Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hell’s Kitchen by Callie Hart & Lili St. Germain is Now Available & Reviewed

From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City

Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy, it’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.

And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.

Zeth Mayfair has traded life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?

Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.


It all hangs in the balance.

And in this world?

Somebody always loses.

Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.

*If you haven't read Callie's BLOOD & ROSES series and/or Lili's GYPSY BROTHERS series, this book will contain spoilers regarding JASON ROSS and ZETH MAYFAIR. You can easily skip those chapters if you prefer without losing the main storyline for Hell's Kitchen*

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Book 1
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When he lunges for me, I’m ready. I deflect the hand he was going to grab me with, slapping it downward, and then I grab onto his wrist, pulling him off balance. He seesaws forward but then rips his wrist out of my hand. I don’t expect him to turn his slight fumble to his own advantage, but he does. Dropping to the floor, he rolls and kicks out, landing a solid strike to my leg. I have less than a second to brace myself before I’m hitting the concrete.

Then he’s on top of me. “Oh, this is fun, sweetheart. But I don’t really have time to be playing games with you right now.”

He’s reaching for my arms, about to pin me to the ground, but I jab, landing a solid hit with my extended fingertips right in the base of his throat, in his windpipe. He chokes, his body falling sideways, and then I’m on top of him. Through watering eyes and a clearly sore throat, the guy grins up at me, shaking his head. “Well, if you wanna fuck me, I guess I could make some time.” Thrusting upward, he tries to unseat me, but I know this is what’s coming and I’m ready again. I compensate, leaning forward, pressing my gun into the guy’s neck.

“Who are you?”

His body goes still, his hands lifting so they’re palm up in front of him. “You know who I am, sweetheart. I’m the enemy.”

“My boss has quite a few enemy camps. Which one do you belong to?”

“The biggest one,” the guy says, smiling. “The Italian one.”

“So you work for Barbieri?”

“I am a Barbieri.” Lightning fast, he snaps his hand out and clamps it around my throat. The move catches me off guard, has me panicking for the first time. My gun is gone, then, knocked to the ground, skittering away across the blacktop. The guy’s hand tightens around the column of my neck, threatening to squeeze even harder. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “Feeling a little lightheaded?”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I love the way this book is written. There is a cast of characters and we get each chapter from the point of view of a different character (although some characters get more than one chapter over the course of the book). I felt like I was watching a TV show, seeing the different threads of the story unfold and seeing different points of view. Then, the story ends and we have to wait for the authors to give us the next instalment, just like the end of an episode of a TV show. I can't wait to read more. Hell's Kitchen is excellent and a great example of how to write a serial.

This story was fast paced, exciting, and suspenseful!!
I couldn't put it down for a second.
The characters all pulled me in, main and auxiliary, and I can't wait to see what happens next. How are all these people connected? What is the purpose??
I do want to mention, I was jumping up and down with excitement when BOTH: Jase & Jules, and Zeth & Sloane showed up in this story.
While there is "meat" to this story – the erotic scenes were scintillating and seriously HOT!
Just when I thought I knew what would happen next –
well, you'll just have to see for yourself.

This is frenetic, fascinating and full on. Each chapter told from another POV, we are soon immersed in a wild and turbulent world of Italian and Irish NY families, who all want the prize. From the start to the abrupt I-need-the-next-book ending we are treated to a mixture of incompetence, madness, passion and confusion. And I really do need Ms. Hart & Ms. St. Germain to hand over book 2 ... now!

The writing is sharp, witty, sexy and addictive – did I mention I need the next one pronto?

Straight up, Scarlett is my favorite character in Hell’s Kitchen with Gracie being close on her heels. I don’t know if the authors intended for Scarlett’s deadpan comments to provide a bit of dark comedy, but her snarky attitude had me snorting in amusement far more often than I ever expected from this book. Of course, her refusal to cower in fear at Sal’s threats helped secure her spot as my favorite. As for Gracie, the woman is a bada$$ of epic proportion and her final words in this installment nearly knocked Scarlett off the top; if she follows through with it … well I can’t wait to see what Scarlett brings to the table next.

As Hell’s Kitchen is the first installment in the series and a novella, it serves to set the scene just enough to get the action moving. According to the blurb, there are characters in this book that have been met in another of each of the authors’ series. While I have read a couple books from Ms. St. Germain’s Gypsy Brothers series, I have not read any books from Ms. Hart’s Blood & Roses series, yet this had no negative impact on my experience, nor did it prevent me from enjoying the book – if anything, it’s peaked my interest for both of those series. With all that said, Hell’s Kitchen is told from multiple points of view (POV), eight to be exact. Despite this seemingly overwhelming number of narrators, the authors do an excellent job of clearly indicating whose POV a chapter is told from via labels, but also in creating very distinct voices for each character. Hell’s Kitchen is a fast-paced read full of action and suspense as the crux of this installment is the kidnapping of the Irish mob’s princess by the Italian mafia’s princes, per their father’s order. There are a couple of hot sex scenes and a little bit of romance, but none of it involves what I consider to be the main characters of this installment – Scarlett, Gracie, Sal, and Theo. Actually the use of established characters from the other series was a brilliant way for the authors to include sex and romance in the book while avoiding insta-love situations. That said, I cannot WAIT to see what happens when Gracie and Theo combust! It’s not unusual for me to waffle on the rating of an initial installment in a serial because I usually reserve a 5-star rating for a book that I plan to reread and it’s hard to say that about a book released via this kind of series format, but being as I’m chomping at the bit for Tribeca and would begin reading it immediately if I had it on my Kindle, review schedule be d@mned, then I guess it’s no brainer … 5 stars it is.

Callie Hart

Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and molding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.

Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.

Connect with Callie

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Google+  ~  tsū

Lili St. Germain

Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Connect with Lili

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Google+  ~  Pinterest  ~  tsū

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1) by Callie Hart & Lili St. Germain to read and review for this tour.

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