Monday, September 15, 2014

Rule Number One: Family Comes First

"Rule One: You kill for your family.
You die for your family.
Because you can't trust anyone else."
--J.J. McAvoy, Ruthless People

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop
Pages: 328
Publication Date: July 17th, 2014
Source: Bought
Find on Goodreads
Previous Books in Series: First book in series

Goodreads Description

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets the Sopranos..."

To the outside world, they look like American Royalty, giving to charities, feeding the homeless, rebuilding the city. But behind closed doors is a constant battle for dominance between two Bosses, cultures, and hearts.

Ruthless People is a romantic crime fiction set in modern day Chicago, and follows the life and marriage of Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan—rivals by blood and leaders through fear. Their marriage, arranged by their fathers in hopes to end years of bloodshed between the Irish and the Italians.

Liam believes he’s getting a simple-minded wife, one he can control, one who bends to his every need . . . the complete opposite of Melody. She knows exactly what type of man he is, and would rather die than give up the power she has spent her life building.

The Mafia of the past has evolved, and with rival bosses gunning for them, Melody and Liam will have to learn to work as one to take down those who stand in their way.

1 Marriage x 2 Bosses = 3x the Chaos

*Warning: Due to bad language, graphic violence and sex this is for over-18's only* These are not mobsters with a heart of gold....

They do VERY bad things and will NOT change.
They are criminals...murders.

If things like that bother you Ruthless People is not for you. You've been warned ;)

The Blood 

We all know when it comes to book with fucked up premises that my twisted little soul yearns for them. I don't know why but I have an idea. I'll say it again. I'm Sicilian. I have the stereotypical temper and have been known to threaten a good throat punch when angry (but never actually done it, don't worry). My mouth is a verbal weapon and I won't lie when I say most of the people that know me are also slightly scared of me. They know not to fuck with me. The urge must be somewhere in my blood that I can thoroughly enjoy reading abut people murdering without shame all in the name of family protection. Call me old-fashioned. With that said, this book is about ruthless people, pun intended, and there is no shame in their game. We meet Melody, head of the Italian mafia, who marries Liam, the leader of the Irish mob. It was initially a business proposition that turned into so  much more after Liam realized what an asset both in the business and out of it Melody would be. I'll go into more detail on that but let's get back to the blood. While these are not actions I condone, a weird part of me liked that our main characters didn't have any qualms about what they do. It gets messy when people start to feel guilty and I liked that this book didn't do that. They treated all their illegal dealings with an objective eye of defending their family and making money. I appreciated just able to enjoy reading about their lives without any of the emotions getting involved...well, emotions about on reader...

The Romance 

The sparks between Liam and Mel were off the chain. Their foreplay, at times, is legit trying to kill each other without kill each other. So hot. I loved that they met each other strength for strength and didn't back down. They loved to push each other's buttons and the chemistry that was created is not even on the periodic table yet. They fight, they love, they have amazing sex, and they find their way to one another's hearts that they themselves didn't even probably know existed. I loved how tender Liam was with Mel and I loved just as  much when he put her in her place...or tried to. AND of course, I loved when Mel called Liam a bitch and gave him the business, too. I can't be sorry when I say their dialogue and brute force with one another is equal parts violent and sexy and I loved every second of it.

The Role Reversal

It is pretty unheard of for a female to be the Boss of any mafia, let alone the Italian and Irish one. Not only did I really love a woman stepping into this brutal role and being respected, I LOVED that when it came to the romance love, Liam was the one to bend. He loves Mel from the moment he sees her. He sees her as his equal, even though it takes him a while to get there. He does anything...and I mean anything...for him to get her to see him as somebody worth loving and not just physically. I found this aspect of their relationship to be really unique and I think J.J. McAvoy wrote him in a way that he was vulnerable with her but I never questioned his strength otherwise. Love doesn't make you weak. I loved that message.

The Minions 

The secondary characters were equally engrossing. I loved that we got sections of chapters from everyone's POV. The growth between sister-in-laws had me grinning because Mel is a force to be reckoned with on any front and I loved that her sister-in-laws, especially Coraline, saw her strength and how it could be used to gain even more respect from their husbands. OH! Sidenote: having every single Callahan man deeply devoted to their respective wives was a huge part of my love for this book. None of them cheat. None of them even look at another woman. And when another woman does look at Liam, he himself shuts the girl down in a very aggressive way. I loved this. Call me twisted. Oh, but also there is an amazing bathroom scene when Mel stakes her claim on Liam that I really, really loved. Sorry not sorry but I pity the bitch who thinks she could ever try and take my future man away from me. Team Mel.

The Editing 

My only real issue with this book lies in the editing. It wasn't glaring but I noticed a few mispelled words and a few grammar issues. It was just a few but I'm beyond anal retentive about spelling so it stuck out to me. Nothing that distracted from the book but something I noticed.
This isn't a book I can recommend to everyone but if you love books like Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts or Dirty Angels by Karina Halle, this book is for you. Like the author's note says, it is violent and bloody and if that offends you then this isn't for you. IF IT DOESN'T then you need to pick this book up because it is sexy and funny and just good times had all around. 


  1. As you know ,I loved this one. Melody was one bad ass bitch. I loved that the author wasn't afraid o make them really bad, I need book 2!!!

  2. I've been wanting to read this one for a long time after Nereyda (see above) told me about it!! I freaking love your review! I love it when an author takes these incredibly unlikable characters (i.e. ruthless killers) and makes you love them.

  3. Ruthless People definitely sounds like a Kelly book! I might not ever read it, but I do love the premise behind it being very similar to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, if not even more awesome than that. Enjoyed reading your review, K!


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