Friday, January 22, 2016

Blog Tour ARC Review + Giveaway: Scarless & Sacred by Bethany-Kris

by Bethany-Kris
The Chicago Wars #3
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Erotic,Adult, Organized Crime

Secrets and wars leave the deepest scars.

Evelina Conti has always worn a mask. She is an Outfit principessa, respected and adored. She wasn’t allowed to be anything else. Her father went from a grieving husband to the Outfit boss, and now that Riley heads the family, Eve is more suffocated than ever. No matter how much she hates it, the Conti princess still has a role to play. A little attention from Theo DeLuca seems innocent enough, but nothing is when it comes to him. And certainly not when everyone believes that Theo is out to kill her.

Theo DeLuca has a target on his back. His biggest problem is figuring out who put it there when everyone is aiming at him. He doesn’t need a woman causing him issues, but the Conti princess keeps showing up at the worst times, and he’s the one left saving her. Between the men surrounding him that Theo can’t trust, and the past he can’t outrun, Evelina might be the one thing he doesn’t have to question. But when Riley decides to use Eve as his next move, even Theo might not be able to save her.

The war in Chicago is not even close to being over. This game is deadly. Each hand played cuts another mark into someone else. The Outfit boss is struggling while the men around him are rallying. As the body count continues to rise, the families keep losing.

Sacrifices are a part of war. No one will walk away from this without scars.


PLEASE NOTE: Scarless & Sacred is not intended to be read as a standalone in this series. It is the third book in the series and should be read after the first two books. Trigger Warning: Scarless features graphic violence and scenes of past abuse.

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My 1st 5 star for 2016. Yay!

No one in this life walked around scarless. 

I'm so glad to be back with the Outfit, although they seems to be the most messy bunch of mafia with non-stop political agenda, back-stabbing, and whatnot. It also seems like in all 4 books of The Chicago War series the heroes and heroines are all within the Outfit families. From the sound of it, it might be a recipe for repetitiveness because most of them have the same dilemma, but Bethany-Kris manage to make each story unique in itself. 

Theo DeLuca who endured a tough upbringing and now having a hard time overcoming the anger and guilt for the death of his brother. Only after his family is in tattered that he realized how precious they are to him. Now he is only left with his sister, Lily DeLuca and his brother-in-law, Damian Rossi.

Evelina Conti had always been the mafia principessa who followed the rules, no matter how much she hates her father. Theo had always been in the fore front of her mind since she was 18, with the way he taunt and tease her princess attitude. However, they never take things any further because Eve know nothing will come out of it. Until, the day she found out that her father is gonna marry her off the their Outfit's front boss. 

The romance is not a big part of the story, in fact I don't think they talked to each other much for the first quarter of the book, but is still a really solid one that built from a strong foundation and understanding between these two individuals. Theo spent much more time being in the midst of trouble and danger, while trying to stay ahead of whoever who wanted to off him. Eve is person who gave him much strength and hopefulness when situation seems bleak and impossible. Theo had always thought that being in a relationship means having responsibilities that he might not able to commit, but Eve taught him that you can just be who you are, scars and all.

Damian Rossi from Deathless & Divided is still my favorite hero, with his constant brooding and quiet self. A man who couldn't care less about the politics, but still loyal to his family. I'm glad that every subsequent books still featured him heavily.

Reckless & Ruined got my favorite love story. Adriano and Alessa is the classic Romeo and Juliet and their love for each other is so pure and untainted. 

However, if I were to rate my favorite book for this series to date, I would say Scarless & Sacred! Not only that the romance works for me, I love reading the dance they both having around each other before they are together, I was also sucked into the whole Outfit politics, from the bad guys, Riley and Joel, to the good guys, Tommas and Damian. I also get so much from Theo's POV, his childhood, his adult life, him missing his brother and struggling to make things right for his family once and for all. My heart just hurts for him. 

The next book will be the last of Chicago Wars, but I'm not ready for their story to end. Although with so much death, I'm suppose we need a closure for them. 

