Saturday, August 27, 2016

ARC Review: Ghost by A. Zavarelli

(Boston Underworld #3)
by A. Zavarelli
Genre: Mafia, Suspense
Release Date: Aug 27, 2016

I have always been a bird. Caged by one prison or another when the only thing I ever wanted was to fly away.
Sold. Beaten. Starved. Drugged.
Nothing scares me anymore.
Until him.
He makes the numbness go away.
He is hazardous to me. It has nothing to do with his mafia lifestyle, and everything to do with what he offers.
A gilded prison.
A retreat from everything that I once knew. The reality I have no desire to return to.
He thinks he’s caged me, but soon…
I’m going to fly.

I live by a code. The Vory code.
In this mafiya world, there are traditions.
She does not care for these things. She does not care about anything.
She thinks she has me fooled with her haunted eyes.
What she can’t know is that I see her better than most.
She wants to fly.
But I’m going to clip her wings.
And make her my wife.

US | UK | AU

Now that I've finished Ghost I can't decided which one I love more. I love every book in this series as much as the last one. Lachlan, Ronan, Alexei.But of course, I have a special weakness for Russian hero, and Alexei is hitting all the right buttons for me.

The tone of this third book of Boston Underworld series is slightly darker than its predecessor. We knew of our heroine, Talia who was kidnap and sold into a sex trafficking ring in Book 1 and Alexei was task to search for her by Mack and Lachlan. We also get a little glimpse of her in Book 2 whereby she was residing in Alexei's home. But what is she doing there?

I appreciate that Ghost started off from the beginning, right from the moment Talia was kidnap and we learn how Alexei's plan to retrieve her. It gives us a really complete story of Talia and Alexei, especially for those who are new to the series. 

As with any sex slave that had endured the worst, Talia was on the brink of giving up. She even plan how it will end. Her plan was thwarted by Alexei when he swoop in to save her like a dark knight that he is. But Talia held no illusion for him, as she expect him to be just another person who will use her for his own selfish gain. 

Alexei seems to be a really resourceful man as whenever some crisis happened previously, he was the person that both Lachlan and Ronan seek out. We finally get to know about this mysterious hero who hide in his mansion with all his computers. If not because he appears to be a beautiful man, I would have compare him to the Beast. He is also hiding a little secret of his own from his associates, constantly worries about who will eventually betrayed him.

The truth is, she will never trust me. Nor I, her. It is the way we are programmed. Duped by too many in the harsh school of life. She is my equal in this regard. The perfect partner.

Talia and Alexei relationship didn't started off healthy or even remotely romantic. But with their similar broken past, it works for them. Alexei understand what she needs, which is acceptance, instead of trying to fix her. In return, she learn to love the close off man who had faced too much disappointment in life to ever hope again. 

"Do you want to drown, baby?"
"No. I want to fly."

I can't find a better suitor for Talia, even though Alexei came off as an emotionally unavailable douche of most of the time. He is not a man of many words, but his action speaks volume from the way he take care and protect her. I'm glad to see them finding solace in each other. Nothing is better than reading about a brooding hero fall in love.

Overall, Ghost is another strong follow up by A. Zavarelli. This woman is definitely up there as one of my favorite mafia-go-to-author. She write such flawed characters and make us rooting for them every single time. 

"I will make you fall in love with me every day for a lifetime."

A. Zavarelli is a romance book junkie, cat lover, and traveler when plagued by intense cases of wanderlust. She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and pretty much any kind of characters that are dark and gritty. You can find more about her on her website.

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