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    SERIES REVIEW: Vigilance Books 3 & 4 by Silvia Violet

    Vigilance is an erotic romance spinoff of The Marchesi Family featuring a group of vigilantes headed by a mysterious individual simply known as X. The first book, Giorgio is a bodyguard romance involving X’s son, Lane. The followup, Niall, is an enemies to lovers story with the titular character butting heads with pawnshop owner, Marcus.

    Leo is the third book. Leo is a tattoo artist who found himself falling for his new employee, Ezra. The last book, Xavier, finally shed light on the their leader who thought himself straight until he met the young hacker, Emilio.

    The first three books follow their overarching mission to bring down a human trafficking ring. For the series finale, X had to protect Emilio from another hacker who threatened to expose their identities.

    This is a review of Books 3 and 4, Leo and Xavier.


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    Vigilance: Leo – Silvia Violet

    I used to be CIA. Now I’m a tattoo artist and a vigilante.

    When a new hire at my shop gets too curious about my less-than-legal activities, he needs all the protection I can give him.

    He wants a lot more. More than I should be willing to give. And yet, the longer I keep him close for his own safety… the more I want him in my bed.


    This is the series going slow-burn with Leo trying to resist the cute waiter turned receptionist, Ezra, at his tattoo shop. Then he caught the younger man eavesdropping on a Vigilance meeting. Ezra found himself caught up in their mission and a target of the evil villain, Swain.

    Swain was aggressively making his move, even making threats to X at his own fundraising party. Vigilance had to act and they had to act fast.

    The story wraps up the human trafficking thread. It gave a pretty satisfying resolution and I really liked that the Marchesis were there to assist. However, I don’t really care about the romance since I wasn’t drawn to either Leo or Ezra.

    Rating:
    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Tied Down
    Artist: Jaymes Young
    Album: Feel Something


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    Vigilance: Xavier – Silvia Violet

    I thought I was straight.
    I thought protecting my identity mattered more than anything besides family.
    Then Emilio came to me for protection.
    It’s my fault he’s in danger, and no one is going to touch him.
    No one besides me. 


    This is the book I’m most looking forward to. I was super curious about X. My enthusiasm petered out because this book fell into the same pattern as the other stories.

    There’s a threat to a young submissive man and a Vigilance member feels insta-lust and the overwhelming need to protect him. They hole up in a some isolated place, in this case X’s private island, had lots of sex, fall in love within a day or two, then a rushed action/suspense ending. There’s bisexual awakening thrown in the mix for variety but overall, it’s too similar to Giorgio and Lane’s story. Maybe, the author was going for parallels but I couldn’t help wishing that things went differently.

    Rating:
    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: First Time
    Artist: Josef Salvat
    Album: The Close / The Reveil


    I liked the Vigilance boys better when they’re interacting with each other. That’s when you could see more of their personalities. I enjoyed their banter and their camaraderie. With their love interests, they tend to fall into the same mold, which is why I wasn’t keen about the romance.

    All the books were into BDSM. Even if it’s not my thing, I’m ok with it. However, most of the couples here were a dominant, controlling alpha paired with a very pliant younger, smaller man. The only exception was Niall and Marcus. That’s why they’re my favorite.

    I wasn’t wowed by the series overall. As I mentioned in my review of the first two books, I am aware it would be steamy but I was hoping for a more balanced presentation. It is unfortunate that the action scenes were relegated to the endings and were over almost as soon as they started. I wanted a bit more focus on the mission.

    This is a ME problem because other people have thoroughly enjoyed the books. They are best read with the mindset that they are primarily BDSM romance with some action on the side. If this is your thing, there’s a good chance you’ll find the books a lot of fun.

    And I have to say, there was something about Vigilance that made me finish the entire thing. I guess I liked the idea of a vigilante group plus the Marchesi cameos are always an incentive. Then there goes Lancelot Theriot and his pet monkey and so here I am, excited for another spinoff series, The Theriot Family.

    P.S.

    Vigilance should be read in order. Find out how grumpy ex-military sniper Giorgio unknowingly hooked up with his very off-limits boss’s son, the sparkly and fabulous Lane, in Book 1. Also, check out Niall and Marcus’ business with the blue speedo in Book 2. Reviews here.

    While you’re at it, meet the notorious bunch who love cannoli as much as they love causing trouble, The Marchesi Family. Series review here.


