Savage Sins and Savage Secrets by Sarah Bale

POV: Dual 1st Person
PoP: 93% in Book one 
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers; Anti-Hero; Duet; Mafia; Fairy Tale Retelling; Real Bodied Heroine
Series: Bale’s Villainous Tales Book 1 and 2
Type of Series: Duet
Rate:  4/5 Stars
Release Date:  January 10, 2023 and February 28, 2023

So let me preface this by saying that I dislike a cheating trope. But this duet toes that line because the marriage that hero is in is extremely unhappy and they basically live separate lives.

This duet is a fairy tale retelling and these aren’t typically on my radar because they are a hard sell. But I read a couple of other Sarah Bale books (check out the Quick Shot show notes here) and I really enjoyed her writing style. So I gave these a try. This fairy tale retelling works because of the way in which Bale adapts the story and crosses lines of the fairy tales themselves.

Book one opens and Ellie is going to New York to visit her friend Jasmine. Malik Jafar is Jasmine’s husband and a head of one of the mafia families. He has so much disdain for Ellie that you wonder just how Bale is going to turn him into a character that you like and if it will make sense for them to get together.

She challenges you, but at the end of book one, which ends on a pretty severe cliffy, you still aren’t sure if you are going to like this character. Book one shows you just how manipulative Jasmine was in their relationship, and the reasoning behind his disdain for Ellie. Elite is a hard character toile as well because she has almost too stupid to live vibes… but don’t worry book two shows exceptional growth for her.

What does book two bring us?

Book two shows us that Jafar will burn the world to the ground for Ellie. He just has to find her first. You learn even more of his back story with Jasmine as well as more of Ellie’s upbringing. Which sheds some light on why she is the way she is in book one. This duet in all honesty was well done and I didn’t want to put it down. But a lot of that was because at first I needed to know how this naive heroine was going to show a backbone. Then it was because I needed to know how this anti-hero was going to show some softness. I had doubts.

Bale does it though, and it comes together in a way that in intriguing and surprising. I am excited to visit more books in this world. You are introduced to many, but they are on the periphery and you do not need to read their books before you indulge in this duet.

*Side Note: I waited until I could binge both books because if you follow me at all, I HATE a cliffy.*