Tarnished Tyrant by Nicole Fox
Series: Zhukova Bratva Book 1
Series Type: Duet. -ends on a Cliff Hanger
Tropes: Mafia, Kidnapping, Forced Proximity, Co-workers, raising sibling, Dark, age-gap,
This was my first book by author Nicole Fox. I love a good mafia romance and when I noticed this at the top of the Amazon charts I wanted to give it a try. Overall the story was good. The set up sucked me in and kept my interest.
Nikolai is a fierce and protective hero. Once he sets his eyes on Belle he knows he must have her. His hope is that he can fuck her out of his system and move on with his plans to continue to secure his family’s legacy. Nikolai has pulled him up from the ashes of his families past and is bring respect back to his family name. Nikolai is not an easy character to connect with. We don’t get a lot from him and what we do gets show this very dominate alpha who needs control of all aspects of his life. He does have a softness toward Belle that he shows no one else not even his closest friends. Nikolai is just want you want in a Bratva Boss.
Belle is a desperate sort of character. She is doing all she can to keep her sister and herself safe. Belle and Elise come from the trailer park, their mother more interested in drugs and in her next fix than carrying for her daughters. Belle has escaped that life gone to college and has return to help her sister escape from their mother. Now Belle is working a job she doesn’t love as an accountant while trying to juggle the care of a 14 yr old. Belle is headed to NYC to perform an audit, it just so happens the audit she is performing is for the very sexy man she hooked up with in the airplane’s restroom. It takes along time for Belle to truly understand who Nikolai is and what he does, even then she is still clueless about the people in his world. She trust too easily and sets herself up in these terrible situations. Honestly I spent a lot of time wondering if Belle and her sister were just naive or too stupid to live.
I enjoyed the story and the push and the pull of the story does keep your attention once it gets started. I did see the twist at the end of book 1 coming. I do think the writing style and such created a but of a fractured story. It took almost to 40% to keep my focus. I understand that there needs to be world building but I wish it was done in away that gave more of a glimpse of them individuals. Also how do you go through a whole book and they never have sex in a bed.. the author makes a mention of it in the story but as the reader you catch on to it very quickly. I am not sure how invested I am to read book 2 to get the conclusion of the story.