Stolen Heir (Brutal Birthright #2)
By Sophie Lark
Originally Published August 12th, 2020
Multi POV, First Person
I'm sure I am not the only one that gets adds for Kindle Unlimited books on Instagram. They are always eye-catching, offering me all the things I love in a book. That's how I stumbled across Stolen Heir. An add on Instagram--so yes, advertising really does work. Unfortunately, everything promised to me via the add, and the synopsis was not delivered.
Here is the Goodreads listing:
They Murdered My Father, So I Stole Their Daughter…
She’s my captive, my little ballerina who dances only for me.
Nessa is sweet and innocent. She doesn’t deserve any of this. But that’s how our world works - the wolves eat the lambs, no matter how gentle they may be.
I’ll use her to get my revenge. Unless I give in to my hunger first...
“Stolen Heir” is the dark and gothic second act of the “Brutal Birthright” series. It’s a stand-alone Enemies to Lovers Romance, complete with HEA and no cliffhangers. It contains blazing hot bedroom scenes for mature readers only!!!
Now look, I knew it was the second book in a series, but I also was told it was a stand-alone, and yes, you can read these books out of order but things are spoiled. According to this synopsis, I was about to read a steamy Mafia Romance, enemies to lovers, kidnapping, Beauty and the Beast retelling. Hell-to-the-yes!
And yet . . . this book is full of pulled punches. Sometimes I come across an author who is afraid to actually go through with the Mafia Romance tropes simply because they fear the backlash or they themselves aren't wholly invested in the genre. For me, I read Mafia Romance because I like something a little darker sometimes, something deliciously violent, but full of emotion. Lots of drama and tension, with badass, dangerous men being brought to their knees by a woman. I LIVE for it. The characters are going to be morally gray, they will do terrible things, the romance will be twisted and tangled--but everyone knows that who reads MR!
With Stolen Heir, Lark pulls her punches on almost every trope. Setting up for a dark execution, but at the last moment completely going against realistic and consistent character development that feels like a way to avoid the "this is toxic" concern. The men in this series are wishy-washy, the romance was instant after only two interactions, the character development was jarring. And the smut I have to say felt bland and had no spark, possibly because the two MCs themselves never really sold their lust for me. The book turned out to be a sweet, soft romance, with some darker moments that I wish had been explored upon further.
Overall, I didn't really enjoy reading this one as much as I wished too, but the writing was solid from an analytical standpoint and I even feel like I might read book three when it comes out. Its synopsis also boasts a fun time, but now that I know to expect little that is initially promised, I think I may enjoy it more! I think I was simply looking for a dark MR. Really, this is all my fault! I do so love an easy escape book and MR books are always good at that, whether considered bad or not, I usually always finish them and never regret reading them.
Stolen Heir might not have been what I wanted, but it would make a good starting book for a reader who hasn't read any MR because, while it has all the tropes and themes any MR book has, it's softer and more polite in the end.