Her Vengeful King
A Dark Mafia Romance (Black Hearts Book 1)
by A.N. Stauber
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Pub Date 26 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 14 Jun 2022
BOSTON WAS COLD IN THE WINTER, BUT HER HEART WAS COLDER.
Army veteran, Haley Savino, ran from the west coast to avoid her monsters. The man who hurt her may not have followed, but the haunting memories did. PTSD from the trauma of her stepfather left her turning to alcohol to numb her pain. She's only ever known that men can't be trusted.
When Cal barreled through her world, she struggled to find meaning in the new attraction.
Callum Murphy, heir to the Boston Irish Mafia, never expected to find a woman he loved.
When Haley entered his bar for a birthday bash, he knew he couldn't let her go. The sadness in her eyes drew him to her, but the challenge of breaking down her walls is exactly what he was missing in his life.
Can Haley finally trust a man with her heart? And can Cal be the one, even though he is the worst monster of all?
Average rating from 74 members
I received a free copy of this book from Arc through Net Galley for an unbiased review. Warning: this book has the potential to trigger a person who is dealing with PTSD, or issues of abuse, sexual abuse, rape, familial violence, or loss of a sibling.
Despite the sensitive subject matter in the book, this dark romance featuring an former Army trauma surgeon, Haley who falls in love with a violent, gorgeous, protective young leader of the Irish Mafia is an excellent, well told story of a young woman dealing with the traumas of her past and the overprotective lover, Callum, of her present. Her ability to accept her lover’s propensity for violence, torture and murder stretched my credulity a bit since every physician I have ever known, including Army doctors, still place a very high value on life, but the reasoning behind her acceptance of his dark side is well plotted and acceptable. The characters, including the secondary characters, are well drawn and engaging and the story was compelling enough for me to want to read it through completely in one day.
This is book one in a series and it will be interesting to see where A.N. Stauber takes her characters.
I really enjoyed this one and I’ll be going on to read Andi’s story in Cracked Open.
But back to this one.
Callum Murphy is the eldest son and has been groomed his entire life to one day rule the Boston Irish Mob. He’s never really had a girlfriend. While he accepts that one day he’ll have to marry and produce heirs. He’s in no rush and happy for his father to pick his bride. This changes when he meets Haley.
Haley has more baggage than any one person should ever have to carry. It’s left her scarred and prone to panic attacks. She drinks to numb the pain but knows she’s vulnerable whilst drunk.
Callum is attracted to Haley. And for the first time ever Haley finds herself attracted to a man.
While Haley is damaged Callum is the antidote. But can they both overcome everything from their pasts and present to make it work between them?
I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
Five stars simply because I couldn't put the book down.
Hayley has one hell of a backstory and you really want things to work out for her. Cal is the most unlikely of heroes and the salve to her PTSD. He is a dangerous mobster who will torture and kill people who cross him but at the same time, he is a fierce protector of those he loves. Hayley becomes the centre of his universe and he takes it upon himself to slay all her monsters. I loved that even though everyone in his world is afraid of him he is so gentle with Hayley.
The story is suspenseful and laden with drama and angst. There are a few dark moments but it involved bad guys getting their comeuppance and I didn't have a problem with that.
This is an amazing book that hooks you in the first chapter. It is a classic bad boy who falls for the good girl. Callum is now forty and living his life as the second in command of his family’s Irish mob. He meets a woman at his pub while they are celebrating his brother’s birthday. He has an instant connection to her and wants to find out where it might lead. He gets an instant cold shoulder from Haley and can’t understand why. His brother told him to stay away from her because she has a thing with avoiding men. Little did Callum know how terrible her childhood was. He is willing to help her get vengeance and help her heal. Will she be able to see how she feels for him and try to over come her past? I was given an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A dark, twisted plot with a classic romance story.
Self sufficient girl next door with an abusive past meets Irish mob king with a soft centre.
Really well written, the story plunged straight in rather than scene setting for half the book.
Was a great read that I completed in 2 sittings as I didn’t want to put it down.
