Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Criminal and the Beautiful by Rose Fallen

He’s every mother’s worst nightmare . . . and every woman’s secret fantasy.

A Brazilian-Romany gypsy and a paroled ex-con, formerly part of a vicious street gang, Hanzi wants a new life but he can't escape his past. His old gang's leader and his friends don't understand why he wants to distance himself from them. The more he does, the less they trust him--and living with his sister and her cop husband doesn't help. The last thing he needs is some jumped-up snot of a rich college girl with a hard-on for literature hanging around the coffee-shop where he works tempting him with her pretty eyes and hot little body.

Usually a good student, Riley flunks a research project when family problems distract her. She has no choice but to stay on campus during spring break to redo the work. With her own family's criminal past, she has no patience with the hot tattooed ex-con who works at the coffee shop where she likes to study--and less for her own attraction to him.

They can't stand each other, but they can't fight the pull, either. Despite a disastrous first date, Hanzi finds himself wanting more than smoking hot sex from the pretty little rich girl; Riley just wants him. Too bad her dad's dead set against Hanzi and keeps asking him to do some pretty shady favors. Is he trying to trick Hanzi back into his criminal life or just take advantage of his skills? Then his old friends come after him, and being a good man starts to seem like more trouble than it's worth, especially if it won't help him protect Riley.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Loose Id

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Criminal and the Beautiful was a good read – there were parts I loved, parts I liked, and parts that left me hanging (but not in the good way). What I enjoyed most about the book was Hanzi and how when the author allowed us in his head, I actually felt like I was in a man’s head – thinking about things I assume a man thinks about, not overanalyzing a situation to death like women often do, and kicking his own arse mentally when his inner musings began to sound “like a needy chick.” There were times when I found Hanzi’s thoughts a little difficult to follow, but I chalked it up to the author doing it purposefully as Hanzi was not born in America because I didn’t have the same difficulty following Riley’s thoughts. Hanzi’s manner was brusque, quick tempered, and blunt, but at the same time he could be gentle and affectionate toward his sister Jaelle and Riley. Hanzi is not a good guy, but he’s trying to break away from his past and start over and I loved that Ms. Fallen didn’t make his journey smooth because it couldn’t be.

For some reason, I never quite connected with Riley. This is not to say that I didn’t like her character, because I did, but she never came fully alive for me. I liked how she was shy and could be very unsure of herself, but at times she acted quite bold in her actions toward Hanzi. What I really liked was how she handled her abduction – rather than cowering in fear or jumping to the conclusion that Hanzi was at fault, she suspected it was due to her father’s business dealings and remained as stoic as possible, not allowing her fear to take over but acknowledging its existence. In fact, all of the alliances that are made and broken during the abduction proved to be one of the best parts of the book because it suggests that life might actually be looking up for Hanzi.

Where the book left me hanging most often was in one of the worst places – during the sex scenes. It actually took me a while to figure that out, but it felt as if the author did a great job of setting up the scene, getting me right to the edge alongside Riley, and then suddenly it was over. There is a good amount of foreplay between Hanzi and Riley but the actual sex scenes tend to be missing something and that left me hanging, which was disappointing as all signs pointed to Hanzi being spectacular in bed (or the car, or the wall, or the…, you get the picture) and I felt like I was missing out on all his glory. While I appreciated that the author did not go for the insta-love scenario, I did feel like Riley rushed into things with Hanzi too quickly, especially considering how he reminded her of her father at times; then again, the majority of the book occurred during a two-week break and there was a lot going on during that timeframe. I did feel as though the end of the book was rushed and was really disappointed that we didn’t get to see Riley’s birthday night through considering where they were going. The Criminal and the Beautiful was a good start to the series and I will keep my eye out for the sequel.

Rose Fallen has written and published stories in a multitude of genres, but her main passion are stories that combine her two favorite genres: erotic romance and crime. Rose’s characters and their gritty romances are often inspired by the people and places in the New York City of her childhood and the music club she grew up around. She enjoys writing stories where the underdogs of society triumph in unexpected ways and the characters are sometimes on the wrong side of the law. The Criminal and the Beautiful is the first book in her new adult crime romance series, River Kings. She enjoys reality television, tabloid news, classic literature, and hugging dogs.

Connect with Rose

Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Criminal and the Beautiful (River Kings #1) by Rose Fallen to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.