#ReleaseDay #DarkRomance ~~ Boston Underworld The Collection by A Zavarelli
Release Date: February 28, 2019
The following is my review for the complete Boston Underworld series box set includes six full-length novels- CROW, REAPER, GHOST, SAINT, THIEF, CONOR. A. Zavarelli was a new-to-me author when I started this series. I have since become a huge fan! If you love alpha mobster men and strong women, hot sexy scenes with a touch of delicious darkness, then this series is for you! Each book gets better and better and better!
Crow(Boston Underworld, #1)
Family. Loyalty. Honor. Blood.
Crow is book #1 of the Boston Underworldseries. There are big and small players in this syndicate. The Irish and the Russians are the powerhouses. The Italians and the Armenians are also in the mix.
That’s the thing about organized crime, it never really goes away. When one power house falls, there will always be other players ready to step up and take the reins.
Mackenzie Wilder doesn’t have much in life except for her two close friends, Talia and Scarlett. They grew up in foster care together and always had each other’s backs. When Talia goes missing Mackenzie goes on a mission to find her. She can’t stand the idea of her being forgotten or hurt. Even if it is to get closure. Mackenzie sets out to find her answers by getting a job at “Slainte” the local mobster bar/club and infiltrate the Irish mob. She is trying to get information on the whereabouts of her best friend and of other possible missing girls.
I feel too much. But you wouldn’t know that about me. Nobody does. Because I’m always in control.
Lachlan Crow is third in line for the throne of the Irish underworld and his reputation speaks for itself. This title comes with many strings and arrangements. Lachlan runs Slainte. Mackenzie has caught Lachlan’s eye but that may not be a good thing….
Hell on wheels. He’ll kill you and do it with a smile on his face.
I loved both of the lead characters. Mackenzie is loyal and strong, almost sacrificially so. She is also resilient. Lachlan Lachlin Lachlin. Hot, alpha, bossy. He too is loyal and even though his trust is hard to come by he looks at every angle before striking.
It pains me to admit it, but he is handsome. He’s also more reserved than I expected. A calm façade to accompany his quiet broodiness. It’s a complete contradiction to the killer I know he is.
The wheels are set in motion. Expectations, motivations, and…rats. Lives are at risk. I found this story fast paced and a page turner! What could possibly happen next????
He’s a mixture of brutal and sensual. Sweet and hard. Rough and thoughtful.
Reaper is book #2 of the Boston Underworldseries. It is a stand-alone and can be read as such. I had no problem following the story.
What can I say about Reaper? I loved it!!! We meet Ronan Fitzpatrick in book #1 Crow. Ronan is Lachlan’s (Crow’s) best friend and second in command of the Irish syndicate. He is also known as the Reaper. The name speaks for itself. He is Quiet. Dark. Deadly. Mysterious. I fell in love with Ronan! His layers are peeled away. One by one the mystery of the Reaper is laid out. We learn about his past. What is really underneath this man? How did he become so feared?
I’ve been called a sociopath. A monster. But I don’t fancy myself one. I’m simply a man doing a job that needs to be done.
Ronan Fitzpatrick was taken from his parents and raised to be a killer at an early age. Now an adult, this leaves him knowing almost nothing about love, affection and human emotions. Reading the flashbacks of his upbringing was raw and uncomfortable. He also has quirks. He needs order and timeliness.
We met Sasha Varela in Crow. She has had a difficult life and has had to make certain choices to protect her family. She is a stripper at Slainte, the locally owned “mob” club. Due to her circumstances, Sasha feels tarnished, sullied, and unclean.
Damaged souls have their own beauty. A dark, terrifying beauty. The same type of beauty I recognize in Ronan.
I loved their story. There is this thread or connection between Sasha and Ronan, linking them together in an invisible way. I loved how accepting Sasha was of Ronan’s quirks and antisocial behaviors. How she peeled away the layers to see the man underneath.
I can no longer deny that we are connected on some strange level. And I know I can’t be the only one who feels it.