Ends on a cliffhanger that will leave you gagging for the next book…
A book worth reading for sure.... OMG.... I totally loved it.... It had action, drama, romance and a lot of heat.... Would recommend it to anyone..
THIS BOOK HAS TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR: violence, swearing, sexual content, murder, torture, sexual assault, mention of sexual abuse, mention of child grooming, stalking, PTSD, childhood trauma and substance abuse.
I absolutely loved the writing style, it was engaging and made me want to keep on reading. This book had very clever plot ideas, and well developed back stories for all the characters. It honestly made me hate corrupt cops even more than I already did(which was a lot). I also really loved the character development of Callum, how he went from ‘f*ck women, I don’t need em’ to ‘I will be your couch cushion my little lassie’.
I loved a lot of the side characters(Sean, Andi and Saoirse in particular) and I think that most of them were well explored and well developed.
ALSO THAT ENDING!! oh my I am mighty intrigued, I cannot WAIT for the next book to come out.
4.5 stars overall, and I would absolutely read it again.
This was a quick and enjoyable read that was well written with incredibly well developed characters. It was a compelling read but it does contain some triggering themes which could make it hard to read for some, althought i thought they were handled sensitively.
*Arc Review* *Spoiler free review*
!This book contains many triggering topics!
Her Vengeful King is a captivating story, following Haley a strong, independent and witty woman with a dark past. We follow Haley not only through her journey of recovery from her trauma but also through her blooming relationship with Irish mobster Callum, a charming, protective and passionate man; who sees through Haley's strong facade and begins to break down her walls.
This book had me gripped from the very beginning, not once did I put down this book and I ended up reading it in one sitting. The book's momentum was perfect, the characters grew and learn yet had their own flaws and most importantly were human. I feel recovery and past trauma topics were handled really well, some books can have the guy magically 'fix' the woman in one night but not here.
Overall I cannot wait to meet Haley and Callum again and will definitely be reading Andi and Colbys story.
A great start to a new series. The characters are well developed and the plot pulls you in. I can’t wait to read more.
I voluntarily read an advanced copy.
OMFG what a story with thrilling gripping keeping you in the edge of your seat good. I truly loved this book it kept me guessing and engrossed in the story so much.
Haley has been through so much and now she is haunted by the man who hurt her and uses alcohol to numb her pain. She meets Cal, heir to the Boston Irish Mafia and sparks fly but can he break down her wall and get her to trust him? Fast-paced read with loads of drama, suspense, emotion and steam. I liked it.
Very powerful and perhaps also very classic "alpha-mob-romance".
But it is a great read, and I will definitely be looking after part 2. Surely, Cal's brothers also need to be stories.
5 Beautiful Black Clover Stars!!
This book is about Haley, a surgeon and military vet, and Callum, an Irish mob gangster. Both characters have traumatic pasts, including very dark and heavy topics such as sexual abuse/grooming of a child, loss of a family member, kidnapping, homelessness and drug abuse. This book is not for the light-hearted. But for us dark hearted and thrill seeking fiends, this checked all the boxes. Hell, any book where the hero calls himself a "monster" and has to hold himself back during their first sexy time is my jam!
I loved the character and relationship dynamic between Haley and Callum. I love groveling heroes and Haley definitely makes Callum grovel a couple times and earn her respect and trust. I also loved Callum's family. Something about supportive mob families defrosts my heart a little.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dark and twisted mafia romances.
I received an ARC of this book and have reviewed it voluntarily.
This book was fantastic - especially if you like mafia romances. Haley and Callum were great together. Haley used alcohol to escape her brutal past but everything changes when she meets Callum - who is being groomed to make over as Mafia boss. The connection between these two were great. I would highly recommend.
What a great quick read! The two MC’s are well developed and fit so well together. There were some triggers, such as violence, r*pe, assault, predators. I do feel that the story was great, and would have loved to learn more about the MMC‘s family. A lot of times the characters in these types of stories are so drawn to each other and ever leave each other’s sides that it can get quite predictable. In this story, however, there were many twists and turns that were riveting!
