo Vitale show you how to own a cop and keep him too in Take Me Apart.

    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to buy your copy of Paid In Full. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

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    REVIEW: Take Me Apart by Brea Alepou & Skyler Snow

    Vitale Brothers: Take Me Apart – Brea Alepou & Skylar Snow

    I have only one goal in life: Become a detective. It’s there, just out of reach, so close I can taste it. When I find out the Vitale family is about to be investigated again, I do what I do best.

    Jump in head first.

    There’s just one problem; Enzo Vitale. The man is red hot danger, every word a dare from his lips. And I never was one to turn away from a challenge…

    But when things get rough, lies reign and deceit is around every corner. I find myself drawn to the one man I should be running from. The criminal whose hands are bathed in blood.

    Am I falling for the enemy?

    Take Me Apart is a siren song of dark, delicious things, and I’m here for it!

    This is the opener for Vitale Brothers, a mafia romance series by Brea Alepou and Skyler Snow. I’ve known Brea Alepou for her poly romances, and this is my first Skyler Snow. They immediately got me hooked on the series.

    The premise is similar to my last weeks’ read, Pretty Policeman. Here we have another cop falling for a mafioso in a forbidden love that might just destroy them both. Rookie cop Tex Castor, desperate to become a detective, took it upon himself to investigate the Vitale Family as the short cut to his dreams.

    While in a club owned by the mob, Enzo Vitale took one look at Tex, knew he was a cop, but latched on to him anyway. Enzo didn’t tell Tex he knew, and launched into a single minded pursuit of the man. This despite a previous fatally disastrous affair with a guy eerily similar to Tex.

    Early on, it’s apparent that Enzo is neurodivergent. It’s never explicitly mentioned, but there were lots of hints, such as his tendency to dissociate or hyper-fixate, as well as his inability to process emotions.

    Enzo is described as a non-threatening looking guy with eye glasses and lean build who loves reading, doing projects, and most of all, cleaning. In my head, I pictured him looking like a university professor. He could have been had he not been born a Vitale. Being the younger Vitale and exceptionally adept at torture, he the enforcer and interrogator of the family. This is a neat freak who likes blood and gore.

    Tex isn’t TSTL, just a cop with poor impulse control and a reformed drug addict dangerously close to slipping. Torn between his dream of becoming a detective and his growing feelings for the mafioso, Tex is a hot mess with nowhere to go but run, the dork!

    Admittedly, the first few chapters were not as riveting as I hoped. Only the enticing performance of Declan Winters kept me going. He’s one of those gifted narrators who could read a grocery list, and I’ll be listening. I highly recommend audiobooking this. He’s the same guy who brought C.S. Poe‘s Magic & Steam series to life.

    Things picked up a third way in. Enzo got his claws out and firmly sank them into Tex. I loved his voice!, The narrator gave him this calm, emotionless voice that gets growly when he’s being extra emotional. No wonder Tex can’t keep away!

    Enzo is everything here! Dominant, possessive and obsessive, he’s a psychopath, confident in himself and his abilities. He knows what he wants and has no qualms handcuffing the object of his desire to keep it there. The fluffy parts come when he shows his soft side because he’s crazy in love with Tex and would do anything to make him happy.

    Meanwhile, Tex needs to make up his mind because he can’t play both sides. I wasn’t impress with our boy stringing Enzo along. I liked him better after he made up his mind. Also, his cat Penelope is a star.

    I can’t say the pace is fast, but after moving past the opening chapters, the plot moved in a steady, engaging manner. The authors kept the tension tight and intense most parts of the story. The dysfunctional romance was both frustrating and compelling, cute at certain moments but mostly as deliciously dark as promised.

    “From now on, I’m the only one allowed to hurt you or make you cry. Every inch of you belongs to me.” I bit his lip. “Even your life.”

    Tex groaned. “Yeah. Where do I sign, Satan?”

    The rest of the story gives us violence, graphic torture, domestic abuse, childhood trauma, and betrayal. It’s not pitch black, just dark grey, but reader discretion is advised. The vibe of Vitale Brothers reminded me of my favorite Criminal Delights books. If you like that series, the Vitales will do it for you.

    I don’t have a favorite Vitale yet. Each brother is pretty memorable. While Enzo is usually preternaturally calm and expressionless, Giancarlo, a.k.a. Gin, wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s the easy going playboy who goes beast mode on a hair trigger. Benito is the oldest and the deadliest, and I’m so excited for his book. He’s forced to marry a yakuza boss’s son! What a merger!

    Take Me Apart is about a cop following his dream and stumbles into a seductive nightmare he’s helpless to resist. Gritty, violent, wild and all the raw intensity of a monster growling, “MINE!

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Pieces
    Artist: Andrew Belle
    Album: Black Bear

    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to buy your copy of Take Me Apart. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

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