“Eve,” Theo greeted as he saddled up beside her at the bar. 
“She’s very good,” Evelina said, nodding at the dancer. 
Theo shrugged. “I suppose. I’m not the one who vets the dancers before they get the job.” 
Evelina glanced at him. She was only shorter than him by a couple of inches in her heels, but it was enough to make her need to look up through those thick lashes of hers. “You don’t watch them while they work?” 
“Because I’m here to work, Eve, not get my rocks off on lap dances and strip teases.” 
Evelina smiled a tiny smile. “Huh, imagine that.” 
“I think all those rumors about you and women are a load of crap, especially if you spend a lot of your work time in a strip club and can’t even be bothered to taste the spread. I’m sure they would be willing.” 
Theo laughed deeply. “Probably.” 
He’d had a few offers. 
Not that he took any of them. 
“Since when do you frequent strip clubs?” Theo asked, curious. 
Evelina winked. “Since someone told me to have a little fun a few years ago.” 
Well, damn. 
“Strip clubs was where you found that? This isn’t necessarily the kind of place where an Outfit daughter should be hanging out, Evelina.” 
“Not necessarily, but I learned that everybody has a job to do, Theo. This is just one of them and it’s a paycheck like anybody else’s nine-to-five.” 
“Are you going to send me away now?” Evelina asked. 
Theo watched her from the side, taking in the curves of her body underneath her black dress and the way her legs looked to be a mile long standing in those heels. The demure look she wore only added to the fact he found himself reacting to her just by being close. The scent of whatever perfume she wore was a mixture of heady and sweet, and it soaked into his lungs instantly. 
Yes, he was going to send her away. 
Because she looked like sin and she was standing in a place meant for it. 
Theo did terribly well with sinning. 
“Yes,” Theo murmured. 
“That’s a shame.” 
Evelina flashed her white teeth in a sinful smirk. “Because you never gave me the chance to thank you, Theo.” 
His confusion climbed higher. 
“For what?” 
“Keeping me from getting shot.” 
“Eve, there’s no need to thank me for that.” 
“I know,” she said, “but it seems like everyone wants to blame you for it and I wanted you to know that I don’t. I wanted to tell you directly, so you could know, Theo. People think I’m deaf or something, or maybe they just think I won’t repeat what I hear. It doesn’t matter really, because when you showed up at the dinner, I figured out enough from that, anyway.” 
Theo blinked, surprised. “How did you find out I was here tonight?” 
Evelina lifted a single shoulder in response and tilted her glass up to her lips to take a sip. 
“Eve,” Theo pressed. 
“Maybe I got Alessa to get some information out of Adriano. But who knows?” 
Theo chuckled. “Yeah, who knows?” 
“Not me.” 
“You shouldn’t be here, Eve,” Theo warned quietly. 
“I know. I left my car a couple of blocks into the Conti side of the territory line and grabbed a cab. So even if someone comes looking, they won’t find me. Thanks for that advice on the GPS, by the way. It came in handy after all.” 
Theo swallowed hard, wondering what kind of game this woman was trying to play with him. “Did you think that this might get me into a hell of a lot of trouble, too?” 
“Maybe, but I just needed to do something different tonight.” 
“And you came to me.” 
Evelina shifted on her heels, still watching the stage and the dancer. “Why not?” 
“I have a dozen reasons why not, Eve.” 
She tilted her head just enough to catch his gaze again. Evelina held it, her stare never wavering. There was something in the hard expression she wore that told him something was wrong. 
Theo wouldn’t ask. 
He couldn’t care. 
Not right now. 
“They’re going to turn me into someone I don’t want to be,” Evelina said quietly. 
He didn’t even have to ask what she meant. Theo knew. The Outfit. It was always about the Outfit where they were concerned. Someone did that to Theo once, too. 
“I learned to like the changes,” Theo murmured. 
Evelina sighed. It came out breathy and tired, but it still made Theo ache. No, he couldn’t deny his attraction to Evelina Conti. But what he could do was control himself in her presence. 
Never think with your cock or heart. 
DeLuca rule number one. 
Evelina wet her bottom lip as she looked him over. “I think I figured something out way too late.” 
“Yeah. I don’t want to be a princess.” 

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to three young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something ... when she can find the time.

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