Book Review, New(ish) Release, Romance Review

Review: The Devil I Don’t Know by LK Shaw

My father is dying, and I’ve been called back to Brooklyn to take my place as the head of the Italian syndicate. After a seven year absence, my first test of loyalty is to marry the granddaughter of the Irish mob’s leader. I may not want a wife, but I’ll kill anyone who tries to harm her.

I only hope she doesn’t expect love in our marriage. I can’t—won’t—love her. Not ever. I don’t have it in me.

My life has always been about duty. When my grandfather signs a marriage contract, I become a pawn in an alliance between the Irish and the Italians. Once again, I’m bound by duty.

I’ve always been invisible—the person who fades into the background—except soon my new husband begins to see me.

He’s a Brooklyn king, but will our enemies destroy my chance to become his queen?

At 24, Brenna knows what the family business is but it’s never really touched her until her grandfather announces that she’ll marry a stranger to cement a new alliance between the Irish and Italian mafias to take down the Bratva. She’s shocked and disgusted by the whole situation but Jacob protects her from her grandfather’s abuse and vows to never lay a hand on her in anger.

Jacob knows certain things are required of the head of the family so he doesn’t protest the marriage, even though the order is unexpected. He’s been heartbroken since losing his wife to violence seven years ago so this is merely a business transaction. They get along well enough and make the best of a bad situation. Brenna was sheltered and innocent but she’s determined to shed her blinders, refusing to be kept in the dark ever again. Jacob respects that so he’s honest and doesn’t shield her from the hard truths.

There’s a mutual attraction, but they’re friends first before it becomes more. I enjoyed watching Brenna come out of her shell to be the queen she’s supposed to be because she’s a badass. Jacob is the alpha mob boss but he’s also sweet and romantic with his wife. There’s some slow burn in the beginning but when they finally give in, they generate real heat. Life isn’t simple, they may have bigger problems than the Russians, like a rat in their own house but they’ll handle things. I loved Jacob and Brenna’s story and just wanted more, so I was thrilled to see a bonus epilogue from the author, which is one of my absolute favorite things. This is a great start to a series and I can’t wait to read more.

I received a complimentary copy from Valentine PR in exchange for an honest review.

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