Pick of the Day

The Bad Mothers' Book Club by Keris Stainton

⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book is more chicklit than lesfic but is thoroughly enjoyable. It starts in the dreaded gate-moms world. Yeah, that is...

Double-Crossed by Ali Vali

⭐⭐⭐☆


Ali Vali could well be crowned the Mario Puzo of lesfic since she has a special affinity to Mob/Mafia series and admittedly does them really well. This one is the first of a new series.

Reed Gable, born Rebel Jones to a drug addicted mother becomes a ward of the state at five. She is shunted from one foster home to another finally ending up in a state-run facility at the age of nine. Nothing about her past has been warm or nurturing and she comes out on the wrong side of law. This is further aggravated when she is imprisoned for four years and learns a whole lot of other tricks during her internment. Based in Las Vegas, her primary skill is thieving but she is happy to take on contracts to kill every once in a while. She has made enough money to kick back her heels and retire but continues ‘working’. She takes on a job to get rid of a cheating husband, Victor Maddison. The collateral damage in that job is his ‘extracurricular’ partner, a nineteen year old. Right on the heels of this hit, she takes on a job to get rid of an accountant, Brinley Myers, who just might know much more than she should’ve. Brinley has just moved to Vegas and joined a casino, Moroccan. One drunken night and a huge mistake ended up with Brinley becoming pregnant. The father, a lowlife, is in jail; but he and his druggie mom want to somehow make Brinley pay their ‘bills’. She moves to Vegas with her one-year-old son, Finn, to escape that mistake. When Reed finds Brinley to complete the hit, she finds Finn with Brinley and cannot kill the mother. So she takes them home to figure out what to do – and ends up becoming their protector. With one incomplete job and the other one (Victor’s death) snowballing into an inter-Family mess, the action turns crazy.

We love the pairs of MCs that Vali writes. There is an upright, moral (per their own code), almost-heroic butch (though thankfully the butchness is not rubbed into our faces) and a strong, unembarrassed, knowing-her-mind femme. Reed and Brinley are par for the course. We also love the way the author writes romance. However, this one is more inter-gang rivalry, introducing a huge cast of characters and lots of deaths.

In the beginning we didn’t particularly care for Reed. In fact, when she remorselessly kills the young girl with Victor, we actively disliked her and were quite set against her. Somehow, as the different families of the Mob kept getting introduced, Reed seemed like a minor player in the bigger game and we could reconcile ourselves with her coldness. We do wish that some of the darker aspects of the book weren’t there – but then they were all essential for the story. There was one tiny walk-on part (Jayden) and one madly messed-up character (Sofia), both of whom we are quite rooting for and hope that they have a happy story in the later books.

All in all, this is action-packed mafia entertainment with a dash of romance. It’s quite good fun.

⭐⭐⭐☆
 


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