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

    US: GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO | XAVIER
    UK: GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO | XAVIER

    You can also use my Bookshop affiliate links to buy paperbacks and MP3 CD audiobooks and help support independent bookstores.

    GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    SERIES REVIEW: Vigilance Books 1 & 2 by Silvia Violet

    Vigilance is the spin-off series of The Marchesi Family. It’s about a group of men who take on crime in order to right the wrongs the usual law enforcement authorities couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. I was excited to read this series when I met some of the members who were backing up the Marchesis in rescuing Devil’s boyfriend, Joe.

    Vigilance members might not be related by blood but they had a great found family thing going on and undying loyalty to each other much like the Marchesi’s. The series as a whole had a similar feel to the original series. It started with me not feeling the first book that much but stayed on because I was super intrigued by their group’s cause and their leader.

    The relationships in each book showcase different BDSM-type dynamics. The romances are insta-lust turned insta-love. I’m more of a slowburn person so I’m not particularly enthusiastic about the them. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

    My usual complaint with the Silvia Violet stories I encountered is that she always had this nice overarching plot as well as interesting characters but tends to focus too much on the sex. I know this is her thing but I think it’s a wasted opportunity to create a nicely balanced action/suspense romance instead of an erotic romance that happens to have some action/suspense.

    I’m saying this because the taking down human traffickers plot was a great overarching thread, especially when they had to go against a high-ranking politician who was so damn hard to catch. However, it was unfortunate that this side of the story was minimized in favor of the romance. The books had such rushed endings. They could have had great action scenes right there.

    This is my review of the first two books, Giorgio and Niall.


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    Vigilance: Giorgio – Silvia Violet

    I’m a sniper. A trained operator. A bodyguard. A member of the elite private security force known as Vigilance.

    When my boss’s son acquires a stalker, of course I’m the one he calls to keep the guy safe. Mr. X’s one rule? Keep my hands to myself.

    Not a problem.

    At least, not until I meet Lane Porter.

    He’s gorgeous. Flamboyant. Fascinating. He makes me want things I can’t have. He stretches my self-control to the limit… and then breaks it.

    As the threat to Lane intensifies, we’re forced to hide out in a remote, one-bedroom cabin with danger stalking us from all sides, but suddenly keeping the boss’s son safe isn’t enough.

    My new mission is to make Lane mine.


    Giorgio was one of the guys who helped the Marchesis thus earning him their friendship and loyalty. He was tasked to guard the son of X, the Vigilance boss. He was explicitly told to keep his hands off the young man. Said young man was also the guy he hooked up with the night before.

    I didn’t care much for the two MCs. Giorgio’s character was supposedly a grumpy, protective, alpha male but he’s so domineering he became one-dimensional. I didn’t like the way he treated Lane. Lane, fabulous and sparkly, did his best to shine. He would have but his appeal was dimmed by his instant capitulations and Giorgio’s looming presence.

    There’s not much going on here and most of it was Giorgio and Lane having sex too much too soon without protection. Also, I’m not a fan of the dom/sub kink so I was meh on the romance.

    However, this book set things in motion and introduced the various mainstays of Vigilance who each have their own books. I pushed on because I was invested in the rest of the vigilantes.

    Rating:
    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: You Can Dominate Me
    Artist: Andy Samford
    Album: You Can Embrace Eternity’s Cosmic Truth


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    Vigilance: Niall – Silvia Violet

    I’m a former FBI agent. Now I’m on the opposite side of the law as part of an underground vigilante organization. When the fight to stop a crime ring pairs me with a pawn shop owner, it’s hate at first sight. Fun fact: Hate and desire aren’t mutually exclusive. To further the investigation, Marcus and I must pretend to be boyfriends. Too much time spent in close proximity has me wondering if Marcus might have the power to thaw my icy heart.


    Niall was also another member who was involved in helping the Marchesis. That’s where he met Marcus, the pawnshop owner who was assisting as well. They hated each other, hooked up once upon a time ago and now had to be fake boyfriends in order to infiltrate the human trafficking ring in an exclusive island estate.

    I liked this one much better. Niall and Marcus had more personalities. Niall tends to be more uptight and wears fancy suits that instantly pegged him as a fed. Marcus is more laid back, snarky and likes being control.

