Wednesday, June 15

Book Review: Her Vengeful King by AN Stauber

Author: A.N. Stauber
Title: Her Vengeful King (Black Heart, #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama
Format: ebook
Published: April 26th 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley for my honest and unbiased opinion)


Army veteran Haley Savino, ran from the west coast to avoid her monsters. The man who hurt her may not have followed, but the haunting memories did. PTSD from the trauma of her stepfather left her turning to alcohol to numb her pain. She's only ever known that men can't be trusted.

When Cal busted through her world, she struggled to find meaning in the new attraction.

Callum Murphy, heir to the Boston Irish Mafia, never expected to find a woman he loved.

When Haley entered his bar for a birthday bash, he knew he couldn't let her go. The sadness in her eyes drew him to her, but the challenge of breaking down her walls is exactly what he was missing in his life.

Can Haley finally trust a man with her heart? And can Cal be the one, even though he is the worst monster of all?

Seen this on Netgalley and it drew me in. The cover...the title...the summary. It all sounded like something I had to read. 

We follow Haley Savino and Callum Murphy. Haley was a medic in the Army and now she is a surgeon. She is struggling with her childhood trauma. She drinks to escape the monsters that haunt her. She doesn't trust anyone, especially men. Callum is the heir to the Boston Irish Mafia. He only loves his family and crew. They meet at his bar for a birthday bash. He is drawn in and can't let her go. Can Haley trust him? Can he protect her from her enemies and from her demons?

I will say this right here and right now...there are a lot of things that could trigger some folks. Haley had a terrible, terrible childhood. Her twin died at a very young age in a car accident. Years later, Haley was abandoned by her father and then was molested by her stepfather. Plus there is murder and torture which is to be expected...Cal is the heir of the mob and the mob does bad things to their enemies. So yessss just be aware. 

I felt SO bad for Haley. She has a lot of hurts and a lot of trauma. Poor thing needs a lot of therapy and a good support system. Not a spoiler since this is a romance, but Cal and his family (and her friend Andi) give her the support and resources she needs. The ending made me so happy! Haley deserves the world. 

Now......I did struggle with how controlling Cal was sometimes. I get it.... he's a badass mafia princeling, but still. You know Haley has issues and being a controlling poop doesn't help. I'm so glad she stood her ground. 

This was dark, but I did enjoy watching these two find love. They have trust issues so it really did take a while for them. They have a lot of issues to deal with before they can have their HEA. WHICH I thought worked perfect for them.

My only real big issue was that some of the smexy scenes seemed to be choppy and misplaced. Sometimes it ruined the pace of the story. There were a couple of scenes it seemed like it was just added last minute and just dropped into the middle of a scene.

Ooooo! And that cliffhanger for two side characters has me anxious! I hope it is resolved in book 2! 

But yes, overall, I enjoyed this. It was dark. Very dark. Between the Mafia world and Haley battling her could be triggering for some. I loved watching them fight together to find their HEA.  There were some scenes that seemed misplaced and choppy and the cliffhanger bugged me. However, I enjoyed this. I can't wait for book 2. I'll give this 3 stars.



Melliane said...

I'm always intrigued by mafia books

Carole Rae said...

Me too!

Sophia Rose said...

Poor gal to go through all that. But good that she is strong and doesn't let him steamroll her. Haven't read a mafia romance in ages.

Blodeuedd said...

Dark mafia books can be a bit too wtf for me , but I still wanna try

Jen Twimom said...

I have tried a few mafia books, but I just can't seem to enjoy them that much. Too dark for me.

Carole Rae said...

Sophia, yes I feel so bad for her. But I am glad she makes sure he knows it is a partnership.

B, same. I am so picky with my mafia ones. Same as MCs

Jen, yess some are too dark. This flirted with the dark line.