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My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.

 

Double Review-Taken by the Sinner & Owned by the Sinner by Michelle Heard

by | Jun 25, 2022 | Book Reviews | 1 comment

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Michelle Heard comes a new standalone, full-length Greek Mafia Romance novel.

Drowning in the murky waters of the mafia, I’m determined to find a way out. I have my sights set on becoming a film producer and won’t let anything or anyone stand in my way.

Then my mother marries a retired Godfather, and I get the head of the Greek mafia as a stepbrother.
Nikolas Stathoulis is set on ruining my well-laid plans. His ruthless reputation has me running for the safety of my apartment.

But he’s always there. On campus. In my apartment. Expecting me to play by his rules.
If only I can ignore his godlike features and stop my heart from doing cartwheels at the sight of him.

Greek God? Pretty much.
But he’s rude, demanding, and hell-bent on making my life a misery.

Two can play this game… Right?

STANDALONE: A Greek Mafia Romance full-length novel.
WARNING: 18+ only. Please read responsibly. THIS NOVEL CONTAINS TRIGGERING CONTENT.

My Review

First Impressions

Taken by the Sinner was an incredible read and I will be honest I was so scared for this one here. I had heard that the second book was better but surprise SURPRISE this one was so amazing! I couldn’t put this book down at all and stayed up all night reading it because I was so caught up in the story. And this book is especially good for romance readers that really love the classic feeling of mafia romance especially if you are fans of Cora Reilly and such. It does have the step-sibling trope in it, BUT their parents get married when they are both adults and there’s a bit of an age gap but not the type of age gap that bothered me at all as it just wasn’t a huge one and the hero still felt like he was written young and it didn’t have any type of icky factor that bothered me.

I need to keep the only weakness I have right by my side and protect it with my life. If Tess falls, I fall. If she dies, I die.

Summary

Our story starts off with our heroine, Tess, who is going to school to be a professional photographer. And then she learns that her mother is marrying the grandfather of the Greek Mafia and that the Mafia King is going to be her stepbrother. Tess has no interest in being part of the mafia world but when she meets Nikolas she realizes that she might not have a choice in the matter. Nikolas has to rule with an iron fist so he doesn’t appear weak and be taken out and with him having the Sicilians threatening his territory he has to appear to be strong and ruthless. When his father marries he doesn’t;t expect to be so attracted to his step-sister who is so contrary to him and even though she fears his brutality, there is a chemistry between them and before he realizes it, he wants to make Tess the queen of the Greek Mafia. But there are enemies that could destroy everything that they hold dear…

You can do anything you want to, little dreamer. As long as you do it by my side.

What I Loved

Taken by a Sinner is the first book in the series and I had such a BLAST with this book! It had everything I expected and more. I had heard mixed things about this book and honestly, I was mostly just looking for a good page-turner, and while it definitely was at that, it also was such a fascinating mafia romance and had the authenticity feel to it that I was expecting and more. Not sure if Greece has a Mafia though haha So if you can overlook that detail then it will probably work in that area. I really enjoyed seeing this story come to life though and these characters just pulled at my senses in such a fabulous way. I was so invested in their relationship and I especially loved our heroine. She fears the hero with good reason of course, but she stands her ground on how she wants to live her life and I really admired her courage in being willing to stand up to Nikolas and we see how much the hero loves that she does stand up to him and stands her ground when so many just obey his commands. I also loved the interaction with the sister and her husband, I just adored them and I am curious to see if they have a book in her previous series (maybe?) The plot was engaging and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I never knew where this book would go and I found it so refreshing to have a mafia romance that had me so tense all the way through. And if you like romantic suspense and don’t mind the darker edge, then I definitely think that this book and series will work for you.

It’s you and me from here on out. Together we’ll rule, and together we’ll fall

What I Struggled With

I truly enjoyed this one and I did struggle with a scene in the book that was really heartbreaking but I don’t want to say what it is but yeah I didn’t care for that part.

Overall View

Taken by a Sinner is such an intense, edgy dark romance that will keep you thirsty in anticipating, it contains a fiery hot romance to curl your toes and turn up the A/C just to keep cool! It’s a satisfying read that will stoke your sense in the best of ways!

Title: Taken by a Sinner

Author: Michelle Heard

Genre: Dark Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Length: 405 Pages

Amazon| Goodreads| LibraryThing| StoryGraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.5

Character Development: 5

Writing Style: 5

World Building 5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 5

Pacing 5

Plot 5

Cover Art 5

Ending 5

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Trigger Warning

Violence, Torture, Murder


This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

All I want to do is look after my dad, so when I land the job of a lifetime that will take care of our expenses, I grab at the chance with both hands. Little do I know, the impossible will be expected of me.

Slowly my smile fades, and my laughter dies until all that’s left is the broken puppet my personal hell created.

Liam Byrne, the head of the Irish mafia, returns from a business trip, and I expect my hellish nightmare to increase ten-fold.
Brutal, merciless, and dangerous, Liam is feared by all – even the monster intent on killing my soul.

Turns out I was wrong.

The instant Liam notices what’s happening, he takes me under his wing, and even though he’s all sharp edges and threatening growls, I feel safe with him.

