The Darkest Temptation (Made #3)
By Danielle Lori
Originally Published December 10th, 2020
Dual POV, First Person
I absolutely adore this Mafia series. Book one, The Sweetest Oblivion, is a regular reread for me, and book two, The Maddest Obsession is my all-time favorite Mafia Romance. While each of these books are technically standalones, like most MR series, they are connected and I highly recommend reading them in order.
(I also just checked and I don't think I've reviewed books one and two for some unknown reason, one day I will get to that, but all you need to know is that you should start this series ASAP if you like anything Mafia/Criminal Romance related!)
Now, let's dive into The Darkest Temptation. I had high expectations for this book, especially with book two stealing my heart and all, but maybe this was a bad thing. While I enjoyed reading, and read it quickly, this book fell a little short to what I've come to expect from Lori. Now, I'd also like to say that I know, without a doubt, this book was HARD for Lori to write. COVID has set back a lot of us indie authors, both with deadlines and mental health. I am a part of her Facebook street group and I know she was trying really hard to get the book finished. I know she ended up adding a whole bunch after the initial draft. I know that blood, sweat, and tears went into this book, anyone with a brain can tell.
The Darkest Temptation follows naive and innocent Mila on a journey of self-discovery. Her path is rocky, a bit frustrating, but altogether one paved through strength, determination, and love. She throws herself into the path of bad men and she reaps the consequences and has to grow up very very quickly.
Ronan is the brother of Christian (from book two) we've heard about but never met. So I was excited to finally get a taste of him. Dangerous, rough, and a bit twisted, Ronan turns Mila's world upside down. There is an age gap, larger than the other two books. But I also feel like there is a maturity gap as well. Ronan knows what he's doing when he first courts a clueless Mila, and then ultimately kidnaps her. This leads to mixed feelings on my part of whether this is that very thin line dark romance does actually have, and if it is crossing it. It's a very dubious consent situation: Mila's love offered and Ronan's taking of said love. Usually, people's complaints of MR having Stolkholm syndrome are met with rolling eyes and a polite wave of my hand for them to simply move on and let people enjoy the darker romance genres without their comments. But, I will say, in this book ... it did feel very Stolkholmy, not necessarily in the good ways MR has abduction romance. These are the reasons for three stars, though, in the end, I still find it an enjoyable and sexy read.
All in all, I enjoyed the second half better. There were some amazing cameos of characters from the previous books that really made me happy! As always, Lori's ability to write spice that actually feels spicy and not overdone rang true in this book, too. While this wasn't my favorite in the series, I already dream of reading book four when it releases. Especially with all the teases Lori has given us about it!
Seriously give this series a shot. It's peak Mafia Romance, and you won't be disappointed.