    Their relationship felt more like that of equals. They had a fun thing going with their antagonistic interactions. And Marcus was all protective dominant alpha male without trampling all over Niall

    This book was also better balanced in terms of various elements. Unlike Giorgio and Lane, Niall and Marcus were actually doing their jobs instead of boinking all the time. Also, Giorgio was more likable here now that he’s out and about.

    We are introduced to some bad guys and some whose motives are not yet clear. Their undercover investigation really moved a lot of things forward. And they were so close too. But the evil villain is one slippery mofo.

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Surrender Your Heart
    Artist: Missing Persons
    Album: Rhyme & Reason


    Vigilance might not have the strongest openings but once you get past that, it’s easy to get hooked. It a fun, escapist series that’s light on drama and heavy on the action. Recommended for those looking for steamy BDSM-flavored romance with a side of crime-fighting.

    I also recommend reading The Marchesi Family to get the most out of the experience. Characters from that series appear here as well. Vigilance is best read in order. Leo’s and X’s stories are next. X is the one I’m most looking forward to. He’s so mysterious we don’t even have his real name yet.

    Check out my series review of The Marchesi Family here.


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

    You can also use my Bookshop affiliate links to buy paperbacks and MP3 CD audiobooks and help support independent bookstores.

    GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    SERIES REVIEW: The Marchesi Family by Silvia Violet

    I wrote off Silvia Violet because of His True Nature, a novella that had the personality of an oatmeal. That was way back 2017. Since then, I never bothered with her works.

    Then Angelo caught my attention. I was in the mood for some dark mafia-themed romance and the blurb intrigued me. So heck, why not.

    The thing with this series is that, for the most part, I really didn’t care for the romance. BDSM is not my thing.

    But the Marchesi family charmed me with their unconditional love for each other and willingness to die for their loved ones. No one could question their loyalty to each other.

    They are portrayed as a typical close-knit Italian family who always have good food at their table. They take breakfast seriously. I almost wish I am a morning person so I could eat the smorgasbord of delights their housekeeper always prepare every morning.

    The books are classified as erotica and there are a lot of sex scenes. You can just skip those if you want (makes the reading go faster too). The plot is substantial enough. There are probably some nuances to the couple dynamics I might have missed but I don’t really care.

    There’s also the mafia politics, something I always loved reading about. This part worked well with romance especially how it brought the couples together. I liked how the various plotlines were integrated.

    Each book features a different member of the notorious Marchesi family and the men they brought into their world of crime and cannoli.

    The overarching arc is the threat to overthrow the Marchesi family by rival mafia families. The Marchesi have their allies, among which, Vinnie, who was a son of another mob boss and who was featured in a short story.

    We’ll start with Lucien…


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    The Marchesi Family: Lucien – Silvia Violet

    I never imagined the protector I longed for would be a mob boss who demanded complete control.
    I shouldn’t have gone to Lucien’s office.
    Once I looked into his eyes, I couldn’t leave.
    He commanded me to kneel.
    Beg.
    Obey.
    I couldn’t help myself.
    One taste, and I craved more.
    Lucien vowed to protect me from his enemies…
    But who’s going to protect my heart from him
    ?


    Lucien is the illustrious head of the family. He’s bossy and scary AF. He’s always perfectly put together. He has a sweet tooth. He can drink until he passes out but wakes up the next morning sparkly and fresh. He is, according to Peter, ‘magical‘.

    Peter is a sweet young man struggling to find a job. He was tricked by his cousin to fill in a position as a receptionist at some posh company. Little did he know, the company was own by the Marchesi.

    So at Peter’s first day of work, in walks Lucien, saw the angelic new receptionist and decided, then and there, he was his. It was that insta.

    Stripped of the BDSM elements, this is a whirlwind romantic fairy tale of sorts where the damsel was swept away by the prince to his castle. But instead of the prince, you get a crime lord.

    Lucien is Lucien but Peter was a little to submissive for my liking. Still, you couldn’t really hate on somebody pure like him. He’s not entirely helpless and has quick wits about him. He even helped save Lucien. He was exactly what the mob boss needed in his life.

    Rating:
    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: You Belong To me
    Artist: The Boxer Rebellion
    Album: Promises


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    The Marchesi Family: Mob Boss – Silvia Violet

    I let Vinnie seduce me.
    I was an easy mark.
    I would have granted him anything, but I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know I was setting a man up for death.
    But even now I still want him, and he has no intention of letting me go.


