Illicit King by Maggie Cole Book Review

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He’s not my king.

Tall, rugged, and focused on destroying my family, Brody O’Connor’s the one person I need to avoid.

He seduced me on purpose, and now I’m paying the consequences.

Every step I take, he’s there, lurking in the shadows, studying me, waiting for any chance to undermine my efforts to become my father’s successor.

He’s succeeding.

No matter how much I try to shake him or our heated encounters, I can’t.

He insists I’m naive, in the dark about what my family is really about, and what he tells me I can’t fathom.

He’s lying.

Screwing with my head.

It can’t be true. My father is cruel, but he wouldn’t do this.

Or would he?

If Brody’s right, then where does that leave me?

Where does it leave us?

Illicit King is book one of Mafia Wars Ireland. It’s a forbidden-love enemies-to-lovers age-gap dark-mafia romance.

Sensitive Content

There are no content warnings for this book but it is dark, mafia romance. Here is some of the sensitive content I observed while reading:

  • Abusive relationship (side character)
  • Alcohol
  • Blood
  • Death
  • Kidnapping
  • Misogyny
  • Murder
  • Profanity
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Torture
  • Violence


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book pulled me in and I could not put it down! I ate this book up in one sitting! I loved Alaina and Brody’s story! These star-crossed lovers made me feel so deeply for their struggle to be together! Both ordered to be killed by the other’s family but they find a way to be together anyway! There is so much angst and banter and I just loved this couple. From their first date, I knew this couple was going to be one of my favorites. They were a perfect match! I love romance told from dual perspectives.

Alaina is my new favorite! She’s fierce and cunning and she doesn’t take mercy on anyone! Her trusty knife is always within reach, IYKYK! I loved how she never stopped trying to outdo all the men and succeeded. Though we know the truth about Brody, I liked seeing the romance from her eyes because she found so much in Brody that she never had before. She could rely on him, he cheered her on and made her cheer for herself too. I liked her with Brody and she earned my vote to be the next in line to rule the O’ Leary Clan.

Brody was major swoon from the first time he met Alaina! When he see’s her picture and has an instant draw to her, I knew he was done for. He has his own motives in the book but his internal struggle trying to be loyal to his clan or resisting his pull to Alaina was so funny. He can’t help but praise Alaina and be impressed by how awesome she is. He’s protective and possessive but his admiration of Alaina’s badassery, tops the list for me. He’s smart and is always one step ahead of the opponent in all arenas.

Alaina and Brody together are a power couple like no other! I was left speechless when they accomplish the most incredible feats together! I had to take a moment to gasp and *scream* about what they pulled off as a team even when they aren’t together! Y’all. Seriously! I’m still thinking about it lol

I loved this story! It was spicy and dark but there was still so much sweetness between this couple! I read on KU originally and immediately purchased the paperback book trophy! I cannot wait for Aiden’s story next! These O’Connors are something else lol

Spice Rating

3/5 🌶️🌶️🌶️

There are open door scenes in this book and innuendo throughout! Very spicy from early on in the book! Lol this is not a slow burn romance!

Genre & Tropes


Dark Mafia Romance


  • He Falls First
  • Starcrossed Lovers
  • Forbidden Romance
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Age Gap Relationship
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Favorite Quotes

“Do I make ya nervous, a stór?”

“Eyes on me, not the gentleman, or ya might get a knife over your throat,”

“I’m glad you’re a bit territorial,”
“Ya are?”
“Aye. Wouldn’t be fair if I was the only one. Sláinte.”

“You’re mine, Alaina. Now be a good lass and look me in the eye as ya come for me,”

“Am I not supposed to say what I feel? Are we supposed to continue to believe that there’s nothing between us? That this is just some random thing that we’re going through?… It’s not. You and I are meant to be together. Somehow. Some way.”


Check out Illicit King on Amazon here.

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