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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Diana Hicks presents a crime romance in Big Bad Wolf Duet; A Dark Mafia Romance (The Crime Society). The Irish Mafia of Chicago is in dire straits as the Italian Mafia eliminates its members one by one. Luce O’Brien is the daughter of the leader of the Red Wolves gang. Ronan, her twin brother, and her father decide that they need help. As a solution, Luce is to be married to Liam “the Butcher” Walsh, the leader of the New York faction, in exchange for his assistance. Upon arriving at Liam’s home, Luce is led by Mrs. Jones to her accommodation, which, much to her horror, is a cage. Meanwhile, Santino, the son of Don Buratti of the Italian Mafia in New York, is refusing to marry. Little does he know the woman he ran into at the airport would soon reappear. Liam takes Luce to an important meeting with the Italian Mafia. Santino recognizes Luce and attempts to seduce her. When she returns to Liam’s home, she learns her life has become even worse than she had imagined.
A slow-burn romance filled with danger on every page, Diana Hicks has created the perfect atmosphere for Luce and Santino’s magnetic attraction. Luce is a perpetual prisoner anywhere she goes. Liam doesn’t appear often, but his assistant, Mrs. Jones, is vicious in the way she treats Luce. Santino is a killer and his egotistical mannerisms fit, making Luce hate him. I felt sympathy for Luce. She was a fighter, but her mental state could crush her. This book maintains the perfect balance between each character’s actions by bringing out the best and worst in their counterparts. I found it interesting that the police never seem to appear when buildings blow up or bodies are found with bullet holes in them. The details in every scene kept me immersed in the story. I disliked Santino and Liam, as they both fit the male chauvinist description, but in different ways. The story ends so suddenly that I am compelled to read the sequels. Readers who enjoy mafia romances with a lot of action and vivid imagery will love Big Bad Wolf Duet!