Dreadful by Greer Rivers Book Review

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Dreadful by Greer Rivers


A dark, modern, romantic retelling of Sweeney Todd with a Medusa twist and a happy ever after.

Their revenge is sweet… their love is unhinged.

Fifteen years ago, a girl sacrificed her life for mine. I’ve wanted only justice ever since.

Then Talia entered the stage.

I’m the barber’s son. The Boss’ nephew. A prince without a throne and only revenge to fuel me.

She’s the bakers’ granddaughter. Sweet Tallie. Their dolce nipotina. My vipera.

My desires have always stopped at vengeance. She’s made me want more. But my vendetta will destroy everything in my path, and I won’t risk bringing her into my world.

I never suspected she’d snake her way in on her own.

I craved a bite of her sugar and spice, but my little vipera is fangs and venom.

Now all I want is to be bitten.

DREADFUL is a dark, revenge mafia retelling of Sweeney Todd, Hamlet, and Medusa, set in modern-day Boston and a complete STANDALONE in the Tattered Curtain Series. Guaranteed HEA. This story has triggers so please check the author’s website for trigger warnings.

Sensitive Content

Here is the potentially sensitive content that I observed while reading this book:

  • Ableism
  • Alcohol
  • BDSM
  • Child Abuse (Sexual Assault)
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Death of a Loved One
  • Dubious Consent
  • Gore
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Profanity
  • PTSD
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Somnophilia
  • Stalking
  • Survivor’s Guilt
  • Torture
  • Violence


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

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m obsessed with Dreadful! Murderous women are actually my weakness! Supportive murderous men are my biggest red flag! Revenge that is actually ACHIEVED IS MY KRYPTONITE!!

This had me in a chokehold. I loved all of the mafia dealings but also the romance. Tallie was fierce and I was so impressed by all the things that she accomplished, in order to achieve the revenge that she deserved. I love to see retribution, be enacted, especially for women who’ve been hurt. She was badass but still so relatable and real. I felt her pain acutely and celebrated her wins too.

Severino, Sever, Sev! I love him so much. The way he was with that cane… Oh my God I am deceased. Disability rep was amazing! He was badass af! I love how smart and strong he was. But I also swooned so hard over the sweet things he said to Tallie in English & Italian! The way he treated her and cared for her was beautiful! And the spice was sooo hot! Spicy!! Bring on the BDSM with extra bondage, thank you!

As I mentioned, this book was pretty gore-y. There is a lot of murders happening in this book. The content may be a little intense for some. There are many darker themes present, so check the content warning if you’re unsure. I love the aspects of the story that dealt with trauma, specifically sexual trauma, and I felt like Rivers did a really great job with adding some really beautiful sentiments toward survivors. But also including the amount of rage that appropriately should be attached to this kind of violence, especially towards children.

I loved this story and the HEA! It was perfection! This was my first read from Greer Rivers but it will not be my last. I cannot wait to go back for the other two books in this series. A big, big thank you to Valentine PR and the author for this advanced copy for review!

Spice Rating

4/5 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️

There are several open door scenes and some kink consisting of BDSM and light non-consensual sex. lots of sexual language throughout.

Genre & Tropes


Gothic Dark Romance



  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Man Obsessed
  • Emotional Scars
  • Revenge
  • Scarred Heroine
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Favorite Quotes

“I refuse to be the only one to suffer from what happened to me.”

“All my enemies were made long ago by a heartbroken boy and the dead girl who saved him.”

“I will get revenge for the girl. Everyone will pay.”

“I should’ve been the one that dies that night. She’s not just worth my life. She’s worth everything.”

“There’s beauty in finally becoming the person you’re meant to be… even if that person is a killer.”

“I’m claiming you, Talia. You’re mine now. Your burden is my burden… our dreams are my dreams. Your goals are my goals. Your family is my family. Your heart is mine. My heart is yours.”

“Over the past four years, I’ve slowly honed myself into a weapon. My curves catch men’s gazes, my lips tell lies that lure them in, and my hands spill their blood.“

“When the world isn’t watching, I’m the heroine in my story and the villain in everyone else’s.“

“Cazzo, if I wasn’t interested in her before, her bloodthirsty submission would do it for me all on its own.”

“I think you’re afraid of what will happen when you give into this. You know that once you do, you’ll crave my firm hand as much as I already crave your soft touch.”

“Tallie is a viper waiting to strike, and fuck, do I want to be bitten.”

“I can’t tell whether I’m afraid for my life or turned on. If it’s the second one, I’ve officially gone insane.”

“Tallie is very important to me… She and I… we’re cut from the same cloth. No stronzo like you will ever touch her against her will again. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s mine. And no one touches what’s mine.”

“Beauty from darkness.”

“Fai la brava, vipera.”

“I wasn’t born this vengeful, I was made, and I don’t regret how I’ve dealt with it.”

“Sei mia.”

“La verità è bella, vipera.”

“Ah, so it’s Sev, now, huh? Is that because you want something? Sev when you want me, Sever when you need me, and Severino when you bare your fangs?”

“If kneeling for her is weakness, then I’ll gladly hand over all my strength to help her heal. The woman I love deserves nothing less.”

“He’s loving a part of me that I haven’t, and that makes me feel like a survivor rather than a victim.”


Check out Dreadful on Amazon here.

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