Brutal Birthright Series by: Sophie Lark

BRUTAL PRINCE

He’s No Prince Charming…

” Callum Griffin is the heir to the Irish Mafia. He’s ruthless, arrogant, and he wants to kill me.

We got off on the wrong foot when I set a (very small) fire in his house.

Our families believe a marriage pact is the only thing that will prevent all-out warfare.

I think I might need to murder him while he sleeps.

This would all be a lot easier if Callum wasn’t so damned good-looking.

But I’ve got a lockbox around my heart. Because even if I’m forced to marry him…

I could never love a brutal prince.

amazon.com

Reasons to love Brutal Prince…

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • An, arranged, marriage of convenience [to form a truce between rival families]
  • Sunshine meets Grumpy

So Brutal Prince was my first exploration into the mafia subgenre of romance and I loved every minute of it. Aida had me cracking up as she kept pulling shenanigans to irritate Callum. As the oldest child, and only male, in his family, Callum was very serious and broody so being forced to marry Aida was a lot for him to take in. The combination of Callum’s seriousness and Aida who was full of life and laughter was perfect. I’m so happy I stumbled on this book and this series!


STOLEN HEIR

They Murdered My Father, So I Stole Their Daughter…

She’s my captive, my little ballerina who dances only for me.

Nessa is sweet and innocent. She doesn’t deserve any of this. But that’s how our world works – the wolves eat the lambs, no matter how gentle they may be.

I’ll use her to get my revenge. Unless I give in to my hunger first…

AMAZON.COM

Reasons to love Stolen Heir…

  • Major Beauty and the Beast vibes
  • Some Hades and Persephone vibes
  • Grumpy meets sunshine
  • Found family trope

Potential Triggers…

  • Kidnapping
  • Discussion of rape
  • Death of a sibling and father figure
  • Discussion of childhood abuse/neglect
  • Virgin trope


As soon as I finished Brutal Prince…I immediately started reading Stolen Heir. In Brutal Prince, we met the Irish and Italian mafia and Stolen Heir introduces us to the Polish side of Chicago’s mafia scene.
Nessa is the youngest child of the Irish mafia. Nessa was raised like a princess and kept far away from her family’s mafia ties. A lover of dance she’s dedicated most of her life to performing ballet.
Miko, now the head of the Polish mafia, was adopted as a teen by the late Polish leader after tragedy set him on the path for revenge. When tragedy struck Miko, as a teen, he became hard and focused on vengeance and stopped believing in happy endings.
Miko’s past was full of sadness so seeing him slowly open up to and care for Nessa had me so happy! It really was like watching Belle calm and change the way the Beast saw the world around him. Overall just another fantastic read!


SAVAGE LOVER

There’s A Reason I Never Go To Parties…

I saw him in a cloud of smoke, like sin made flesh. Even bruised and battered, I’d never seen anything more beautiful…

Unless I hate myself, I should stay far away from Nero.

He’s a heartbreaker.

A mess-maker.

A walking disaster.

Here’s the problem: I’m in deep trouble with a dirty cop. The only person who can save me is Nero. We’re not friends. If he saw me drowning, he’d throw me an anchor.

But he’s the only chance I’ve got.

He’s no hero, he’s a Savage Lover.

AMAZON.COM

Reasons to love Savage Lover…

  • Went to school together but never really saw each other until now
  • Suave man meets strong independent woman
  • Some Fast and the Furious vibes

Potential Triggers…

  • Death of a parent [that child graphically witnesses]
  • Abandonment by a parent
  • Gravely ill parent

Savage Lover was such a sweet read I almost forgot it was a mafia romance.
Camille works hard to make sure her father and little brother are taken care of. Lately, Camille’s father has been sick and she’s had to take on a lot of the work at their family-owned auto shop while also trying to keep an eye out for her little brother. From a young age, Camille stopped caring about what others said about her and just focused on what was important.
Nero grew up healthy within a loving and wealthy family and has never known what it’s like to struggle. Even though Nero and Camille went to the same school together and have known of each other for years…he never really noticed her. Now all of a sudden Camille is all Nero can think about. Not one for serious relationships, Nero doesn’t understand what it is about Camille that has him so desperate to get to know her better.
This really was such a sweet romance that didn’t have any huge conflicts between Camille and Nero which was refreshing. I’m so used to reading romance novels where the two leads have to jump quite a few hurdles before they can be together and have some huge conflict that could destroy them…where Savage Lover had a few small hurdles but no big “rip them apart” moments which was nice.


BLOODY HEART

She Cut My Heart Open…

I only meant to steal a car. I didn’t know I was stealing a girl, too. Until the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen popped up in the rear-view mirror.

I fell hard, fast, and forever…

But she tore out my heart – left me alone and bleeding.

How can I forget her, when I have to see that damned perfect face on billboards and magazines?

It’s torture.

9 long years. I thought I moved on.

Then I saw her in the flesh…

And my heart started bleeding all over again…

AMAZON.COM

Reasons to love Bloody Heart…

  • Second chance romance
  • The meet cute
  • Hidden baby trope
  • Alphahole that will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves

Potential triggers…

  • Hidden baby trope
  • Dubious consent
  • Discussion of child and human trafficking
  • Emotionally abusive/manipulative parents

From our introduction to Dante, way back in book one, I’ve been anticipated his book and it did not disappoint!

