The Devil Incarnate – Ali Vali

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I had every intention of reading all of the books in this series and had taken the upcoming release of this book as the opportunity to read the series, even go far as purchasing them all – then life got in the way. I didn’t want to wait to review the book, so this review comes with a disclaimer. I’m reviewing this, the somewhere between the 8th and 10th book of the series depending on how you count, without knowing anything that happened in any of the other books.

Despite the disclaimer I’m happy to say I loved it. It’s a solid 4.5 star book for me and I hope that I’ll be able to up that to a 5 once I’ve had the opportunity to go back and catch up on the past and how the characters got to where they are now.

Being a mobster, Cain isn’t necessarily supposed to be a likeable character, but I enjoyed her redeeming qualities nonetheless. I loved her relationship with Emma and their children, as well as her relationship with her friends and associates. Cain is a character with lots of depth and is extremely well written.

There were certainly some moments that were confusing for me, because the cast of characters is large and dependent on information I clearly didn’t have, however none of that stopped me enjoying how Vali threads together the narrative and the characters and how everything fits together.

Like most series the introduction of so many characters can mean that the characters you love the most don’t appear as much in the later books as you’d like and I found myself wanting more Cain and Emma – so I’m interested as to whether this will still be the same once I’ve read more.

I can only say I would imagine that if you’ve read the rest of this series, you’ll again enjoy this one, but as someone coming fresh to the series, I’d encourage you to give it a go (perhaps with the first book unlike me).

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One More Chance – Ali Vali

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s over a 3.5 star but not quite a four. It’s really hard to say you enjoyed something with such serious and difficult topics as domestic violence and homophobia. So I think it’s more appropriate to say I appreciated the writing.

The MCs are Harry and Desi – childhood lovers who met in third grade but due to life circumstances we no longer able to be together after high school. Harry becomes a well respected orthopaedic surgeon and happens to be in the ER the day Desi is brought into the ER after her husband makes an attempt on her life – throwing them together again in ways neither had hoped or expected.

I liked both MCs. Desi was written well to illustrate the feelings people in this situation feel (I have no experience in this situation, so I can only presume sensitivity readers were used to ensure this was accurate). Harry is definitely a character written in the ‘hero’ mould.

Once they are thrown back together a relationship does come around quickly which I struggled with slightly but could also understand. I’ve previously enjoyed books where characters have got back together after break-ups but I have tended to prefer ones where that’s a slower burn so this was a bit different for me.

I liked the secondary characters around the MCs – and even the horrible secondary characters had a purpose to the storyline. The inclusion of Serena, Rachel, Mona and Tony ensures that we see the MCs from different points of view and ensures that we get the opportunities to move away from the violence where possible.

The book comes with many warnings from my point of view, it definitely will not be for everybody, but it is definitely a well written book and from that point of view I can recommend it. I would be interested in a second part of the story.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.