Tuesday, April 25, 2023

A Cruel Arrangement by Tijan

A Cruel Arrangement. Kings of New York Series.

From New York Times bestselling author Tijan comes the intensely passionate story of a man trying to make amends and the woman who makes him want to keep his promises.

This was my place. My business. Easter Lanes.

Then a guy comes in, trying to rob me, daring to take it away from me.

My home. My life.

Hell no. I won’t let my livelihood be threatened.

No one knows what I’ve done to build this life for myself.

Except he might.

Ashton Walden, a man I remember from when we were kids.

Even back then I could tell how dangerous he would be one day.

He’s now the head of the Walden mafia family, and my father is so in debt to them that they practically own him.

My dad and I are estranged and I want nothing to do with him or his debt, but the day after the attempted robbery, I don’t wake up in the hospital.

I wake up in Ashton Walden’s home. And he drops a bomb on me.

If I want my livelihood back, I need to earn it back.

And thus begins our cruel arrangement.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Kings of New York series!
For book one, A Dirty Business, click HERE.


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A Cruel Arrangement by Tijan

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
~ Also Available with KindleUnlimited ~




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the second book in this series – and I would definitely recommend that you read them in order, and possibly close together. Tijan does a good job of reminding the reader of the importance of elements of the story from the previous book, and actually, that reminder of what Ashton did... makes it very difficult to warm to him.

Any fan of Tijan's books will know that it can be quite a stretch to see how on earth a happily ever after can come from what is first given to us, and in this book I found it even more difficult – but Molly was a far stronger character that one might have first imagined.

Be ready for a bumpy ride, but have faith. I am looking forward to the next installment already!

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Mafia Romance

Molly owns a bowling alley that has become the local hangout. Her family is there for her. But when tragedy strikes and she loses two of her own, Molly will have to rely on old skills learned from her con man father to survive what's to come.

Ashton is the new head of his family. While he knows what's at stake, he doesn't truly know how it will play out. Molly is his new target, but when he gets to see how strong and amazing Molly is, Ashton will have to decide if he's still willing to go through with his plan.

Tijan does a good job of walking you through the issues from the previous book without going histrionic. You could read this as a standalone, but I don't recommend it.

I wish that Ashton was stronger in this story. After all, it was his story. I felt that he had a stronger voice in book one. For me, the romance just didn't work well. Ashton and Molly were an odd pairing and just didn't seem to mesh as well as other Tijan characters have. But if you're a fan of Tijan, that will only be a slight blip in the story. You'll still enjoy the heck out of it.

3.5 stars

A Cruel Arrangement is the second installment of the Kings of New York series.

Can it be read as a standalone? Honestly, I do believe so, especially since this is two new narrators connected to the previous two. It has been so long since I read the first in the series, I had forgotten many plot points, yet I had no problem diving in. While I do believe the novel can be read as a standalone, the emotional payout is greater if read in series order.

Tijan did an excellent job spiking my memory to events that happened in the previous novel without a dreaded info-dump. A smooth transition between sets of narrators, the novels flawlessly connecting as the story continues.

Molly Easter is sweet yet has tons of moxie. She owns the bowling alley, which she purchased off her gambling addict of a father. They're connected to the mafia through his debts. Molly keeps a clear divide between her life and her father's, only to discover what she thought was truth was false, upturning her entire life.

Ashton is the new head of the Walden family. While he is a loyal and supportive friend, the darker and grittier aspects of life are his true calling. He enjoys the cruelty of it all when it comes to those who put his way of life at risk.

Opposites attract, yet there are some similarities too. Ashton is on a quest to discover who murdered a pair of their friends, especially since his best friend's girlfriend is hurting. Ashton sees it as a way to heal the wound he created during the last novel. Since it all connects to Molly, a shared group of friends, Molly is willing to do anything to help.

On the mafia front, there are three mafia families preparing for war. Ashton and his best friend, new to being in charge, are allies. The murdered friend was a member of a rival mafia family by blood but not by deed. Add law enforcement in the rival mafia family, burglaries drawing Molly into it, along with her shyster of a father, Molly become Ashton's full-time job.

While I was entertained, I was not hooked as I usually am with Tijan's novels. All the right elements were there, but they just didn't seem to grab my interests. I enjoyed Molly's character and personality, but Ashton wasn't as intriguing during his own narration as he was in the previous novel when I wasn't deep inside his head.

There were a ton of pages, but I felt it meandered. I didn't feel the need to feverishly read as I usually do with a Tijan novel. I was able to put the novel down and go do other things without the story invading my thoughts. I wasn't connected to it. I wasn't hooked. I wanted to love it, and I did enjoy most of it, I just wasn't as enthralled as I hoped to be.

I loved Molly other than the odd "switch" and I wanted the intriguing Ashton from the previous novel instead of the one-note character I felt him to be while inside his head. Honestly, I felt the "voice" of both narrators sounded more like teenagers, not fully grown adults who owned businesses and were in charge of many beneath them.



Author Bio

TIJAN is a New York Times bestselling author who writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing after college, and once she started, she was hooked. She's written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, Ryan's Bed, Enemies, and others. She is currently writing many new books and series with an English cocker she adores.

Connect with Tijan

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Facebook Group: Tijan's Crew


ARC provided by


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided with a free copy of A Cruel Arrangement (Kings of New York #2) by Tijan to read and review.

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