She thought it was love.
Rose Romanov is a mafia princess, and everything that entails. Violently over-protective parents. A giant extended family, all ready to kill anyone who looks at her wrong. Learning to run a business that isn’t exactly on the right side of the law. So, naturally, when she meets a nice guy who isn’t in the life, she falls hard… Right up until the she discovers her new boyfriend isn’t a civilian at all.
But he betrayed her.
When Dante Verducci was sent on an undercover mission to evaluate the Romanov family for weakness, he never expected to have an instant connection with their unlikely heir. There’s something fierce and feral about Rose that calls to him. They’re alike, even if they’re both lying to each other during the months they date. Before he could figure out a new plan, Rose finds out who he really is, dumps him, and immediately enters an engagement with the heir of a rival family. Yeah, no, that’s not going to work for Dante.
Now he’ll do anything to reclaim her. Even go to war.
Oh, Katee Robert, the havoc you wreck on my reading schedule–this wasn’t supposed to be out until next week, but you moved the day up to last week…I just managed to squeeze it in this week. Worth it!
The Scandalous Scions series follows the second generation of the mob families from her earlier series. It’s 30ish years after the original, and though you definitely don’t have to have read the other series first, it will definitely add to the experience if you have 😉
The first 4 books (maybe there will be more than that? But the author just has the titles/covers for 4 up on her Patreon at this point, so…) feature the 4 daughters of Keira and Dimitri ( The Bastard’s Bargain ), and The Bastard’s Betrayal is eldest daughter (and heir) Rose’s book.
Though Rose knows her eventual duty will lie elsewhere, at the book’s beginning she’s spent the last few months dating a nice, “normal” (read: not in the business) guy who she really likes. She knows they don’t have a future, but she’s really enjoying her time with him for as long as it lasts.
Until she finds out her “normal guy” is anything but. He’s actually Dante Verducci, and he’d been sent to New York to evaluate the strength of the Romanovs. Rose is beyond pissed–and shows her anger by shooting Dante.
He sees it as foreplay.
And he continues their…ahem…unconventional courtship by kidnapping her on her wedding day (an arranged one with a guy from another family, of course. She hasn’t met anyone else in the meantime that she likes better…or at least doesn’t want to shoot on sight).
And the story really takes off from there! It’s been a few years since I’d read the O’Malleys books (Keira and Dimitri’s book, the last one, came out in 2018) and the family trees are pretty involved, so I’m not gonna lie, I kept the “read inside” version on Amazon up on my computer while I was reading in the beginning (as well as a few times along the way) so I could flip through the various family trees as needed while I read. It was honestly hard to even look away from the book to check on the familial relationships, though, because OMG. This book.
“Kidnapping is their love language” indeed.
For a good chunk of the book (though not the steamy bits, of course), it was a bit hard to see how Rose and Dante could actually come out on the other side both alive and in a relationship, but fortunately for these two crazy kids Ms Robert managed it. (Barely. And I’m still wrapping my head around all the details behind it–there’s a reason I don’t usually read mob-themed romances, lol.) I’m really looking forward to the other Romanov sisters’ books–why are you making us wait so long for Lorelei’s book, Katee? OMG…I’ll survive…somehow…
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.