Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin

Dark Mafia Prince by Annika MartinDark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin
Series: Dangerous Royals #1
Published by Annika Martin on June 28th 2016
Pages: 235
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Aleksio: Don’t look at me like that. So trusting.
Like you think I’m not a monster.
 Like I won’t wrap your hair in my fist and bend you to my will.
 Like I won’t sacrifice you, piece by piece, to save my brother. I’m the most dangerous enemy you’ll ever have because every time you look at me, you see somebody good. That friend who died. And when you look at me like that, I die again.

Mira: I spent years making myself invisible. A good girl, apart from the noise.
 Then you came back, beautiful and deadly in your Armani suit. 
Don’t look at me like you still know me, you say.
 But I remember your smile and those sunny days. Before they lowered your small casket into the ground.
 Before they told us the prince was dead.

‘Dark Mafia Prince’ isn’t the usual type I go for, but once in, is impossible to turn away. It’s built around vengeance, the unforgiving criminal underworld that obeys only a particular code of honour that’s difficult to understand for those who love walking the straight and narrow. Consequently, I’m expecting the protagonists to be anti-heroes instead and heroines to be anything and anyone, yet can ‘tame’ these hardened criminals somewhat by the end of it.

To some extent, the story does do what it says. The writing is compelling, filled with the brutal edge of terror that I couldn’t take my eyes off the unfolding narrative even if I wanted to. True to the warnings, it’s dirty, filthy and unapologetically rides the part where sex isn’t all sunshine and roses and I got into this book knowing that. There’s more than a hint of pleasure in humiliation—whether it’s a pretend scenario or not—, deliberate insults and part-degradation in a situation that isn’t acceptable on any level, though understandable in the context that’s laid out here. Some parts read like dubious consent, with a dose of Stockholm Syndrome thrown in; hence, I did have a bit of a hard time believing that instant connection after years of separation and differing life experiences.

After all, we’re talking about an anti-hero who isn’t the honourable, straight-walking type but one who kills as part of his lifestyle. Mira’s sudden entry into Aleksio’s life is a carefully-choreographed act as his vendetta against her father knows no bounds, but it feels as though there’re just too many speed bumps to overcome in their relationship, not to mention their totally opposing world views about life for them to have a convincing HEA.

‘Dark Mafia Prince’ isn’t a perfect read as a result. I do think that the characters’ voices need a bit more differentiation and that Mira/Aleksio as a pairing lacked development as the action was focused more on finding the mysterious Kiro. With the entire narrative arc unfinished as well, I definitely want the next 2 books in the series, though maybe not immediately.