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Is it so bad that I tricked my older brother’s best friend into taking my v-card?
In my defense, it was Dante Reid—my crush, my first love, and the one I ended up pushing away.
Our paths split in opposite directions.
I went to college on one coast while he returned to work with the US Army on the other.
Or so I thought.
After graduating and attempting a bucket list of self-discovery, guess who I find standing outside the jail, bailing me out from a crime I didn’t commit?
Dante freaking Reid—this time with more muscles, more tattoos, and more demands.
One of which is to move in across the hall from him so he can keep me safe. Like I need protection after a little felony mix-up.
Unless it’s from him.
Because Dante has been my downfall before …
And living next to the guy I gave my innocence to a long time ago may actually end in my complete devastation.
Shain Rose does include sensitive content warnings on her website so I have included those here plus any other potentially triggering content I observed while reading:
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
I loved the angst in this book. Dante was the perfect match for Delilah. This book is very smutty but the plot is strong! With Shain Rose’s books, you can expect to get an emotional read that tugs at your heart! I had pain in my chest for Lilah. I had so much empathy for Dante’s story. These two characters have so much history together that the chemistry is so high between them. One minute you’re sweating with these scenes (I’m looking at you chapter 20 🥵) and the next you’re tearing up the vulnerability and brutal honesty between these two.
Lilah’s fire earned her admiration from me. She spoke her mind and fought for what she wanted. Her big mouth was always getting her into trouble but I loved her talking reckless to Dante! FTW! I want not her biggest fan but she really grew on me more and more. I think that is something I always find fascinating about the FMCs that Rose writes. I immediately love her MMCs and slowly fall for her FMCs. I don’t know how she does it but I felt protective of Lilah as much as Dante eventually does. Lilah’s growth in this book was important and I think her main struggle of finding her place without her twin attached to the spot was the biggest battle she faces.
I’ve been dying to learn Dante’s story for so long and I’m happy it was this second chance romance! He was so protective of Lilah and he really understood her. I love that he never gave up on her or on them even after so much time had passed. Dante cares for Lilah more than he realizes and the development of his possessive and obsessive side ranks highly with me. Also, this man’s mouth! Oh my goodness, he has to have a degree in dirty talk. I live for the unabashed way he tells Lilah about how he wants her and how she should take him. As a character, Dante has always been unique in his approach to everything in comparison to the other Armanelli’s and his book also stands apart from the series in a way that makes sense for him.
As a side note, I was ready to fight her twin sister so badly. Izzy, was gonna catch these hands from me since Lilah is too understanding to do it. But as I said, I was so protective over her that I couldn’t stop thinking about how Izzy needed a good kick to the face. That is all.
As with many of these mafia adjacent books, the graphic violence is kept to a minimum though there was some action. I like that the Armanelli’s are making a change to be less toxic to the world they live in but there is some darkness that hangs around their business. This book was dark without being too dark, in my opinion. If you are just getting into dark romance, this could be a good way to ease your way into the genre.
I’ve read all three of the Tarnished Empire books and I think that this one would be my favorite though I really like all three. I love Shain Rose’s storytelling and her characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes spicy reads and mafia men.
This book has lots and lots of sexually explicit scenes from the beginning. Though there is a plot that run through the story, the sex is big part of their reconnection.
Genre & Tropes
- Age Gap Relationship
- Close Proximity
- Friends to Lovers
- Second Chance Romance
“So goddamn beautiful when you let go, Lilah. Don’t share that animal in you with the world. Keep it only for someone special.”
“I’m your keeper, your bodyguard, and whatever the hell else, Lamb.”
“You just view the world beautifully and make everyone feel beautiful in it.”
“I intend to make you see that my torture for you is seduction, my punishment is pleasure, and you’ll only fear how much your body can take.”
“She’s the slice of good to my bad. She’s the heaven to my hell. She’s always been it. She always will be.”
Check out Fracture Freedom on Amazon here.