What more can I say about Ronan…. I was just overwhelmed at times with his story. It broke my heart watching Ronan try to understand basic human emotions. He even feels insecure at times about his ability to be around others without being “a monster.” The way he discovers new things from something as simple as food….brilliantly written! The characters are complex, the emotions are high and the chemistry is hot!
He isn’t at all sweet. But if I wanted sugar, I’d eat a fucking cupcake.
I also must give props to “Daisy” the dog. The scenes with Daisy and Ronan were great! I am really enjoying The Boston Underworldseries! Next is Alexi & Talia’s story!
“Always you. Only you, Ronan.”
Ghost (Boston Underworld, #3)
Ghost is book #3 of the Boston Underworld series. It is a stand-alone and can be read as such. I had no problem following the story. The previous two books focus on the Irish mob with mentions of the Russians. Ghost is heavily saturated with the “Vory” or Russian mob/brotherhood.
This is Alexei & Talia’s story and it is not pretty. To understand it and for review purposes, I will give a brief synopsis of Crow (book #1). In Crow (Book #1), Mack is trying to find her friend Talia who has disappeared. Mack tries to infiltrate the Irish Mob syndicate for information on her friend’s whereabouts. Slante is a club that Talia worked in, so Mack starts there. Mack meets the owner of Slante, Lachlan, and eventually, he agrees to help her. He enlists the services of Russian “Vory” mobster Alexei and she is found. She had been sold, beaten. Starved, and drugged.
Alexei is a very reclusive and mysterious man. He is a high ranking in the Vory. He has memorized Talia’s picture while trying to find her…..
“My skills are unique. Forged over a lifetime of dedication and hard work. It is not talent. It is not luck. It is nothing less than perseverance that makes me the best at what I do.”
Talia is rescued but faces a long road to recovery. She is staying with Alexei during her recovery. Alexei is so strong and patient with her. He will not allow her to destroy herself.
“You can’t destroy what’s already broken.”
Alexei & Talia’s story is not nice and it is not pretty. A. Zavarelli does an amazing job of bringing these two broken hearts together and mending them. Although the content is dark, I found myself impatient to read each chapter and see things through till the end.
“I want you to know the level of my devotion to you,” he states. “I don’t ever want you to question it. The things I have and will continue to do to protect you. To avenge you. They are dark things. But that darkness is my burden to carry, and it always will be.”
Next up is Thief, and I must say my favorite story in the series!
Saint (Boston Underworld, #4)
Saint is book #4 of the Boston Underworld series. It is a stand-alone and can be read as such. I had no problem following the story. Saint follows a path unlike Crow (book #1) and Reaper (book #2). Our hero – Rory – is often referred to as “Saint.” And believe me, he has the patience of a saint when dealing with Scarlett. But there is so much more to Rory….
I’m a fighter. A hustler. A mobster.
The heroine (or anti-hero) – Scarlett – has had many terrible things happen in her life which causes her to be the way she is. The story unfolds and we learn of some heinous things that she has had to endure.
Her beauty is as subtle as a grenade.
She’s feminine. Inviting. And no doubt deadly as hell.
Rory and Scarlett’s story was very raw. There are no hearts and flowers here. They are both survivors. Rory is very patient as he tries to convince Scarlett to give him a chance. Scarlett is in a league of her own. Trust is very difficult if not impossible to gain with Scarlett. In the Irish syndicate, there is respect and support. Family is important. Family is everything.
I felt as though this was definitely one of the darkest books in this series. There is a lot of bloodshed. There are a lot of difficult situations. Because of that, there are parts of the story that must be told. I will say it was not one of my favorites in the series. But as I said above there are parts that must be told. I have loved this series so far and I highly recommend it!
Rory isn’t flat like me.
He’s all jagged edges and soft corners. A contradiction of dark masculinity and soft humor. But inside, he feels.
