Release Date-September 23rd 2019
Kindle Edition-265 pages
Stefan Sabbioni showed up in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. Uninvited, he stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck.
I thought he’d strangle me with it.
That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.
I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.
He’s come to make good on his promise. He’s back to take that something precious.
Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.
Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.
And she is most definitely mine.
Collateral by Natasha Knight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first book in a duet where Gabriella daughter of Gabriel Marchese is blackmailed into Handing over his only daughter to Sicilian Mobster Stefan Sabbioni for marriage. At the tender age of eighteen, Gabby is a strange mix of innocent and naive but also somewhat worldly to the ways of monsters a side-effect of her unconventional upbringing and life-experiences and her fathers less the loving attentions. Stefan, much older at twenty-nine and with a personal agenda of vengeance that places Gabriella in the crosshairs between himself and her father. An innocent pawn caught in a war, not of her making where she could so very easily become collateral damage herself. The dynamic between Gabriella and Stefan in this first instalment was very much one of control on his behalf and petulant half-grown woman on hers. The initial chemistry here more of a custodian exerting his will and power over a much younger and sometimes childish Gabby who often thinks and acts before she has engaged her brain. As I said shes on that awkward cusp of adulthood where she seems to be straddling a line with a foot on either side of the divide. Character-wise I actually really liked Stefan a lot and despite his flaws (of which he had many) he was still essentially very kind towards Gabby, much more so than he actually needed to be to accomplish his own goals and I felt that he had a lot of patience with her especially considering her acting out which she did seem to do a lot of the time. As he informed her on numerous occasions she didn’t have to be his enemy. I actually gave Gabby herself somewhat of a pass with her bratty behaviour just because of her young age and also because I did feel that her upbringing had somewhat shaped her moulding her distrust and suspicious nature until it became her go-to defence mechanism a shield of sorts. I also don’t think she gave Stefan much of a chance: measuring his worth by the standards she had come to expect from her father which was hardly fair. Combine this in with her illogical choices well let’s just say I am hoping that come the next book Gabby opens her eyes slightly and quits burying her head. She definitely has some much needed personal growth and inner reflection to do in her near future. This was very much slow-burning in terms of the romance itself. where the tension is subtly adjusted ramping up the tension and heat along the way this worked so well especially considering Gabriella’s age and sometimes immaturities. Told from dual POV my favourite this gripped me almost instantly. It was well written and I sped through this in one sitting. My only gripe here was Gabbys herself as I said earlier her behaviour could be slightly irritating at times. This was a great read and I am looking forward to concluding this story in book two which is out in October so not a long wait at all thankfully. This gets a thumbs up from my camp folks.
I voluntary reviewed a copy of Collateral.
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