Little by little, my sunshine creeps through the cracks, and my laughter returns.

But can one monster really defeat another, or am I just a girl dreaming about the impossible?

STANDALONE: An Irish Mafia Romance full-length novel.
WARNING: 18+ only. Please read responsibly. THIS NOVEL CONTAINS TRIGGERING CONTENT.

My Review

First Impressions

Now with this book, this is the one that I was super stoked for as it had much better reviews than the first book did. And it also had the type of set up that would have drawn me into the story way more. And unfortunately it didn’t quite meet up with my expectations. It just didn’t quite engage me into the story as much as the first book so it threw me off for a loop there and I really wanted to enjoy this book more. I mean I was hoping for a superb five star of a read and this only makes it to a four star but it was still a solid win for me. I am not sure if I was just expecting more of if it happened to be the writing itself, I was hoping that this book would be more. its still a solid mafia romance and I do think that this set up will appeal to readers more than the first book did as the set up of the romance is much more appealing and has less angst. Although there is plenty of angst, it just tends to be outside of the relationship (which granted normally would be my cup of tea haha) I don’t know maybe I was just in a weird mood when I read these, who knows haha But I can say that I am really liking the voice of this author and she has me intrigued to try more of her books.

“Because you make me feel.” Christ, do you make me feel. My hands frame her face, my eyes burning intensely into hers. “Because I can touch you.” I tilt my head. “I. Can. Touch. You. Kiara.”

Summary

In Owned by a Sinner we have a story about our heroine whose father has had a heart attack but she has been kept secret from the mafia because her father knows what the mafia is and as his daughter, she would be forced into that lifestyle and would have zero freedom and wants her free to live her own life separate from the world of the mafia and all the dangers that are connected to it. But then she gets a job at a firm and it pays really well but what her father doesn’t convey to her is that its run by the head of the Irish Mafia….Liam Byrne. Liam is the head of the mafia and is having issues with his brother. After a long trip he comes home to find that his stepbrother is being abusive towards one of his employees but as he has no proof, he takes her under his wing. Lima has always had an aversion to touching other but she is the first person that he doesn’t have an aversion with. He soon gets to have the sparkle and light return to Kiara but what will happen when the truth of Kiara’s heritage is revealed?

The princess I never knew existed and the only woman I want. She’s mine. Especially now that I have a right to claim her.

What I Loved

Owned by a Sinner was a fantastic addition to the series and I am so fascinated by what this author has created with these five different mafia’s and the brotherhood that seems to be forming between all of the heads. Their friendship is so endearing and I just love seeing male bonds of friendship happen especially in a romance series. The romance that builds between the two here is so captivating and I was so drawn into their romance once it actually started to happen. The villain of the story (the stepbrother) is a piece of work and my heart broke for Kiara and what he was doing to her —basically psychologically terrorism is happening to her and you just want to help her out but she is in a tough spot. I really admired her tenacity and how she fights back when it really matters. You really see how she has the will to fight when its needed but she does have a more gentle sweet nature and I adored how the hero just is so protective over her.

“I loved you long before you came into my life. When you bumped into me, my body recognized yours. When you looked for safety in my arms, my heart knew you were the one.” My heart. There’s so much emotion building between us, his eyes a color of blue I’ve never seen before. “Mine. Always have been. Always will be.”

What I Struggled With

I really struggled with the pacing at first, it just didn’t pull me into the story as book one had done and took some adjusting—but first-time readers shouldn’t struggle

Overall View

I found Owned by a Sinner to be a delectable mafia romance that possessed all the elements of a solid mafia romance that will work for dark romance fans. Its a story of emotional journeys, highly portrayed steam and a connecting love story that a most satisfying HEA.

“I promise, if I steal, it will be to steal her heart. If I cheat, it’s to cheat death so I can stay with her longer. If I fight, it will be to protect her.” Then I add my own twist, “If she cries, it will be tears of happiness. If she’s in pain, it will be because she’s giving birth to our children.”

Title: Owned by a Sinner

Author: Michelle Heard

Genre: Dark Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Length: 292 Pages

Amazon| Goodreads| LibraryThing| StoryGraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4

Character Development: 4

Writing Style: 3.75

World Building 5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 4

Pacing 4

Plot 5

Cover Art 5

Ending 5

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Trigger Warning

Violence, Murder, Death

Series Order

Sinners

Taken by a Sinner-Pub 2022 #1 in the Series

Owned by a Sinner-Pub 2022 #2 in the Series

Stolen by a Sinner-Pub 2022 #3 in the Series

Chosen by a Sinner-Pub 2022 #4 in the Series

Captured by A Sinner-Pub 2022 #5 in the Series

About Michelle

Michelle Heard is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Top 20 bestselling romance author. She writes emotional heart-shattering stories with romance that will leave you smiling with satisfaction. Every book has an unexpected twist that will show the strength of the characters who have to fight for their HEA.

Before becoming an author, Michelle had a career in banking. She lives in South Africa with her son.

Website|Goodreads|Facebook

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1 Comment

  1. nbiblioholic

    I’ve been either hit or miss with this author but these sure do seem like winners. Might have to give them a try. Amazing reviews!! xo

    Reply

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