Y’all. I love KristiferAnn‘s mob world, and book two, The Rise of Marchetti takes us right back into the thick of it!
(while you’re here, you can also check out the vlog)
Book two picks up right where the first left off–Lucan, the Marchetti patriarch has been shot and his newly found love is frantic, who wouldn’t be though? The first part of the book takes place in the immediate aftermath: Jack is being questioned by the police, everyone’s trying to cope with what happened, there are hospital visits, and then Lucan has a stroke (or does he?) and Jack is forced to go back home to Colorado.
Six months later, Marco and Emma, friends of both the family (Marco’s one of the security guys) and Jack invite Jack and her best friend Mayson down to Vegas for an engagement party. It’s… uncomfortable, to say the least. The party starts out like any other, but soon enough, people start leaving and security ramps up, Jack, who’s been hospitalized due to her anxiety and trauma over losing Lucan, high-tails it out of there. The next day, she sees Lucan, and he’s not a ghost.
After a belligerent tirade, slamming each of her friends, she and Lucan try to make amends, and their spark is as strong as ever. But is Jack, and is her trust in Lucan strong enough? That’s what book two explores.
And I relished it, I flew through the book–there are forty-three chapters, but they’re relatively short and they’re incredibly engaging. I loved how KristiferAnn includes little songs at the beginning of most chapters, almost to set up the vibe of each one, and I loved her descriptions.
Like the first book, there’s a lot of shifting focalization and a ton of dialogue; if you’re a fan of language tags, you might get a little confused at times. But, it’s pretty easy to realize who’s talking and I don’t think it takes away from the story.
There are a number of sensual scenes, mostly in the latter part of the book, however they aren’t graphic. I’d say the only big warning would be that there’s a lot of swearing. With it being a mob book, there is some plotting/killing, so if that’s triggering, it might not be your favorite, but since book two is so character-driven, I don’t think it’s enough to flag the novel either.
Needless to say, it’s a great story. I think a lot of cop/mob dramas focus on what the characters are doing rather than what and how they are experiencing something. Lucan’s near-death experience is a great example of this. Emiliano, the cousin, and Lucan’s whole crew are like “eh, it happens, people try to kill people, but we gotta protect him at all costs.” Jack, meanwhile, literally has a breakdown–now some of this is due to her own personal baggage of losing people she loves, but a lot of it is because she wasn’t previously in this underground world where murder abounds. I thought it was fascinating how much time KristiferAnn put into exploring Jack and her psyche, her mental health, and how this whole debacle impacted her relationships.
I love a good, character-driven story, and this one did it. Book one was a little bit more like contextualizing the world, whereas book two explores it a little deeper and from a very human perspective. It’s very emotive, which makes the characters especially likable (or not) and they just all seem to be very developed, even Emiliano, who appears at the end of the first book, or Jessica, who was briefly mentioned and then ends up to be a surprisingly central (albeit briefly) character.
I definitely recommend. If you like romance, drama, crime, and/or all of the above, this book, and the whole series will likely be a good fit for you.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Be sure to look out next week for my posts on Notes from the Bonfire by Matt Nagin.