    This is pretty much a condensed version of Lucien and Peter’s story. The difference is that Tom witnessed a crime and Vinnie had to protect him. This is 40 pages of alternate sex scenes and whatever plot there is so there’s really not much of an exploration of their characters and relationship.

    This would have been better as a novella than a short story. All in all, it was kinda okay.

    Rating:
    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: Safe & Sound
    Artist: Tonight Alive
    Album: What Are You So Scared Of?


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    The Marchesi Family: Angelo – Silvia Violet

    Cameron didn’t realize how much he loved his grandparents’ bakery until Angelo Marchesi, a man he’s hated since high school, threatened to take it away.
    But Cameron owes Angelo a debt.
    A debt he can’t pay…
    Unless he accepts Angelo’s indecent proposal and risks finding out how thin the line between love and hate really is.


    Angelo is more similar to his cousin, Devil than his autocratic brother, Lucien. The cousins are Lucien’s enforcers.

    Angelo and Devil were inseparable since they were toddlers. They were both reckless and bisexual. They cover for each other, especially when one or the other is in trouble with Lucien or the police.

    Angelo and Cameron had mutual crushes on each other from high school but with Angelo’s reputation being what it is, he scared Cameron away.

    Cam came back to his hometown after burning himself out in the corporate world. He inherited his family’s bakery and was determined to make it work. His deadbeat dad had almost run it to the ground. Then he learned the bastard owed the Marchesis money. One day, Angelo came to collect.

    Angelo and Cam’s interactions were antagonistic from the start. Angelo thinks Cam looks down on him for having the kind of family he has. Cam wants nothing to do with the mafia but he was secretly envious the kind of loving family Angelo had.

    I’m not a fan of the dubcon scenes but unlike Peter who was 100% submissive, Cameron has more fire in him. It also took him longer to accept the mafia part of Angelo’s life but when he finally did, he fit right in.

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Thinking Of You
    Artist: A Perfect Circle
    Album: Mer De Noms


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    The Marchesi Family: Devil – Silvia Violet

    Devil is a mobster with a dangerous secret…
    There’s a cop who hates him.
    A cop he caught and released.
    A cop he can’t get out of his mind after the one forbidden night they shared.


    This is my favorite book and Devil is my favorite character in the series. Whereas Angelo was a health buff, Devil relishes a good cigar. Devil goes above and beyond to protect his family but he’s not above keeping his affair with a cop secret.

    I liked the cop/criminal dynamic between Joe and Devil. Joe is actually a forgettable character in any other book, but being paired with somebody as unpredictable as Devil added another dimension to his personality. Plus, the fact that he was attracted to a dangerous man shows he’s not exactly vanilla. He also brought out Devil’s endearing mother-henning side which was fun to see.

    I also liked that both men were dominant so the power dynamics were balanced. It made the tension between the two so much enticing because you’ll never know who’ll come out on top.

    This book wraps the series up. The threat to the family was put to an end for good. Characters for a new series weres introduced. They piqued my interest so I’m looking forward to that.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Me and The Devil
    Artist: Soap & Skin
    Album: Sugarbread


    I guess I was too hasty with this author. She made me care about the Marchesis so much that I read all the books in quick succession. The series is dark but has a lot of heart. Certainly no oatmeals this time.

    If the new spin-off series is as good as this, I’ll probably end up binge reading it too. Moral of the story: Don’t judge an author by one bad story. Sometimes, they could surprise you.

    P.S.

    These Marchesis are a tight bunch so while the books could be read as standalones, it’s best read in sequence.

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    The Forestry: His True Nature – Silvia Violet

    Dan comes out to his family on his thirtieth birthday. Instead of being embraced, he’s condemned and insulted. Wanting to escape, he buys a camper on a whim and takes a three month sabbatical. He plans to spend the summer in the Nantahala Forest fishing, hiking, and camping despite being far less than adept in the great outdoors. His mishaps catch the attention of a sexy forest ranger who leaves Dan wondering whether Parker’s interested in friendship or something more.

    Bland as bland can be. Most of this is just Dan thinking about his hard-on. The big reveal was a blah. Waste of time really.

    Rating:

    2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2650832-skirmish)

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