The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House Presents...
Hot Summer Romance Blog Tour Featuring N.K. Smith, M.A. Stacie,
J.J. McAvoy and Lorenz Font!
And revisiting several other
great TWCS romantic titles and authors...
A Novel by
J. J. McAvoy
SummaryTo the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts.
Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, and follows the life and marriage of Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage, arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians. Liam believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. She knows exactly what type of man he is, and would rather die than give up the power she has spent her life building. The Mafia of the past has evolved, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to learn to work as one to take down those who stand in their way.
There will be parts of this review that will make you think I loved this book. And then there will be parts that you will be sure that I hated it. The truth is I think I’m right in the middle. I guess that makes it one of the ones that I love to hate…or maybe hate to love? I just know that while there were parts that I could not put down, seconds later I would be annoyed or pissed off or frustrated and wanting to chuck my reader out a fucking window.
Please ignore the cursing if it gets out of hand. Or blame the book. “Fuck”, or some form of it, was used so many times it is now branded in my brain and flashes every time I close my eyes like a black and white neon sign. Can black and white signs be neon? Well they can when they’re screaming FUCK at you. So if this review is littered with the F bomb, I apologize. I’ve been brainwashed.
I expected something different than what the summary led me to believe I was getting into. I thought it would be…deeper, I guess. There just wasn’t much depth to any of it. Or maybe I believed it would be more of a serious read. Something more realistic, because let’s be honest, none of this came off as a realistic Mafia novel. But then it’s reworked fan fiction (which I didn’t find out until I had started reading), so real and deep are hard to find when writing about someone else’s characters.
Did that come off as bitchy?
Anywho, the fact that it was once FF does not impact my feelings one way or another. Got that? Good. Look at me being all badass.
What does impact how I feel about the book is…well the story. The characters. The plot. The hot, sweaty, animalistic fuck-me-till-I-fall-apart sex. I may not have liked or agreed with the majority of the book, but girlfriend knows how to write some smut. But then, there were one or two parts I didn’t believe in that area either because, um, ouch? Unless the Boss is banging hard on the backdoor things would be a little more difficult. Or maybe Mr. Cocky is not so…cocky.
Anyway. I could get into character detail and the plot of the story and blah blah fucking blah, but you get the gist of what the book is about from reading the summary. Or maybe you don’t since I thought I was getting into something different…
Okay, kiddies, here’s the deal. Meet Melody G. (seriously, I can’t remember how to spell her last name and am way too tired to go back and look) the Boss of the Italian Mafia since she was 18, bragging about killing her first drug thief at 17 for attempting to make off with a pound of Mary Jane. She is the biggest, baddest bitch to walk in white heels. She has many enemies, one of them being the Irish mob. So what’s a girl to do to cool some of the heat?
Marry the Leprechaun Prince and make him King, obviously. (And yes, the book is riddled with stereotypes like that.)
Enter Liam C. (This time I do remember how to spell the name but by doing so I figure it makes him look more important than her and I don’t want to risk being offed in my sleep for offending the fictional mob Gods). So Liam. Liam thinks he’s getting a sweet, timid, shop-till-you-drop wife like his sister-in-laws. Surprise, dear Liam, the only dropping this woman does is bodies. He wants to rule it all and be King (or some really long tongue twisted Irish mob title that, again, I’m too tired to go back and look for) but the only way for that to happen is to marry the woman his father arranged for him to fuck the rest of his life.
I hear wedding bells.
Wait. The Irish mob? Is this really a thing? Does such a thing exist? Off to Google I go. And what do you know? There is actually an Irish mafia. Huh. So much for my belief, because of my experience with the Irish, that they are all sweet and gentle. Although come to think of it, he wasn’t so gentle either….
Did it suddenly get hot in here? No? That’s just me?
The title of this book says it all. These people are ruthless. Is this the real mob? Or has JJ McAvoy tarnished any resembles of truth to the mafia? Don’t they live by a code? No women and children? No innocents? Or is it my view of the dark world that is wrong because of my love for Sonny Corinthos and his code of honour? Although, he does kill women, but only really bad women. And yes, I am taking my Mob 101 studies from a soap opera, so I suppose my view of things could be wrong.
Don’t judge me.
I realize the soap portrayal of a mob king is probably way off. But I also feel like McAvoy’s characters are also a little exaggerated. They’re a little too ruthless, to the point of being unbelievable at times.
Okay, about the book.
It was good in the beginning, but somewhere between the half way and three quarter mark, I grew tired of it. The bloodshed and Melody losing her temper and killing women over simply looking at her husband got annoying. Girl needs some therapy and a big ass prescription to Xanax to chill the fuck out. Her “badass” attitude was over exaggerated and she came off as more annoying and childish than anything else—a psychotic child, but childish nonetheless.
I thought all the POV’s were pointless. Mel and Liam’s POVs were more than enough. At times those two were too much. We didn’t need to have a paragraph thrown in of Sedric’s thoughts, or Neal or Declan just to make the story longer. It was fucking long enough as it was. And we definitely didn’t need a Coraline side story. Let her work out her issues in her own fucking book. Seriously, who cares?
Now Liam. Liam was just as bad as Mel was. Pretty much everything that I just said about her can also be said about him. An over exaggerated, hot headed, unbelievable character. And the repetitiveness of his actions? Ugh! Enough with the fucking smirking! And the pinching of your god damn nose! That’s all this guy does! Someone break his fucking nose so he stops touching it every five seconds!
So what did I like about the book?
Well here it is. As much as I had grown bored and annoyed with all the killing and death threats, it was the last 50 pages or so where things got good. Really good. Fights broke out, limbs where torn, brass knuckles flew, guns were fired, knives where used…and that’s when I had to stop. Something happened that made me sick—and I know that’s cryptic but I can’t say anything more without giving away huge spoilers. But I did. I stopped reading for about a day because I was, honestly, too sick with worry to continue reading.
But when I did pick it back up again, and as much as I hated what happened, I couldn’t help but feel she deserved it. After all the lives Melody took, after all the innocent people that were killed to satisfy her bloodlust, there was a part of me that thought good, she’s getting exactly what she’s handed out. Finally she will feel all the pain that she caused when taking innocent lives.
But I was back on her side once more when she went after her payback. Because as much as I figured she deserved to feel the pain of what happened to her, I also think she deserved to seek revenge and make those who caused such a horrible thing die a very slow, painful death as retribution.
The book does end on a cliff hanger, but not one of those that seem like the story just abruptly ended. It gives you closure, yet leaves you waiting for the next chapter in Liam and Melody’s lives without feeling like something is missing.
I’m not sure whether to say well done to the author, or tell her to make friends with some mafia hit men and learn the truths behind the real mob. Maybe both? I'm also not entirely convinced it should be getting a 4 star rating, but there you have it.
J. J. McAvoy first started working on Ruthless People during a Morality and Ethics lecture her freshman year of college. X number of years later, she is an insomniac who has changed her major three times, and is a master in the art of procrastination. If you ask her why she began writing, she will simply tell you “They wanted to get their story out.” She is currently working on her next novel . . . so please bug her on Twitter @JJMcAvoy
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