I loved that almost the entire first half of the book is dedicated to showing us the explosive whirlwind romance Dante and Simone have as young adults [Dante 21 and Simone 18]. The explosive connection they felt, at such a young age, never dulls…if anything it only gets bigger when they meet again nine years later.

I’ve never read any romance novels that had dubcon [Dubious consent] in them and I was a bit nervous going into the scenes where it was present. Luckily we do get to see both perspectives so even though verbal consent is not given we do know that both parties are happy and willing participants.

I love how the third act conflict is written. Truths are revealed and instead of angry hurtful words being thrown around the two actually took some space to marinate how they feel and how the other person might feel.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Dante and Simone’s love story and I really loved the meet-cute for Riona [another emotionally mysterious character] and Raylan… whose story is the next installment to this series!


BROKEN VOW

I’ll Protect Her… Whether She Likes It Or Not.

Riona Griffin is gorgeous, intelligent, and iron-willed. My perfect woman, except she hates my guts.

She thinks she doesn’t need anybody. But she needs me.

She’s being hunted by an assassin who never misses his mark.

I’m going to stay by her side, day and night, keeping her safe. Riona thinks that’s a fate worse than death but I know she’ll learn to love me.

If this hitman wants to kill her, he’ll have to go through me first.

AMAZON.COM

Reasons to love Broken Vow…

  • Forced proximity
  • Grumpy female sunshine male
  • Rich lawyer falls for veteran rancher

Potential triggers…

  • Attempted murder [drowning, strangulation, arson]
  • Sexual assault/harassment
  • Discussion of loss of a parent
  • Discussion of child grooming [rich 40 year old and poor young 16 year old]
  • Spousal abuse [emotional and physical]
  • Murder
  • Bondage and Dominance

At the end of the last book, we see Raylan and Riona meet…and clash. I enjoy the fact that we got grumpy meets sunshine with a role reversal.

Riona is our serious lawyer who likes an orderly life without any unpredictability. She feels like she thrives on work taking up most of her life. Although she grew up in a loving family she’s never felt quite like she fit in.

Raylan has seen the darker side of humanity from his time in the military, and as a mercenary, but still finds joy in the simplest things…like trying to get under the skin of a fiery redhead.

When these two meet, at the end of Bloody Heart, Riona instantly takes a disliking for Raylan’s, seemingly, carefree attitude. When they meet again, because Riona’s life is in danger, forced proximity has them both seeing each other in a new light.

I love how you can slowly see Raylan get under Riona’s skin and drive her crazy with his little comments here and there. You can tell Riona isn’t used to someone intentionally pushing her buttons or trying to get her out of her comfort zone.

Getting to meet and see Riona interact with Raylan’s family was such a treat. You can see how much Raylan’s family loves and misses him and how they all just welcome Riona with open arms. Though not a mafia family they’re a tight-knit group who are fiercely loyal and have secrets of their own.

Both Raylan and Riona’s families deeply love them and have always tried to give each of them the space, freedom, and support to be who they needed to be. This book was an emotional read as it had both characters forced to confront their places in their family and see if they were really content to continue living like they have been.


HEAVY CROWN

” A Temptation I Couldn’t Resist…

I saw her being stuffed in a trunk: Yelena Yenina, only daughter of the most vicious Bratva boss in Chicago.

The Bratva hate my family. They burned my uncle alive. I should have left Yelena to her fate…

But she fought like a Valkyrie. Gorgeous, ferocious, and unbreakable.

I saved her so I could make her mine.

She says she’ll never submit to a man. I guess we’ll see…

I’ll push her to the limit. And far beyond. “

Amazon.com

Reasons to love Heavy Crown:

  • Enemy families
  • testing of loyalties
  • lost souls trying to find their places

Potential triggers

  • Thoughts on suicide
  • Death of a parent
  • Parental manipulation and abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Bondage
  • Blood/gore

So here we are at the conclusion of the “Brutal Birthrights” series…finally at Sebastian’s story. Not going to lie, I was kind of disappointing in it. *nervously laughs* I don’t think Sebastian’s story is bad I guess I was just expecting more. From the start you can tell Sebastian is instantly attracted to Yelena and her attraction grows the more she gets to know him.

This book has a lot of stuff going on between the two enemy families but I feel like I needed more to truly feel invested in Sebastian and Yelena’s relationship. Fast love is fine but I just feel like I needed more to really feel like it was a love that’s meant to last.

I am excited that the prologue leaves us an idea of what the spin-off series “Kingmakers” will be about. In the spin-off, we’ll be transported 18 years after “Brutal Birthright” ends as we get to know the heirs as they enter adulthood.

Although I was left a bit disappointed in “Heavy Crown” I really enjoyed reading through the entire “Brutal Birthrights” series getting to know the mafia families of Chicago. I’m so happy I picked up the “Brutal Birthrights” series and delved into the wonderful world Sophie created!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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