Falling for the Enemy by J.E. Parker

POV: Dual 1st Person
PoP: 46%
Trope: Enemies to Lovers; Instant Connection; Anti-Hero; Mafia; Spin-off
Series: When Villains Fall Book 1
Rate: 5/5 Stars
Release Date: Mary 30, 2022

This book, oh. my, there is alpha and there is Alejandro Santiago.  He is not a necessarily a bad man, but he isn’t a good man either.  He has done terrible things to protect those he loves.  He is a cartel kingpin who holds nothing back.   

Arianna Ivanova is a woman in a man’s position as the leader of the local Bratva.  In a man’s world, but she doesn’t let that control her or hold her back.  She is just as ruthless as the men in her position.

These two meet, and the sparks fly.  The connection is instant, but Ari holds back so much because she doesn’t trust.  Over and over again in her life she has been let down by the men in it, and refuses to truly let someone in.  Alejandro doesn’t allow her walls to stay up.  He obliterates them in a way that she never expected.  Ari and Alejandro are extremely protective of those in their lives, and the way in which they lead their lives is a huge part of this.  I adored this story by JE Parker.  It is grittier that some of her other books, but no less emotional.  While this is a new series, and sets up the next couple, she doesn’t overwhelm the world building.  This is also a spin-off from her Redeeming Love series, but you aren’t lost without reading it. 

Parker has a way with tearing readers apart but putting them back together.  This book is emotionally taxing but satisfying.