Book 1 of Tartarus Mafia

Romance - Sizzle
408 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

Justyce is the first book of Lena Moore’s Tartarus Mafia Series and features Justyce Travino and Kenzi Adrina. Kenzi receives a phone call from her stepfather Dereke, who claims that her mother is dying. Kenzi returns to Dana Point, only to discover that she has been sold to Justyce in settlement of a gambling debt. Justyce is the son of Draconis, the leader of the Tartarus Mafia. He believes that Kenzi wants him, but when she defies his orders, he confines her to a room in the basement. A battle of wills ensues until she submits to his demands. Acting on a rumor, Draconis sends Justyce to confront the Charmed Brothers cartel, although Justyce suspects that something is amiss with his father’s instruction. Major changes are occurring and Kenzi finds herself at the center of it all.

Lena Moore excels in building tension between Justyce and Kenzi. Both of them are stubborn and both profess to hate the other. However, this adds to the suspense as they keep part of a past event secret. Justyce’s friends are aware of the mutual attraction and I found their ribbing of Justyce hilarious. I felt bad about the way Kenzi treated James, her long-term boyfriend. I failed to see the appeal in Justyce, especially since he is overbearing and demanding, but Kenzi thrives on this energy. From the start I disliked Draconis. The narrative alternates between Justyce and Kenzi without interrupting the flow of the story. This is a dark fantasy with all the depravity of mob justice included. There is never a dull moment and the suspense is intense. Readers of steamy romances involving opposing forces and lots of action will enjoy Justyce.