This is the story of Callum and Haley. Callum is a big player in the Irish Mob in Boston. Haley is a war hero and trauma doctor. The immediate magnetic attraction between these two characters keeps you reading and wanting more. Haley learns to heal and overcome her PTSD from her traumatic childhood of sexual abuse. Callum tries to soften his mob boss reputation in order to help her trust again.
This is told as a dual POV. The character development was masterfully done. From just the first few chapters I really care about these characters. To help the reader understand the different POV there are sweet little images at the beginning of each chapter. Callum’s chapters have a celtic pistol. Haley’s chapters have a celtic stethoscope. I really loved that because I’m totally guilty of not reading chapter names when I’m deeply focused on what happens next.
Overall I loved this story and can’t wait to see where this series goes. This is my first read from A.N. Stauber and certainly won’t be my last. Thank you Net Galley for my ARC. This review is completely honest and my own.
OH MY LORD. 😮💨🥵
This is my first read by this author and I cannot wait to read more by her. I loved Haley so much. She was a badass surgeon who was so complex and strong willed. She has lots of layers and trauma that she has gone through and it was awesome to see her development.
Callum.. the Boston Irish mafia king was soo good for her. I loved seeing how he helped her and treated her. I’m a sucker for the “I’ll burn the whole earth to the ground for you” type of character and that’s exactly how Cal was.
I loved how this story incorporated Callum’s family and that they loved and welcomes Haley like she was apart of their family, I think that was something she was always longing for & deserved!
So thankful for this E-Arc and now I REALLY need the next book. Especially with that ending. 😅
This book was read thanks to NetGalley
If there is something you should know about me, it's that i am really judgmental with dark romances, because usually author fail to control the "dark side of the romance" and we end up with a toxic love story.... this wasn't the case the author did a good job, because she touched some dark areas and I never felt triggered by them.
Kudos to A.N. Stauber.
Warning: this book has the potential to trigger a person who is dealing with PTSD, or issues of abuse, sexual abuse, rape, familial violence, or loss of a sibling.
Wow, I mean, what do I even say about this book. It was feisty, sexy and gripping all at the same time. The book made me tear up; it made me laugh and it made my heart happy all at the same time!
This was excellently written and just the right amount of smut for me. I absolutely loved Callum (didn’t like what he done) but I loved him as a person and when he started to become more open to Haley and open up to her, I loved seeing his soft side.
Haley is a strong woman, she would fight for anything to make it right and she definitely done this throughout the book. She has had a hard life but she never let it get to her.
I can’t wait for their journey to continue! Huge thanks to @authoranstauber and @netgalley for allowing me this ARC!
Truly enjoyed reading this book, and couldn’t put it down. Haley is so strong yet damaged at heart, Callum is the caring mobster who protects and avenges her, whilst guiding her back to her true self by showing her love and sharing his family.. A well written dark romance.
I devoured this book. It was very much your typical morally grey mobster meets woman with troubled past and they fall hard and fast for one another but boyyyy I was hooked. I always much prefer a dual POV when it comes to any type of romance and this did not disappoint. We get to know both MCs and the relationships to those around them and with each other really well. Callum's softness and patience with Haley and her strength to stand up for herself and put him in his place when necessary was everything 🙌🏻 The banter between them was a great reprise from the darker topics and the spice was *spicy*. This read was an absolute roller coaster and I need the second book immediately!
This book covers some deep and dark topics so, as always, please check the trigger warnings before embarking down the mudslide!
This book was amazing. Couldn’t hardly put it down. Waiting on pins and needles for the next one. A broken girl meets the right monster for her because sometimes you don’t need a knight in shining armor to save you, sometime you need a monster.
Ugh yes! Loved this story. I am from MA so any story with Boston is already better in my biased opinion. The steamy parts were great and the story was as well. I loved the main characters and I loved that Haley was a vet, you dont see that represented often. Overall it was a great read and I finished it in one day!
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