Thief(Boston Underworld, #5)
Thief is book #5 in the Boston Underworld series. It is a stand-alone and can be read as such. I have not read any of the other books in this series but I was able to follow the story without any problem.
Tanaka Valentini is the daughter of Italian mob boss Manuel Valentini. She is obedient but fierce. She lives in a world full of tradition and violence. All of her life she has been raised/trained to become a Mafia wife. To marry an Italian man. It was arranged by her father long ago. Her only joy is ballet. It is her passion, her only outlet in her lonely world. She has studied hard and has taken a spot in the New York City Ballet Company.
….That’s what I’ve been preparing for. My entire life. I’ve been sheltered. Schooled at home. Forbidden from having friends or leaving the house.
….My father arranged my marriage, and it was set in stone.
Nikolai Kozlov is Russian Mafia, loyal to the Vory Brotherhood. He is a thief, an artist, a complicated man. Manuel Valentini owes a debt to him. One he cannot pay. Manuel offers his daughter, Tanaka as collateral for his debt.
The story unfolds beautifully. There is so much emotion expressed. Tanaka and Nikoli have undeniable chemistry. The push and pull is amazing. Tanaka is determined to fulfill her duty to stay pure so that she may marry an Italian Mafia man. Nikolai knows that he must stay within his culture as well. He must protect the brotherhood and live by the Vory code. But fate has other plans. Nikolai’s behavior is infuriating at times and then he is thoughtful and protective. He manipulates, he takes.
“The thief stole my heart, only to hold it in the palm of his hand, extorting my affections when it suits him.”
The writing is fantastic. It is descriptive and flows from page to page. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not see a way out for either Tanaka or Nikolai. And then comes a twist or two. It takes you to places that you do not expect. The story was dark, raw and sensual. As I said above, Tanaka and Nikolai have undeniable, explosive chemistry. One that cannot be denied!
“You are so lovely. So soft and sweet and pure. I want to ruin you.”
Conor(Boston Underworld, #5)
Marry him or lose my life.
Conor is book #6 of the Boston Underworld series. It is a stand-alone novella and can be read as such. I had no problem following the story. I started the Boston Underworld series at book #5, Thief. I fell in love and quickly went back, reading the series from the beginning. Each book is unique in their own way and some are darker than others. Conor stole my heart! I read this in one sitting!
We met Conor in Crow. He is the rookie and still feels like he needs to prove himself.
Sometimes it’s a pain in the arse being the rookie, but even if it takes a lifetime, I’m willing to prove myself to the brotherhood.
Squeee! This story! So beautifully written! I love how it was written with an Irish dialect. Conor and Ivy’s story is filled with emotion, some angst and just a touch of dark. Crow asks Conor to keep watch on Ivy, the ‘girlfriend’ of a rival mobster, and a potential witness to his death.
“I need ye to keep an eye on her. Find out everything ye can about her and what she knows, and don’t let her out of your sight.”
Conor and Ivy have a lot in common. Both have been caught in the crossfire of the Irish Syndicate mob. Ivy is so fragile, hanging on for dear life at times. But she is also strong and determined. And Conor! He has many sides to him. He struggles with his past, his pride and his purpose. He does not want to appear weak.
The little birdie is young, probably in her early twenties like me.
The attraction between them is there. A chemistry, a pull. Both are quick to deny it. Their attraction and affection grow and passion takes over. Ivy has wound her way into Conor’s heart! There is also a wee bit of baggage that Ivy has. This changes the way Conor sees her and he steps up in the most heartwarming and honorable way! I also love the terms of endearment that he uses for Ivy.
He wants me to come out and say it like I’ve caught feelings for this bird or something.
We are treated to scenes with Crow, Rory and Fitzy and it made me want to go back and read their stories all over again! Ashleigh Zavarelli makes us fall head over heels in love with Conor and Ivy! Their emotions, their conflicts, their decisions all flowed and connected their story. I have loved this series and I am sad to see it end! I highly recommend Conor as well as the entire Boston Underworld series!
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