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ARC Review: CAPTIVATED by Bethany-Kris

A shadow meets the light …

When someone needs to disappear, the Chicago mob calls on Joe Rossi. A man who can move without a sound, and kill without a word, they don’t call him the Shadow for nothing.

This time, it’s a New York crime family in need of his skills, but it takes one glimpse of her to make him agree to the job.

Liliana Marcello is every inch a principessa della mafia. Her life has taught her to be wary of strangers, yet her ballet career contradicts everything by putting her on display.

It’s a man with a dark smile and a constantly changing demeanor that makes her feel safe again, but it’s the unknown that holds her back.

It takes one look …
One dance …
One word …
One smile to captivate a man.

And one second to kill a woman because of it, too.

Not all monsters hide in the shadows.
How are you supposed to see them coming?

Goodreads





My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And the Queen of mafia romance has done it again! I don’t know how she does it, but Bethany-Kris has once again outdone herself. How does she constantly give me exactly what I need? She gives me these characters that grab at my freaking soul! They touch some part of me that I didn’t even know existed. She evokes emotions that I didn’t even know I had in me. And every time I pick up one of her books, no matter the subject, no matter the consequences, no matter what she puts me through, all I ever feel is an almost overwhelming outpouring of love. I love you, woman! For gifting me with your words, your incredibly well-thought out and amazingly constructed plots, and for the beauty of the characters that you create.

I have so much to say about Joe, so let me deal with Liliana first.

She played her character beyond just the dancing, and perhaps even, took the persona on for the moments she was on stage.
It was amazing.
She was beautiful.
He thought, at first sight, she had kind of captivated him. And seeing her like this only added to that strange enchantment, really.
- Joe


I loved that she was a ballerina and was serious about her art, however she acknowledged that it wasn’t going to be her life and that she had a plan for her future. Girl had goals! Okay, she’s obviously a principessa della mafia and the much loved daughter of Lucian and Jordyn. So she’s already ahead in points. Lucian was always my favorite Marcello (don’t tell Dante or Gio). Add in the fact that she’s John’s sister (and you already know how much I flove me some John) so my love for her is pretty much guaranteed. And then she had to be not only a survivor, but an all around amazing person. How could I not love her? She was completely self-aware, had no issues admitting when she was wrong or unsure, and had the gigantic heart that was always a winning feature of her family. What’s not to love? And the way she loved Joe?


Alright, so Joe. How can I sum up how I feel about Joe? How can I make you understand how incredible this character was for me? I’m sure I won’t even do him justice, but that’s okay because you’re going to get this book and find out for yourself.


Joe was the epitome of what all heroes (anti-heroes) created by this author encapsulate. He was charming, handsome, dominant, confident, intelligent, observant, considerate, kind, respectful, assertive, to-the-point, sexy, serious, funny, and loving. There are so many more adjectives I could list out, but I think you get the point. He. Was. Awesome!! What first drew me to him was how much he reminded me of his father, Damian Rossi. Now I so easily fell in love with Damian when I read Deathless and Divided. He was just so easy to love! I adored his silence, his integrity, his honor, his love, his everything. He was a feared assassin, The Ghost, and his son Joe (The Shadow) was like a mini-D and I couldn’t have been happier.

The author was right. Antoni Bialy really does make a great Joe. Thanks!

From the moment his eyes met hers, Joe was all about Liliana. He didn’t rush, he didn’t push, he didn’t press. He knew she was his person and she knew he was hers. They were meant to be and it was obvious to everyone. I loved how he didn’t fight it, but rather embraced the inevitability of it. I loved so much about this man. He was a cold-blooded killer and yet he had so much warmth to him. It was evident in the way he treated his parents, his brother, his sister, his peers, his elders, but most importantly, it was clear in how he treated Liliana. Very quickly, she became his world, which was both a blessing and a curse. She was a distraction in the best of ways. He was happier than he’d ever been. And for someone who never did relationships, he was confused by how eager he was to shackle himself to her. LOVED HIM!!


There were tons of issues that Joe and Liliana had to work through in order to achieve their happy ending but I was so happy to see that the issues didn’t stem from them. Lives are in danger and thankfully these two had armies made up of the Marcellos and the Rossis to have their backs. This story was at once sexy and romantic with plenty of thrills and terror to shake things up. I have no clue what’s going to happen to these families or whose story will turn up next on my kindle, but I can absolutely assure you that I will always stay tuned!

Release: July 2018 | Genre: Mafia Romance | Dual POV - 3rd person | Heat: 4 | Standalone - character crossover


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