Published by Tijan on March 4th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
There were always whispers about my roommate at Hillcrest Academy.
The wealthiest of the wealthy sent their kids to our boarding school, and Brooke Bennett had been at the top, though I never quite knew why. She was fun and outgoing, but she kept quiet about her family. The only things she showed me were photographs of her brothers.
I became fascinated with her second-oldest brother. Kai Bennett.
He was the most of them all. Smoldering. Hypnotic. Alluring.
Kai had eyes that pulled me in and a face that haunted my dreams.
Then I met him.
He came to our school with their father, and that's when I learned what kind of family Brooke came from. They were mafia, and Brooke's oldest brother was dead. Her father said accident, but Brooke said murder.
Three months later, her father died, and Kai became the head of the Bennett Family. Brooke left Hillcrest for good, and that was the last time I saw her.
Fourteen years later, I'm staring at her face on the television. Brooke is missing.
Two days later, Kai Bennett kidnaps me.
Bennett Mafia by Tijan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m a sucker for Tijan books. Add in that I love mafia books, and it’s a no brainer that I picked up this book. Boy, oh boy, am I glad I did. If you’ve never read something by Tijan, let me share just a few tidbits about her style of writing before I dive into the book goodness. She has this uncanny ability to create a world – whether it’s NA, contemporary, paranormal, whatever – that is so fully developed, layered, and realistic that you often forget that it has been fabricated by her genius mind. You willingly give up a night of sleep and proudly wear your fatigue the next day as a badge of honor. You’re sucked into the “Tijan-verse” that you never want to leave and hope she keeps writing these characters. And they’re all so different that her stories never feel recycled nor does she forget to fill in all the gaps. In short, she deserves all the praise you can heap on her because she writes a damn fine story.
So, now Bennett Mafia. Yes, a mafia book, but one that is done in a way I haven’t seen. When we first meet Kai, we experience Riley’s visceral feelings towards this enigmatic character. In fact, the writing is so compelling that you adopt her feelings. And that’s all within a 30-second meeting. As we flash forward with the unfolding of the story in the present, Tijan takes on a roller coaster of emotions as each layer of their story unfolds – more intense, convoluted, and twisty that The Sopranos and The Usual Suspects combined (TV/movie references there, I case I lost anyone). And these twists are what had me mentally writing my review as I finished the review at 4 a.m. (Oh yes, I totally wore the fatigue badge of honor).
But I think what got me most is how Tijan developed the characters. There is no clear black and white in this world. There is good and evil. Yet sometimes they bleed into each other, creating a grey area which miracle can exist. A killer with a true heart, an altruistic soul who flirts with death, and maybe something magical right in the middle. That’s where Kai and Riley reside…right smack dab in the middle. The tug of war over these two lines is part of what defines them, and yet they battle to see if they can make it work.
Yes, I’ve gotten philosophical, but what I want to stress is each tangle, thorn, and complication they face – individually and together – is what makes the book dynamic. This book is captivating and has kept me thinking about it for days. So rather than risk a spoiler or just rehash the synopsis (because who really want that), I will strongly suggest you read this book. And when you’re done, go get any other book by Tijan and gobble it up, too.
~ Review by Loredana